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The Secret Agent
(OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen)

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Published:
Blackstone Audio, Inc. 2010
Status:
Checked Out
Description

Inspired by an actual attempt in 1894 to blow up the Greenwich Observatory, Conrad created one of his most tense and chilling plots. The world of The Secret Agent—a world of fatuous civil servants and corrupt policemen—is grotesquely mirrored in its underworld, a squalid terrorist landscape inhabited by, among others, the Professor, who always carries a bomb in his pocket and Verloc, the pornographer, deceiver, and spy. Repulsive characters and amoral caricatures collaborate to form a black satire on English society, sharpened into focus with a portrait of "family life." Winnie Verloc's story is relentlessly told to its anarchic end of utter desolation, madness, and despair.

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Format:
OverDrive MP3 Audiobook, OverDrive Listen
Edition:
Unabridged
Street Date:
12/1/2010
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780792771128
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Citations
APA Citation (style guide)

Joseph Conrad. (2010). The Secret Agent. Unabridged Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Author Date Citation (style guide)

Joseph Conrad. 2010. The Secret Agent. Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Chicago / Turabian - Humanities Citation (style guide)

Joseph Conrad, The Secret Agent. Blackstone Audio, Inc, 2010.

MLA Citation (style guide)

Joseph Conrad. The Secret Agent. Unabridged Blackstone Audio, Inc, 2010.

Note! Citation formats are based on standards as of July 2022. Citations contain only title, author, edition, publisher, and year published. Citations should be used as a guideline and should be double checked for accuracy.
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Grouped Work ID:
7ba21b7e-724b-0df9-141b-1f2a61d9cdbb
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Needs Update?:
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Date Added:
Jun 12, 2018 19:17:39
Date Updated:
Jun 12, 2018 19:17:39
Last Metadata Check:
Feb 18, 2024 11:10:59
Last Metadata Change:
Jan 04, 2024 17:30:13
Last Availability Check:
Feb 18, 2024 11:11:02
Last Availability Change:
Feb 14, 2024 23:04:03
Last Grouped Work Modification Time:
Feb 24, 2024 04:16:02

OverDrive Product Record

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        Joseph Conrad (Józef Teodor Konrad Nalecz Korzeniowski) (1857–1924) was born in Ukraine. Raised by an uncle after the death of his parents, he educated himself by reading widely in Polish and French. At age twenty-one he began a long career sailing the seas on French merchant vessels, after which he went to London and began writing, using the romance and adventure of his own life for his incomparable sea novels.

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title
The Secret Agent
fullDescription

Inspired by an actual attempt in 1894 to blow up the Greenwich Observatory, Conrad created one of his most tense and chilling plots. The world of The Secret Agent—a world of fatuous civil servants and corrupt policemen—is grotesquely mirrored in its underworld, a squalid terrorist landscape inhabited by, among others, the Professor, who always carries a bomb in his pocket and Verloc, the pornographer, deceiver, and spy. Repulsive characters and amoral caricatures collaborate to form a black satire on English society, sharpened into focus with a portrait of "family life." Winnie Verloc's story is relentlessly told to its anarchic end of utter desolation, madness, and despair.

reviews
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Conrad's 1907 novel about Adolf Verloc, a grubby shopkeeper, and his efforts to satisfy the terrorist paymasters who demand that he blow up the Greenwich Observatory has been called the most ironic novel in English. These verbal and dramatic ironies extend to the picture of Verloc's homelife, which comes across as pitilessly as that of the London society in which anarchists, police, subversives and politicians plot and counterplot. David Threlfall navigates Conrad's rich, long sentences with no loss of clarity or emphasis. Threlfall's soft, sometimes whispery, cadences suit beautifully the wry, confidential tone of the text. His sharp characterizations balance this understated narration with some colorful people, especially the jaded Assistant Commissioner and Stevie, Verloc's kind-hearted but simple-minded young brother-in-law. Conrad's masterpiece benefits from Threlfall's intelligent, careful work: It's exciting to hear a performance so perfectly matched to a text. G.H. Winner of AUDIOFILE Earphones Award (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Thoroughly ironic and even sarcastic, this early, atypical Conrad novel is an ultimately tragic, comedy of errors spy story, which challenges the oral interpreter to set the right tone. Lean too heavily on the Dickensian caricatures and the tale seems a tastelessly cruel joke. Go too far the other way and you miss the point, as well as the humor. Geoffrey Howard gallops through the narrative without trying though he fittingly gets caught up in the excellent prose. However, the recording still misses something essential in the book's personality. Y.R. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Thoroughly ironic and even sarcastic, this early, atypical Conrad novel is an ultimately tragic, comedy of errors spy story, which challenges the oral interpreter to set the right tone. Lean too heavily on the Dickensian caricatures and the tale seems a tastelessly cruel joke. Go too far the other way and you miss the point, as well as the humor. In a laconic narration, Alex Jennings renders the abridgment slyly and gives excellent impersonations of the characters. However, the recording still misses something essential in the book's personality. Y.R. (c)AudioFile, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Unlike most of Joseph Conrad's novels, THE SECRET AGENT is not set on the high seas. This highly political novel, first published in 1907, takes place in late-nineteenth-century London, where Mr. Verloc, an agent provocateur, is involved in a plot to blow up the Greenwich Observatory. Narrator Steven Crossley is in complete command, navigating Conrad's complex sentences with ease. When several characters are speaking, Crossley's voice changes to make the dialogue much easier to follow. He also draws on a wide range of timbres, mannerisms, and accents to define each of the characters--from the gruff-voiced Chief Inspector Heat to the more plaintive tones of Verloc's long-suffering wife. D.B. (c) AudioFile 2010, Portland, Maine
      • premium: True
      • source: AudioFile Magazine
      • content: Conrad's fine character study of a lazy, disaffected secret agent in Victorian London, whose desire for a paycheck from his shadowy masters produces a disaster, is one of the world's great novels. It's also slow to start, which is why the excellent David Horovitch is so vital. His attentive pacing highlights Conrad's beautiful language and minute social observations without contributing longeur, thus keeping the listener interested as the plot develops. His warm, rich tone and English accent are a pleasure to hear. And once the action kicks in, his characterizations of gravel-voiced Eastern-European wanna-be terrorists, plummy government officials, and put-upon London shopkeepers illuminate the points that Conrad is making and add to the drama. This is an excellent and timely reissue of a profound novel. A.C.S. © AudioFile 2015, Portland, Maine
popularity
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Inspired by an actual attempt in 1894 to blow up the Greenwich Observatory, Conrad created one of his most tense and chilling plots. The world of The Secret Agent—a world of fatuous civil servants and corrupt policemen—is grotesquely mirrored in its underworld, a squalid terrorist landscape inhabited by, among others, the Professor, who always carries a bomb in his pocket and Verloc, the pornographer, deceiver, and spy. Repulsive characters and amoral caricatures collaborate to form a black satire on English society, sharpened into focus with a portrait of "family life." Winnie Verloc's story is relentlessly told to its anarchic end of utter desolation, madness, and despair.

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