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Inspired by an... actual terrorist attack on Greenwich Laboratory in 1894 'The Secret Agent' is arguably Conrad's greatest work Mr Verloc, the spy, is roused to action by his masters. He is to instigate an act 'of destructive ferocity so absurd as to be incomprehensible, inexplicable, almost unthinkable; in fact, mad'. All does not run smoothly however and leads to Mr Verloc's wife, Winnie, demonstrating how quickly rational equilibrium can change to frenzied destruction. Setting his story in a subterranean grimy London peopled by deceptive, dishonourable characters, Conrad not only reminds us of the futility of mindless aggression but also of how near it is to the surface of human behaviour.
Publisher: Assembled Stories
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I would love to give this book a top five stars, but ultimately I couldn't. This is a quiet, hidden gem that is skillfully written with a dark tale on the surface and sub themes underneath.
Calling it a simple... More