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 Dark Woman – middle part of the Hairless Mexican tale. View all 10 comments. The different tales take you on a journey of the playwright only mzugham as Ashenden Somerville it is insinuated that this is not his real name who has been recruited to be an undercover agent who can move freely throughout most of the European states without question. Things I thought hilarious were: And there she lay powerless to speak.

Notify me of new posts via email. This fascinating, and delightful, book is often regarded as the first spy story and a precursor to Smiley and James Bond. His parents died early and, after an unhappy boyhood, which he recorded poignantly in Of Human BondageMaugham became a qualified physician.

Ashenden believed much more in his acuteness than in a firearm, which is apt to go off at the wrong time and make a noise, maugbam there are moments when it gives you confidence to feel your fingers round its butt, and this sudden summons seemed to him exceedingly mysterious.

She looked very small, lying in the bed, no larger than a child, and immensely old. But he was feeling comparatively at ease and was able to answer Bernard’s threat without heat.

I shall give the night-porter orders to wake me when everything is over.

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: Monsieur Bridet, notwithstanding his costume and his evident harassment, found in himself the presence of mind to remain the attentive manager, and with ceremony effected the proper introduction.

He had evidently been roused from his sleep; he wore slippers on his bare feet, grey trousers and a frock-coat over his pyjamas.

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

The baroness paid Ashenden some very fulsome compliments, to which he listened with a proper and grateful politeness, and then, having provided her guests with coffee and liqueurs, she produced the cards. You’ve had a slight stroke. The water was just not scalding and he gradually let himself down into it. In fact the universe conspired to make him miss every train he wanted to take and he was not happy unless he was settled in his corner, his things on the rack above him, with a good half-hour to spare.


There is hardly an action that I make without consulting them. Learn how your comment data is processed. The telephone had fallen too.

Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham

In a series of short stories, he chronicled the adventures of a writer turned spy named Ashenden, a dapper, pleasure-loving chap who is recruited — as was Maugham himself — into the British Secret Intelligence Service during World War I. He had half a mind to turn tail and walk out of the hotel, leaving everything behind him; he had his passport in his pocket and he knew by heart the hours at which trains started for the frontier: She had all the gracia of the Andalusian.

I don’t believe the Hairless Mexican has a great respect for human life. When she finds out of his death, the dancer goes to Ashenden and asks to get back the valuable watch she had given to ashende man whom she has just betrayed.

Then there was a little German prostitute, mauugham china-blue eyes and a doll-like face, who made frequent journeys along the lake and up to Berne, and in the exercise of her profession got little titbits of information over which doubtless they pondered with deliberation in Berlin.

But if he was a total stranger you would never for a moment be suspected. He was a ashhenden creature and saw at once that his things, though not in disorder, were not as he had left them. A little way off two fat citizens of Geneva, with black beards, were playing dominoes, and on the other side a young man with spectacles was with great rapidity writing sheet after sheet of an immensely long letter. Have you ever been to Mexico?

Thanks to the Review Group on Intelligence and Communications Technologies, a panel appointed by President Obama, the practice of spying has been thrust back into headlines this week. Ashenden, or the British Agentfirst published inis a series of linked stories relating the adventures of a writer of comic plays who is recruited into British Intelligence. Was that one of your men?


Ashenden – Book Review

They give you the materials for a dish and expect you to do the cooking yourself. The night-porter will tell them when they arrive and then they can please themselves. He won’t ask you any questions, I can promise you that, I think he’s by way of being a gentleman after his own fashion.

Return to Book Page. It’s a sum I have to pay, and I’ve got to have it. For myself I have no need of money; I am a soldier and I can live on a crust and a few olives. He was a bitter enemy of the English and was known to be actively engaged in stirring up trouble in Egypt.

In almost every sentence this sense of superiority oozes. A lot of it is uncommonly useless.

Snobbery Coming back to read English fiction after a prolonged dose of American, the most striking thing is the drawling confidence and smug superiority of the narrator. He handed it to Ashenden with a pleased smile on his large, ugly and naked face.

Ashenden goes to visit his wife, is surprised to find Gustav there when he has only just received a letter supposedly from Germany from him; and deduces that in fact the much-praised Gustav has been lying to British Intelligence for a year, asgenden has never set foot in Germany that whole time.

He did not feel he could cope with a multitude of questions. A tall tired-looking man, whom he had not met before, came out and without a word led him into an office. Somerville a military man? The skeleton of a story is of course its plot. He did not like the notion of abandoning his job so easily, he had been sent to Geneva, knowing the risks, to do work of a certain kind, and it seemed to him that he had better go through with it. Four eyes followed his gesture.

To ask other readers questions ashendeen Ashendenmaughaam sign up. One of the things that had bothered Ashenden was mxugham possibility that he would be arrested before he finished his play.