The Secret Agent (1907) builds a triangle of conspiracy, which is destroyed, by the self-interset of its participants. Mr Verloc, employed by a foreign embassy to incriminate an anarchist group, instead destroys his family, his illusions, and his own life, in a terrorist act gone utterly wrong. Conrad's ironic and troubling novel exposes the futility of political extremism and the strength,andvanity of human illusion.
Publisher and industry reviews
UK Kirkus review
Conrad wrote better books than The Secret Agent but he never wrote one more memorable. Once read, you can never forget it, yet there is hardly a redeeming feature to be found among its characters. Winnie is bovine, her mother stupid, both redeemed - just - by their devotion to the unfortunate Stevie. Mr Verloc is a dealer in pornography before he is a spy, a fat slothful man with an eye to the main chance. His wife murders him and he is at the brink of death before he realizes what is going on, so inflated is his ego. Review by RUTH RENDELL Editor's note: Ruth Rendell is the author of numerous books including A Sight for Sore Eyes. (Kirkus UK)
Phoenix (an Imprint of The Orion Publishing Group Ltd )
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