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Download The Secret Agent Audiobook

Extended Audio Sample The Secret Agent, by Joseph Conrad
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (5,949 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Joseph Conrad Narrator: Alex Jennings Publisher: Penguin Audiobooks Format: Abridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Joseph Conrad's anarchists, together with Verloc the police informer, inhabit the seedy underworld of metropolitan London in a gripping plot of political intrigue and espionage. The story, in part inspired by the notorious attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory in 1894, probes the anarchy and violence underlying English society and relationships. The plot focuses on the marriage of Winnie Verloc to a thoroughly domesticated pornographer and spy. Looking back to Dickens in its bleak vision of London and forward to the works of Graham Greene, The Secret Agent is one of Conrad's indisputable masterpieces. Download and start listening now!


Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by James | 2/10/2014

    " While Joseph Conrad wrote this novel more than a century ago and the story is set in London in 1886, it is still timely with the predominance of terrorism in the news today. The novel deals largely with the life of one Mr. Verloc and his job as a spy interacting with secretive agencies and groups. Moving away from tales of the sea Conrad had begun to write more political novels focusing on contemporary themes of which The Secret Agent is a notable example. The novel deals broadly with the notions of anarchism, espionage, and terrorism. At the end of the Nineteenth century England, with its relative political freedom, had developed as a haven for radicals and other expatriates from the continent. Conrad leans on this to portray anarchist or revolutionary groups before many of the social uprisings of the twentieth century. The plot to destroy Greenwich is in itself anarchistic. Vladimir asserts that the bombing "must be purely destructive" and that the anarchists who will be implicated at the architects of the explosion "should make it clear that [they] are perfectly determined to make a clean sweep of the whole social creation." However, the political form of anarchism is ultimately controlled in the novel: the only supposed politically motivated act is orchestrated by a secret government agency. I believe that in his own subtle was Conrad is successful in building suspense while slyly ridiculing the questionable activities of the anarchist secret agent. While the novel is based on a true story I nonetheless enjoyed reading and wondering - would the bombing of Greenwich Observatory succeed? More recently, The Secret Agent is considered to be one of Conrad's finest novels. I enjoyed it as a novel about the city of London in a "City Literaryscapes" class at the University of Chicago, while the New York Times sees it as "the most brilliant novelistic study of terrorism". It is considered to be a "prescient" view of the 20th century, foretelling the rise of terrorism, anarchism, and the augmentation of secret societies. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Reed | 2/2/2014

    " After adjusting to Conrad's "wordiness" in this novel I began to appreciate the genius of the story and writing. At times I lost myself; at times I was lost. But in the end the weight of his powerful skill at characterization, his refusal to create a whodunit, and chilling reminder of humanity/ the flaws of humanity that permeate the 'terrorist' and the government I found myself quite glad at reading the book through. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by arg/machine | 1/30/2014

    " Another certified Conrad classic. In the public domain with a free electronic copy available here. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Calypso | 1/27/2014

    " This is an excellent & fascinating book. Conrad outdoes himself and probably produces a better book than he did in Nostromo. But I love Nostromo, I respect The Secret Agent. "

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