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The Irregulars Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Irregulars, by Jennet Conant, Michael Bates Click for printable size audiobook cover
3.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 53.53 out of 5 3.53 (0 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Jennet Conant, Michael Bates Narrator: Michael Bates, Jennet Conant Publisher: Highbridge Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Prior to the United States entering World War II, a small coterie of British spies in Washington, DC, was formed. They called themselves the Baker Street Irregulars, after the band of street urchins who were the eyes and ears of Sherlock Holmes in some Arthur Conan Doyle stories. This group constituted the very beginning of what would become MI6, the British version of the CIA, and they helped support the fledgling American intelligence service, known at the time as the OSS. Among them were writers Raold Dahl, Ian Fleming, and the flamboyant Canadian industrialist turned professional saboteur William Stephenson, known by the code name “Intrepid,” upon whom Fleming would later base his fictional M16 agent James Bond.

Richly detailed and carefully researched, Conant’s narrative uses never-before-seen wartime letters, diaries, and interviews to create a fascinating, lively account of deceit, double dealing, and moral ambiguity—all in the name of victory.

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Listener Reviews

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Review by Libby | 2/15/2014

    " Unlike several other readers who have reviewed this, I didn't find this book boring in the least. The pacing toward the beginning is a bit awkward, as the author makes the mistake of introducing the entire cast of characters in a big info-dump at the beginning which makes them all run together, but once you get past that, the book is a lively, wry, well-written, scrupulously honest account of Dahl's small part in Britain's top-secret spy agency and propaganda machine within the US during WWII. I picked this book up because I'm a fan of Roald Dahl's later writing, so it was great fun to learn about how intimately connected his spy and literary careers were. It's a bit mind-boggling to imagine the crusty-looking man in the open-toed sandals on the back cover of "The BFG" hobnobbing with the political elite, spending Independence Day with FDR at his private family home, and seducing heiresses and socialites, but really, that seems to be the whole purpose of the book. You'll enjoy this if you're a Roald Dahl fan, if not just for the exchange of blisteringly satirical letters exchanged by Dahl and his friend Charles Marsh mocking the British ambassador. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Review by Tim | 2/7/2014

    " Parts of this book were interesting, but I was expecting something more in the nature of a "true life spy thriller". A more appropriate description of the book is a "tell all, sex lives of the rich and famous, tabloid". "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Review by Glenj | 2/2/2014

    " Not quite what I was hoping for, based on the intriguing blurb that got me interested in this book, but still interesting. Learning about the role Dahl & others had in basically spying on the US for the interest in British commercialism & public morale during the war is interesting, but the book really becomes tough to get through, as hundreds of pages are spent on nothing more than just listing various Washingtonians & minute details of Dahl's rather monotonous affaris. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Review by Kevin | 1/20/2014

    " Very interesting topic, but never hit the point of being a great book. I'm glad I read it, but I certainly don't recommend it. "

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About the Author

Jennet Conant is the author of the New York Times bestsellers The Irregulars: Roald Dahl and the British Spy Ring in Wartime Washington and Tuxedo Park: A Wall Street Tycoon and the Secret Palace of Science That Changed the Course of World War II. A former journalist, she has written for Vanity Fair, Esquire, GQ, Newsweek, and the New York Times. She lives in New York City and Sag Harbor, New York.