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Spymistress: The True Story of the Greatest Female Secret Agent of World War II | [William Stevenson]

Spymistress: The True Story of the Greatest Female Secret Agent of World War II

A rousing tale of espionage and unsung valor, this is the captivating true story of Vera Atkins, Great Britain's spymistress from the age of 25. With her fierce intelligence, blunt manner, personal courage, and exceptional informants, Vera ran countless missions throughout the 1930s. After rising to the leadership echelon in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a covert intelligence agency formed by Winston Churchill, she became head of a clandestine army in World War II.
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Publisher's Summary

A rousing tale of espionage and unsung valor, this is the captivating true story of Vera Atkins, Great Britain's spymistress from the age of 25. With her fierce intelligence, blunt manner, personal courage, and exceptional informants, Vera ran countless missions throughout the 1930s. After rising to the leadership echelon in the Special Operations Executive (SOE), a covert intelligence agency formed by Winston Churchill, she became head of a clandestine army in World War II. Her team went deep behind enemy lines, linked up with resistance fighters, destroyed vital targets, helped Allied pilots escape capture, assassinated German soldiers, and radioed information back to London. As the biographer of her mentor in the SOE, William Stevenson was the only person Vera Atkins trusted to record her story.

©2007, 2011 William Stevenson (P)2014 Audible, Inc.

What Members Say

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Performance
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  •  
    Glenn 03-29-14
    Glenn 03-29-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
    2
    ratings
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    "Great Story - Unfortunately Monotone Performance"
    What made the experience of listening to Spymistress the most enjoyable?

    The story itself. And the writing was brisk and informative.


    Who was your favorite character and why?

    Why, the Spymistress, of course


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    Really a one tone narrator. Very little inflection. It was, literally, mono-tonous. It is really too bad because the story is very interesting, and one that needs to be told. It is quite remarkable that this performance was 'approved' by editors/directors. Sentence after sentence delivered with the same intonation contours. It becomes almost impossible to distinguish given and new information.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    Only a strong reaction to the performance. I like the narrator's accent, but his lack of any kind of variation in delivery made listening a challenge.


    Any additional comments?

    I finished the book because I wanted to hear the story. And it was well told, just not narrated very well at all.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Kathleen Kenilworth , IL, USA 03-28-14
    Kathleen Kenilworth , IL, USA 03-28-14 Member Since 2002
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "THE NARRATION IS A MONOTONE RACE"
    How could the performance have been better?

    An editor who listened and directed the narrator to -SLOW DOWN- ADD INFLECTION-AND TONAL CHANGES. This is a very interesting book which I have started 3 times and simply can't follow much less think while listening. Having listened to 1000s of audiobooks, this is the most incomprehensible.


    What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

    Anger- at the narrator who seems to make no effort to communicate-only to prove- he can read fast (without breathing?).


    Any additional comments?

    I wonder if it is possible to slow this file technically.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    david houlton, wi, United States 08-18-14
    david houlton, wi, United States 08-18-14 Member Since 2013
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    "Disappointed"

    The disappointing part of this book is that it doesn't live up to it's title. Lots of info on the WWII spy network, but little about Vera herself. The narrator's fast talking and british accent made difficult to listen to.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    B. Noble 08-10-14
    B. Noble 08-10-14
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Better read as a novel than as history"
    This book wasn’t for you, but who do you think might enjoy it more?

    I read a lot of WW II history and I did enjoy reading this. It's full of anecdotes I've never seen. However, it is not a serious history. The author seems more interested in name-dropping than telling a coherent story about Vera Atkins.


    Would you ever listen to anything by William Stevenson again?

    No.


    Did Nicholas Camm do a good job differentiating all the characters? How?

    If there is any dialog, i missed it. No need to differentiate. I think he did a good job.


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from Spymistress?

    NA. The book needs footnotes and sources. I am not sure what the Audible does when footnotes are encountered.


    Any additional comments?

    According to other reviews, CIA, goodreads, etc., the book is full of inaccuracies.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
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