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Ashenden or the British Agent: 11/23/07

Ashenden or the British Agent

Ashenden or the British Agent by W. Somerset Maugham is somewhere between a short story collection and a novel that chronicles a series of adventures of failed writer turned spy, John Ashenden.

With the characters who recur within the stories make these the book gel. Unfortunately the stories are inconsistent in quality and without an overall sense of progression, the book isn't as satisfying as it should be.

Although my reaction to Ashenden as a whole was lukewarm, there were moments that I really enjoyed. Maugham peppered his scenes with little bits of detail that bring the characters to life. For instance there's a scene early on where Ashenden is bathing but is unhappy that he can't turn the taps with his toes like he feels all good bathtubs should work. Yet, he's too lazy to sit up and adjust the temperature with his hands, so he just sits there getting colder and colder as the bath water cools. These moments of character insight make me want to try other books by Maugham.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Saturday, November, 24, 2007 at 20:34:03


Wow, seems to be an interesting read! Thanks for sharing!"

Comment #2: Saturday, November, 24, 2007 at 22:48:51

rampantheart says

I am a voracious reader basically and of late,I have been reading a lot of classics.First i read "the silver chalice" by thomas costain and then came "the moon and six pence" by somerset maugham and then thomas hardy's "tess of the durbervilles".Of these three,i really loved the last two.I have become a huge fan of Somerset and Hardy.How different their works are when compared to all that is published today!If you have not tried "MATSP" please read it.It's an excellent book.And i have not read the book you have reviewed!Thanks for the review.It was very useful.I shall read it in the near future and let u know how it is.;)

One thing that always allures me is the topic on books.Thanks for making my day!

Keep writing!Look forward to acquainting with u. "

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