Lillian's Reviews > Ashenden

Ashenden by W. Somerset Maugham
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's review
Aug 05, 2011

liked it
Read from July 24 to 27, 2011

Professional writer Ashenden is asked to join the British Intelligence on the premise that he would be able to go about neutral counties without attracting attention and he would find useful material for a writer of fiction. Ashenden consents and thus begins a life of espionage and intrigue taking him from Geneva to France to Italy and Russia.
This, however, is not your typical spy story. Maugham presents a vivid portrait of the daily life of dangerous men and subtle women, espionage agents, double agents and traitors, in stark reality and glamorous facade. He explores the nature and motivations of these individuals giving us an glimpse of their internal thoughts.
W. Somerset Maugham himself was a British operative (and a writer) and has based much of Ashenden on his own real life experiences.
This is a truly fascinating read of the life and times of espionage agents during WW1.

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