Joseph Conrad's The Secret Agent is a tale of anarchism, espionage, and terrorism. Our agent, a man named Mr Verloc, minds his own business while he keeps his shop in London's Soho, alongside his wife, who attends to her aged mother and disabled brother. Their lives are turned upside down when Verloc is reluctantly employed to plant a bomb and destroy an observatory in London. What was once the perfect bomb plot inevitably turns awry and Verloc, his family and his associates are forced to face the consequences. Conrad's later political novel bears all the hallmarks of his captivating style.
The Secret Agent brims with melodious and poetic language, alongside crystal-clear psychological insights that could only be the work of a uniquely gifted storyteller.
Public Domain (P)2014 Naxos AudioBooks
"[David Horovitch's] 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." (AudioFile)
The plot is only so-so, but the writing and narration are superb. Prose does not get much closer to poetry than some of the passages in this book. The narrator should do many more. He would be great at any of Dickens' works.
Faced with mindless duty, when an audio book player slips into a rear pocket and mini buds pop into ears, old is made new again.
The uni-bomber, Ted Kaczynski is said to have read "The Secret Agent" as a coda for his decision to murder and maim innocents. Kaczynski’s craziness and the atrocity of 9/11 are most often referred to in modern reviews of The Secret Agent.
"The Secret Agent" is about a middle-aged, over weight secret service agent named Adolph Verloc. Verloc lives in England and is a spy for an unnamed country. Verloc is called into his employer country’s Embassy to tell him that he is going to be fired unless he provides some actionable service for his pay. Verloc is upset with the news because he is dependent on the income received from the foreign country.
Conrad offers some insight to a terrorist’s demented beliefs. The consequence of a terrorist event is the devastation of those left behind. However, the tale is too long; mystery, revelation, insight too meager, and characters too stereotypical. "The Secret Agent" is only marginally interesting because of Horovitch’s narration.
The narrator's portrayal of the main character and some of the minor characters sounded like the muppet show. It was so distracting, I had trouble understanding what he was saying.
While some of the story dragged on and on, the language and phrasing was descriptive.
Going to trudge through, rather than returning...hopefully things will pick up.
I almost quit after 2 hrs, but plugged on, finally getting interested in the last 2 hrs. the writing is so well-done, many phrases made me smile, but,...ughh. what a drag. maybe some abridging is called for.
The story was hard to follow and difficult to stay interested in. I found my mind wondering often while listening. I'd have to rewind to find where I left off, and I still didn't know what was going on. I tried to focus, but I couldn't, and I just didn't enjoy this story.
The narrator does a fine job and I thought initially this would be an interesting listen. It's just too hard to follow. Maybe I haven't paid close enough attention. Still, I felt lost as I went from chapter to chapter. Just not enough substance to hold my interest.
No. I thought that the title would lead me to a more fast pace book. I got bogged down in all the commentary. Not at all what I expected.
Perhaps it is the difference in times and cultures, but this book moves at a snail's pace, and the plot remains unclear after several hours.
As an avid listener to espionage novels, and classic lit.,... this one is a dud.
*It doesn't help that the narrator sounds like Yoda when performing the main character.
Love Sci Fi and Fantasy books since I was 8, starting reading A Princess of Mars series in Junior High School thanks to my Uncle Lester.
After several hours I still was not engaged in this book and bored with it. The narration was not a problem for me and I was disappointed since the earlier reviews sounded good, there just wasn't anything that grabbed me and held my attention. Thus making this a disappointing book that I stopped reading/listening to as a pointless waste of my time and moved onto the Patron Saint of Ugly, now, that was a very good book.
Better narration. When the narrator is not doing speech work he is suburb but it goes downhill fast when the conversations get starterd.
Irritation. Straight up annoyed with the voices.
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