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Extended Audio Sample Epitaph for a Spy, by Eric Ambler Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (816 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Eric Ambler Narrator: Alexander Spencer Publisher: Recorded Books, LLC Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: December 2012 ISBN: 9781440744334
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Vadassy was just another name on the guest list at the seedy Mediterranean Hotel until he was accused of spying. Then, suddenly, he was on everybody’s list.

When Josef Vadassy arrives at the Hotel de la Reserve at the end of his Riviera holiday, he is simply looking forward to a few more days of relaxation before returning to Paris. But in St. Gatien, on the eve of World War II, everyone is suspect—the American brother and sister, the expatriate Brits, and the German gentleman traveling under at least one assumed name. When the film he drops off at the chemist reveals photographs he has not taken, Vadassy finds himself the object of intense suspicion.

The result is anything but the rest he had been hoping for.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Ambler successfully combines excitement, entertainment, and social significance.”

    New York Times Book Review

  • “This is a tale well worth acquaintance.”

    New York Herald Tribune

  • “A genuine classic.”

    Times (London)

  • “An uncommonly good story of international intrigue.”

    Atlantic

  • “Graham Greene called Ambler the greatest thriller writer, and this is one of his best.”

    Library Journal

  • “An amusing, agile performance.”

    Kirkus Reviews

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leonie | 2/19/2014

    " It's becoming a pet peeve of mine how almost every book written during WWII (in this case just before) has at least one review complaining about how it doesn't have enough period detail. Period detail laid on is the biggest giveaway of inauthenticity. Anyway, I liked the atmosphere of this book. It's always nice in genre fiction when the author goes for the "How would this play out if this was real life and not a genre novel?" route, and here we have a hero placed in the role of detective who just isn't cut out for the role, no matter what's at stake. The identity of the spy, when we discover it, isn't especially interesting, but it was still good getting there. I liked the dark note at the end. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Leaking Lewis | 2/11/2014

    " The beginning of the genre. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 2/8/2014

    " Another very good spy novel by Ambler. You really feel the political and cultural turmoil in his books. And there's a surprisingly touching ending. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 2/6/2014

    " Quality yarn, in that Amblerish way, you have to read him really - would recommend highly "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick | 2/6/2014

    " Reminiscent of Graham Greene, but with less humor. Interesting ideas about what it would be like to be thrust into the role of spy, whether you like it or not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Colin | 2/5/2014

    " Great fun pre-world war two novel about a man caught up in a fascist plot against France. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole Marble | 2/5/2014

    " Written at the height of the cold war/commie scare, this hunt for a spy centers on a French resort and our guileless narrator. With LOTS of conversation and introspection, I was continually reminded of Agatha Christie. I had no idea who the real spy was until the end. Excellent! "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Carl | 1/21/2014

    " my dive into the world of espionage literarture was a success. this creep will keep you guessing until the end. sort of like if camus had survived his accident and started to write spy novels. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Peregrina651 | 1/18/2014

    " Another re-read. I can't remember where I found Eric Ambler but I really enjoy his retro thrillers. Well, they aren't actually retro because they were written just after WWII. Less violence, more interior, more plot. I've picked up Graham Greene for the same reason. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michele | 1/17/2014

    " An excellent story. An engaging and sympathetic protagonist for whom I felt deeply when he was being treated more like a pawn than a person. Beautifully written by Ambler. Will definitely be hunting for more of his stories at the library. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Curd | 1/13/2014

    " A sort of old-fashioned Golden Age whodunit told as a spy story. Masterful storytelling, though, and although it was written in the late 1930s the prose has not aged or diminished. A good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 1/10/2014

    " Eric Ambler is often considered the father of the espionage/suspense novel. This one is a personal favorite. I bet I have read (and listened to) at least 4 times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roberto | 11/23/2013

    " Classico giallo anni 30, dove l'autore ricostruisce sapientemente le atmosfere, gli usi e i dialoghi di un tempo che sembra ormai lontanissimo. Consigliato. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul Jellinek | 11/13/2013

    " Ambler's books are always a pleasure, and this one is no exception. It plays in pre-World War II France and involves an innocent and somewhat hapless civilian who gets caught up in some nasty espionage. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kit Fox | 11/5/2013

    " Good old school spy novel. Would make a great, slowly paced black and white French film. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Jake | 4/26/2013

    " An engaging, fun read. I love the Hitchcock-esque tale of a person who unwittingly gets pulled into a conspiracy. Eric Ambler has the right alchemy of drama, intrigue and humor mixed together in this one. It will not be my last read of his. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Arne | 11/11/2012

    " Ambler is good stuff. I never liked mysteries until my late 20's, but I'm glad I found him. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan Piette | 5/22/2012

    " A spy in France between the wars "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 John | 10/12/2011

    " economical and insightful writing; gripping in a cerebral laid-back way. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bill | 8/26/2011

    " As good a thriller and spy novel as can be found. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Dan | 4/27/2011

    " A spy in France between the wars "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Roberto | 1/10/2011

    " Classico giallo anni 30, dove l'autore ricostruisce sapientemente le atmosfere, gli usi e i dialoghi di un tempo che sembra ormai lontanissimo. Consigliato. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Erin | 9/19/2010

    " Another classic spy novel, love how timeless Eric Ambler's books are. Wrong place at the wrong time, love how the main character is a bit clueless. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Tom | 3/29/2010

    " Another very good spy novel by Ambler. You really feel the political and cultural turmoil in his books. And there's a surprisingly touching ending. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Patrick | 3/6/2010

    " Reminiscent of Graham Greene, but with less humor. Interesting ideas about what it would be like to be thrust into the role of spy, whether you like it or not. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Paul | 2/6/2010

    " Ambler's books are always a pleasure, and this one is no exception. It plays in pre-World War II France and involves an innocent and somewhat hapless civilian who gets caught up in some nasty espionage. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Richard | 8/18/2009

    " Really enjoying these...perhaps I should read more spy fiction? Alhough...I hadn't for years because, as much as I like Bond films, Ian Fleming's fiction was pretty bad.

    Maybe Ambler is all I'm likely to like in the genre? "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Dave | 6/23/2008

    " Eric Ambler is often considered the father of the espionage/suspense novel. This one is a personal favorite. I bet I have read (and listened to) at least 4 times. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nicole | 12/31/2007

    " Written at the height of the cold war/commie scare, this hunt for a spy centers on a French resort and our guileless narrator. With LOTS of conversation and introspection, I was continually reminded of Agatha Christie. I had no idea who the real spy was until the end. Excellent! "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kit | 11/29/2007

    " Good old school spy novel. Would make a great, slowly paced black and white French film. "

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