Ashenden or The British Agent

Ashenden, or The British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham

My rating: 3 of 5 stars


3.5★

“I gather from what you have not said that he is an unmitigated scoundrel.”

R. smiled with his pale blue eyes.

“I don’t know that I’d go quite so far as that. He hasn’t had the value of a public-school education. His ideas of playing the game aren’t quite the same as yours and mine. I don’t know that I would leave a gold cigarette-case about when he was in the neighbourhood, but if he had lost money to you at poker and he had pinched your cigarette-case, he would immediately pawn it to pay you.”

Maugham was the real deal. This book (or rather, a collection of short stories) is based on Maugham’s own experiences after being recruited as a spy during World War One. The best of them were dry and amusing but other than the final story I was never totally engaged. Normally with short stories, it is best for me to read one or two at time, but some of the stories were interlinked, so I don’t think my memory would cope with that.

The other problem for me was I was reading this book on Open Library. Apparently downloading on to your Kindle is only available in the States (Boo! Hiss!) If anyone knows a work around I would be grateful. Reading on my laptop wasn’t an altogether enjoyable experience.

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