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Joseph Conrad

The Secret Agent

The Secret Agent

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This chillingly prophetic examination of terrorism by the author of Heart of Darkness is the literary precursor to the espionage thrillers of Graham Greene and John Le Carré.

Inspired by an actual attempt to blow up the Greenwich Observatory, The Secret Agent portrays the world of late-nineteenth-century London, with its fatuous civil servants, corrupt police, and squalid underworld characters like Verloc, a pornographer acting as a government informant. Verloc’s assignment is to provoke the radicals whose group he has penetrated into committing an act of such violence that they will be discredited and their appeal to the masses destroyed. With its questionable characters and amoral caricatures, the novel is as much a black satire of English society as a frightening mirror of the present day.

With an Introduction by E. L. Doctorow and a New Afterword by Debra Romanick Baldwin
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