Synopses & Reviews
The Secret Agent is an astonishing book," said Ford Madox Ford. "It is one of the best--and certainly the most significant--
detective stories ever written."
Set in late-nineteenth-century London, Joseph Conrad's intense political thriller anticipates the espionage novels of such writers as Graham Greene and John le Carré. It concerns a double agent who is charged with provoking the radical group he has infiltrated into an act of sabotage that will bring about its own destruction. In a marvelously drawn underworld of political and criminal intrigue, Conrad brilliantly explores the confused motives that lie at the heart of terrorism. Extraor-dinarily modern in the ironic view it takes of human affairs, this masterly tale of conspiracy builds to a climax that the critic F. R. Leavis called "one of the most astonishing triumphs of genius in fiction."
"The Secret Agent is an altogether thrilling 'crime story' . . . a
political novel of a foreign embassy intrigue and its tragic human out-come," said Thomas Mann. And F. R. Leavis deemed it "one of Conrad's supreme masterpieces . . . one of the unquestioned classics of the first order that he added to the English novel."
About the Author
Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) grew up amid political unrest in Russian-occupied Poland. After twenty years at sea with the French and British merchant navies, he settled in England in 1894. Over the next three decades he revolutionized the English novel with works such as Typhoon (1902), Youth (1902), Nostromo (1904), The Secret Agent (1907), Under Western Eyes (1911), Chance (1913), and Victory (1915).