The Secret Agent  -     By: Joseph Conrad, Hilary Redmon
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The Secret Agent

Penguin Classics / 2007 / Paperback

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Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 320
Vendor: Penguin Classics
Publication Date: 2007
Dimensions: 7.75 X 5.06 X 0.00 (inches)
ISBN: 0141441585
ISBN-13: 9780141441580
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Joseph Conrad's dark satire on English society

In the only novel Conrad set in London, The Secret Agent communicates a profoundly ironic view of human affairs. The story is woven around an attack on the Greenwich Observatory in 1894 masterminded by Verloc, a Russian spy working for the police, and ostensibly a member of an anarchist group in Soho. His masters instruct him to discredit the anarchists in a humiliating fashion, and when his evil plan goes horribly awry, Verloc must deal with the repercussions of his actions. While rooted in the Edwardian period, Conrad's tale remains strikingly contemporary, with its depiction of Londoners gripped by fear of the terrorists living in their midst.

This edition of The Secret Agent contains a chronology, further reading, notes and maps of London and Greenwich. In his introduction, Michael Newton discusses London's real-life world of political anarchy, and Conrad's portrayal of the Verlocs' marriage.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

Author Bio

Joseph Conrad (originally Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) was born in the Ukraine in 1857 and grew up under Tsarist autocracy. In 1896 he settled in Kent, where he produced within fifteen years such modern classics as YouthHeart of DarknessLord JimTyphoonNostromoThe Secret Agent and Under Western Eyes. He continued to write until his death in 1924. Today Conrad is generally regarded as one of the greatest writers of fiction in English—his third language.

Editorial Reviews

"The Secret Agent is an astonishing book. It is one of the best—and certainly the most significant—detective stories ever written." —Ford Madox Ford

"The Secret Agent is an altogether thrilling ’crime story’ . . . a political novel of a foreign embassy intrigue and its tragic human outcome." —Thomas Mann
 
 "One of Conrad’s supreme masterpieces." —F. R. Leavis
 
 "[The Secret Agent] was in effect the world’s first political thriller—spies, conspirators, wily policemen, murders, bombings . . .  Conrad was also giving artistic expression to his domestic anxieties—his overweight wife and problem child, his lack of money, his inactivity, his discomfort in London, his uneasiness in English society, his sense of exile, of being an alien . . . The novel has the perverse logic and derangement of a dream."
—from the Introduction to the Everyman's Library edition by Paul Theroux

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