“Ben Macintyre’s rollicking, spellbinding Agent Zigzag blends the spy-versus-
spy machinations of John le Carré with the high farce of Evelyn Waugh.”
—William Grimes, The New York Times
A New York Times Notable Book of the Year
A Washington Post Best Book of 2007
One of the Top 10 Best Books of 2007 (Entertainment Weekly)
New York Times Best of the Year Round-Up
New York Times Ed
While not as interesting a read as Macintyre's Operation Mincemeat: How a Dead Man and a Bizarre Plan Fooled the Nazis and Assured an Allied Victory, the true story of double agent Eddie Chapman still had its moments. Chapman was a thief, a con-man, a ladies man (with a girl in every port, so to speak) and a hustler.
I liked him immensely.
What a charming rogue. The kind of guy you'd like to have drinks with, but not the kind you'd "take home to mother" (thanks, Rick...more
The author was blessed with a priceless true story, but that's only the beginning. I consider this the best history of WWII clandestine activities ever written, and quite possibly the best work of nonfiction I've ever read. Blindingly talented with superb timing and good taste, Ben Macintyre leads you from wartime Britain to France to No...more
Eddie is little more than a petty criminal with a strong knowledge of how to perform these acts of crime when he is pulled from prison in the Channel Islands (which have been taken over by the Germans) and forced into becoming an agent for them. They like the fact that he's a crimi...more
Unless.... it's really very good.
Agent Zigzag tells the tale of Eddie Chapman, bank robber and ladies man, who finds his Channel Island prison suddenly run by an occupying German army. He offers to spy for the Nazis, and then while training in occupied France, memorizes as much as he can so he can give enemy information to the Brits.
Chapman is an amazing character, as are his German and...more
This is the extremely well-written story about a double agent working for England during the Second World War. His code name was Zigzag, although his real name was Eddie Chapman; although he used a variety of aliases during his career. Chapman was recruited and trained by the Nazis to work for them. When he was out of spy school, and made his first trip to England – parachuting in to a secluded spot –...more
Zig Zag is recruited by the Germans, who occupied the Channel Islands where he was jailed. Chapman is trained by the Nazis and deploys on his first mission into England where he promptly surrenders to the Brits, who put him to work deceiving the Nazis with...more
Recruited first by the Germans, who occupied the Channel Islands where he was imprisoned, Chapman parachutes into England and...more
"Fiction has not, and probably never will, produce an espionage story to rival in fascination and impr...more
It is the story of Agent Zigzag (Eddie Chapman) who came up with the idea that he would offer to be a spy for the Nazis if they would release him from prison, which is where he found himself when the Germans came to occupy the island of Jersey. Incredibly, the Nazis went for it and trained him up good and proper, instructing him in the use of the...more
Never a truer word has been written or spoken for Chapman's exploits for both the Germans and the British very nearly defy belief. How he held it all together and lied his way through World War II as a do...more
The story feels complete an...more
In 1942, he was parachute-dropped into England with an assignment of blowing up...more
Maskelyne who was Britain's official illusionist (and a master-illusionist at that) who came from a long line of magicians, alchemists and astronomers. In addition to his marvellous war work he also invented the coin operated toilet door.
Praetorius, one of Chapman's Abwehr (German Secret Service) minders. A fan of English folk da...more
The story plays up Chapman's background of crimes, his womanizing, his antisocial tendencies, and his desire for a f...more
Expect a wildly careening, ribald series of chase scenes, foxy schemes, somber imprisonments, and explosions galore. Oh, and prepare to have your moral and imaginative limits stretched and then stretched...more
Having just read the fiction novel "Eye of the Needle" which dealt with espionage and counterespionage during World War II, it was an interesting contrast to read "Agent Zigzag" which dealt with the same from a non-fiction standpoint. And Mark Twain was correct, truth IS stranger than fiction. If Agent Zigzag was a fiction novel, I would've characterized it as too outlandish to be believable. Agent Zigzag (aka Eddie Chapman) was a British double agent who made repeated trips in...more
In July 2006, Macintyre wrote an article in The Times entitled "How wiki-wiki can get sticky", criticising the limitations of Wikipedia. He cited the self-regulation system as inadequate when literally "anyone" could add supposed "facts" to Wikipe...more
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Thus the scion of a great banking dynasty learned how to rob a bank.”