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The Secret Agent A Simple Tale (Paperback)

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The Secret Agent Conrad, Joseph/ Agathocleous, Tanya (EDT) 1 of 1
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FORMAT: Paperback
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Learn more about The Secret Agent:

Format: Paperback
ISBN-10: 1551117843
ISBN-13: 9781551117843
Sku: 211302793
Publish Date: 10/15/2009
Dimensions:  (in Inches) 8.25H x 5.5L x 0.75T
See more in Literary
Mr Verloc, going out in the morning, left his shop nominally in charge of his brother-in-law. It could be done, because there was very little business at any time, and practically none at all before the evening. Mr Verloc cared but little about his ostensible business. And, moreover, his wife was in charge of his brother-in-law. (from the first line)
Conrad's only spy novel, THE SECRET AGENT is set in the filthy and depraved city of London of the 1880s. Adolf Verloc, a bumbling police informer and the undercover agent for an unnamed European embassy, is recruited to bomb the Greenwich Observatory. Horrified and afraid, he fools his wife (who married him only so he would support her) into letting her half-witted brother, Stevie, help him; Stevie explodes the bomb prematurely and blows himself to bits. When she discovers the truth, Verloc's wife goes mad with rage and grief. This bleakly ironic tale of isolation, despair, and lack of love is perhaps Conrad's most powerful novel, and is a dark satire of English life, with amoral characters on both sides of the law.
Author Bio
Joseph Conrad
Jozef Teodor Konrad Korzenioski, son of Polish nationalists who died in exile for their political activities, was raised by relatives in various parts of Eastern Europe. He went to sea at 16, and spent 20 years at sea, working first on French merchant ships in the West Indies, then on English ships, where he learned the language and traveled to Latin America and Africa. He drew on these experiences for much of his fiction; in 1890 he was the commander of a ship that traveled up the Congo River, the inspiration for HEART OF DARKNESS. He began writing in 1892, on a voyage from England to Australia, and in 1895 he left the British merchant service to become a full-time writer. He settled in London and married an Englishwoman. Although English was not his native language, he is renowned for the subtlety and descriptiveness of his prose--despite the fact that he spoke the language all his life with a heavy accent. His model for the writing of fiction was Henry James, whom he addressed as "cher ma?tre." Conrad died suddenly of a heart attack at the age of 67. His epitaph, taken from Spenser's THE FAERIE QUEENE, reads: "Sleepe after toyle, port after stormie seas, /Ease after warre, death after life, does greatly please."


Washington Post Book World
"[H]as the thrills of a John le Carre or one of Graham Greene's sinister entertainments, but Conrad did it first." - Jennifer Howard 02/21/1999

"A brilliant of the greatest works of modern irony, a form of very justified address to the modern world." - Malcolm Bradbury

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