This fascinating book contains probably the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published, the book became official required reading for persons entering the British Secret Service. During World War I, Maugham enlisted with an ambulance unit, but was soon shifted to the Intelligence Department. ...
This fascinating book contains probably the most expert stories of espionage ever written. For a period of time after it was first published, the book became official required reading for persons entering the British Secret Service. During World War I, Maugham enlisted with an ambulance unit, but was soon shifted to the Intelligence Department. Although these stories were based on the author's own experiences as a British agent during the war, he emphasized that they were written purely as entertainment, at which, indeed, Ashenden succeeds. Maugham's clarity of style, the perfection of his form, the subtlety of his thought, veiled thinly behind a worldly cynicism, has made him an international figure.
Fair. Good copy for reading, may have heavy page wear with writing textual notes highlighting or be an heavily used ex library copy with library markings, stickers or stamps. Dust jacket or accessories may not be included.
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A good espionage thriller, perhaps one of the earliest, by a master of elegant writing and based on his own experiences.
Jul 2, 2009
VERY DISAPPOINTED IN BOOK CONDITION
ALLEGEDLY THIS BOOK HAD A "SLIGHTLY WORN DUST JACKET IN GOOD CONDITION". IT WAS FALLING APART. LITERALLY. I WAS VERY DISAPPOINTED BY THE CONDITION. BROKER SHOULD HAVE BEEN HONEST. I WOULD HAVE PAID MORE FOR A DUST JACKET THAT WAS ACTUALLY IN GOOD CONDITION. THE CONTENT OF THE BOOK IS EXCELLENT--ANOTHER GREAT MAUGHAM TALE. VERY MIFFED ABOUT THE BROKER.
Feb 7, 2008
Historically this is an interesting book, being one of the first spy novels, and based in some measure on Maugham's own World War I experiences. He also was involved in an interesting but failed attempt to shore up the Kerensky republic before the rise of the Soviets. Maugham used much of this book in various short stories, and the book is more of a collection of stories than a coherent novel. The writing is superior, and the characters while not plausible, are at least interesting. The book reads quickly and gives an historical perspective of the life and times.
Jun 5, 2007
Excellent if you like good writing
Fans of James Bond probably will not like this, as there are no hot women, fast cars, bombs, or gunfire. But it is much more realistic than Bond, and the writing is outstanding. My husband and I were particularly charmed by bits such as "These men were even stupider than he thought; but Ashenden had always a soft corner of his heart for the stupid and now he looked upo them a feeling of unexpected kindliness."
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