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Fact is a poor story-teller as Maugham reminds us. Fact starts a story at random, rambles on inconsequently and tails off, leaving loose ends, without a. Ashenden or: the British Agent [W. Somerset Maugham] on *FREE* shipping on qualifying offers. From dust jacket flap: First published in When war broke out in , Somerset Maugham was dispatched by the British Secret Service to Switzerland under the guise of completing a.

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The Mexican eyed it with asheden and watched the porters arrange the luggage. It was impossible to guess how old she was. He made up his mind that, on getting back to his hotel, he would have a fire lit in his sitting-room, a hot bath, and dinner comfortably by the fireside in pyjamas and a dressing-gown. He had a broad face, with flat, wide maugyam and on his forehead was a great scar of the wound that had lost him his sight.

It also reflects the rather languid air of the novel. You’d better carry it on your person.

He sat down at his table and feeling jaunty after his adventure ordered himself at the expense of the British Government a bottle of champagne. This particular tale drags a bit and is conventional in precisely the way that Maugham through Ashenden appears to mock earlier in the book but the sentiment within it is undeniably real.

I’m wondering if one of his novels focusing on a love relationship would be more to my taste than this book. I laughed at her impertinence. When Ashenden arrives in Geneva the British governess of an Egyptian prince refuses his friendship. I thought her an angel. Petersburg as an undercover agent with Kerensky in power and the October Bolshevik Revolution soon to take place.


This Week’s Must Read: ‘Ashenden,’ by Somerset Maugham : NPR

He does not use a ashendeen. The Swiss knew well that their country was the scene of all manner of intrigues; agents of the secret service, spies, revolutionaries and agitators infested the hotels of the principal towns and, jealous of their mautham, they were determined to prevent conduct that might embroil them with any of the belligerent powers.

He began to sing. Ostensibly a story of a world which has lost its moral compass in a struggle for survival, the book returns us time and time again to the fact that even a world of duty and obligation contains human foibles and emotions that need to be recognised as part of that world.

Ashenden,” said the Prince’s secretary, warmly shaking his hand. A blind soldier was sitting on a bench.

Ashenden – Book Review

Mustapha Pasha was a huge fat fellow, of forty-five perhaps, with large mobile eyes and a big black moustache. When the night-porter fetched me and I went into her room I asked where his highness was and she cried with all her strength: Ashenden, like Maugham himself, is a writer drafted into the Secret Service but his job is more one of observation than of danger or action.

When the bill came he passed some hundred-franc notes over to Ashenden and said:. Of course it would not be very nice to spend two years in a Swiss prison, but the chance of this was, like assassination to kings, one of the inconveniences of his profession.

mauvham They were large and long and smooth; there was not a hair on them or on the wrists, and with the pointed, rosy, manicured nails there was really something sinister about them. In Petrograd, Ashenden introduces Harrington to an old flame, Anastasia Alexandrovna, with whom he forms an unlikely friendship.

He is given an address in a run-down part of London where he is shown into a disused adhenden and meets R. But what a silly excuse was this to make mauggham a visit and what a poverty of invention it showed! Quite a shock to go from reading the street-level immediacy of Dashiell Hammet and James M. The Ashenden stories remind us that even when the stakes are astronomically high, a spy’s job can be a lowdown grind. As in his preface, he shows a side of war that, well, it just left me sad.


Another great thing about this book is that it does not contain many of the content issues that peopl This is the book that started the spy genre. They ashendn to go their separate ways, the Mexican to Barcelona, Ashenden back to Rome.

This British Spy Thriller Shows How Thrill-Less Spying Can Be

Dec 16, Tim Pendry rated it really liked it Shelves: But since in so crowded a resort for the Lyonese like a good dinner you never knew what inquisitive ears were pricked up to catch any useful piece of information that might fall from your lips, they had contented themselves with talking of indifferent things. Ashenden is to accompany her to Switzerland and make sure she plays here part.

He can be very harsh and sexist at times this book was written in the 20s after allbut he values intelligence and has a mature view on beauty.

And now another word of warning. He had had a charming and romantic career; a very good-looking young man, he attracted the attention of one of the arch-duchesses and then made such good use of his opportunities that he ended his life as a baron and minister plenipotentiary to an Italian court.

Ashenden knowing that R.