We are currently making improvements to the Audible site. In an effort to enhance the accessibility experience for our customers, we have created a page to more easily navigate the new experience, available at the web address www.audible.com/access.
 >   > 
Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal | [Ben MacIntyre]

Agent Zigzag: A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.
Regular Price:$35.93
  • Membership Details:
    • First book free with 30-day trial
    • $14.95/month thereafter for your choice of 1 new book each month
    • Cancel easily anytime
    • Exchange books you don't like
    • All selected books are yours to keep, even if you cancel
  • - or -

Your Likes make Audible better!

'Likes' are shared on Facebook and Audible.com. We use your 'likes' to improve Audible.com for all our listeners.

You can turn off Audible.com sharing from your Account Details page.

OK

Publisher's Summary

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero. The problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers was to know where one persona ended and the other began.

In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was parachuted into Britain with a revolver, a wireless, and a cyanide pill, with orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service who at one time volunteered to assassinate Hitler for his countrymen.

Crisscrossing Europe under different names, all the while weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and, miraculously, keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way.

The Nazis feted Chapman as a hero and awarded him the Iron Cross. In Britain, he was pardoned for his crimes, becoming the only wartime agent to be thus rewarded. Both countries provided for the mother of his child and his mistress.

Sixty years after the end of the war, and 10 years after Chapman's death, MI5 has now declassified all of Chapman's files, releasing more than 1,800 pages of top secret material and allowing the full story of Agent Zigzag to be told for the first time.

A gripping story of loyalty, love, and treachery, Agent Zigzag offers a unique glimpse into the psychology of espionage, with its thin and shifting line between fidelity and betrayal.

©2007 Ben MacIntyre; (P)2007 Books on Tape

What the Critics Say

"[An] intriguing and balanced biography." (Publishers Weekly)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.3 (454 )
5 star
 (211)
4 star
 (168)
3 star
 (61)
2 star
 (7)
1 star
 (7)
Overall
4.5 (197 )
5 star
 (122)
4 star
 (53)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (4)
1 star
 (3)
Story
4.5 (205 )
5 star
 (118)
4 star
 (68)
3 star
 (15)
2 star
 (3)
1 star
 (1)
Performance
Sort by:
  •  
    Lita Santa Maria, CA, United States 05-09-13
    Lita Santa Maria, CA, United States 05-09-13 Member Since 2011

    Lita

    HELPFUL VOTES
    10
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    40
    16
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great Story!"

    Can't wait till the movie comes out! The story is written so well, you lost yourself in it.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Robert Gaithersburg, MD, United States 09-25-12
    Robert Gaithersburg, MD, United States 09-25-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    415
    8
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "I can't believe it's not fiction"

    Wow! What an incredible story. If you like WWII history, you will love this listen. It is truly amazing how many other WWII issues that Agent Zigzag touched. You won't believe that you have never heard of him in relation to all of the WWII history that you have already read about. This story and its narration keeps you interested from beginning to end.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Christine Los Altos Hills, CA, United States 09-10-12
    Christine Los Altos Hills, CA, United States 09-10-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
    14
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    26
    14
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Great read."
    What made the experience of listening to Agent Zigzag the most enjoyable?

    I usually listen to mysteries. I listen mainly while exercising or working around the house, so I need something that's "easy" to follow. This reads like a mystery. Fast paced and holds your interest.


    What did you like best about this story?

    Learning more about WWII.


    What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

    Strong reader.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    A User CERES, VA, United States 09-04-12
    A User CERES, VA, United States 09-04-12 Member Since 2011
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    2
    2
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "A Good Read For History Buffs"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    This novel reads in list form, much like a diary. I was hoping for a smoother story line.


    What could Ben MacIntyre have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    There was little dialogue in the novel. This separates the reader from the story.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    No.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Scott Madison, WI, United States 08-12-12
    Scott Madison, WI, United States 08-12-12 Member Since 2012
    HELPFUL VOTES
    1
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    13
    1
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Amazing story"
    Would you listen to Agent Zigzag again? Why?

    I will listen again. This is an amazing story, I am looking forward to hearing and understanding more of the heroes' exploits, the second time......This TRUE story reads as if it's fiction.


    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Mike Auckland, New Zealand 06-16-12
    Mike Auckland, New Zealand 06-16-12
    HELPFUL VOTES
    21
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    16
    15
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Brilliant true story"

    Loved this so much. Having looked at The Man Who Never Was movie and other info, the extensive research, especially on the freshly release secret files, brings the full story to light far more accurately than the old "based on a true story", and its all the better a read for it!

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Michael Sydney, Australia 05-25-12
    Michael Sydney, Australia 05-25-12 Member Since 2007

    Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.

    HELPFUL VOTES
    132
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    352
    160
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    18
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Can't wait for the movie"
    If you could sum up Agent Zigzag in three words, what would they be?

    Theif, lover, spy.


    What did you like best about this story?

    It sounds so plausible, it has to be true and what a ride.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    The accents are brilliant. The story tone to his voice. The pace is perfect. Could not done better myself.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    Eddie Chapman asked very little of the British and almost as much as he could get away from the Nazi's. When he asked the British you felt his deep desire to help those he could, he wasn't asking for himself. This came across nicely in the interrogation sections of the book.


    Any additional comments?

    This book along with Mince Meat made wonderful reading for spies, Nazi's and espionage. Can't wait to get my hands on a book about Garbo; I know there is some documentary film on that spy. Only problem I have is, could the Abwehr have been so stupid? Perhaps there is truth to the saying we see what we want to. I would like to hear a book about the British Intelligence blunders during WWII and find out some of the Abwehr successes. Perhaps trying times brings out the best in MI5 & MI6.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    David Share Los Angeles USA 01-13-12
    David Share Los Angeles USA 01-13-12 Member Since 2009

    Book Fan

    HELPFUL VOTES
    61
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    42
    36
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    2
    0
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Agent Zigzag"

    Certainly stranger and better than fiction. Great story and very well narrated by John Lee.
    I'm really into WWII but my wife isn't - however she enjoyed it just as much as I did.
    People not into WWII or spy may want to pass on this.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Boots Vidal Junction, CA 09-22-12
    Boots Vidal Junction, CA 09-22-12 Member Since 2011

    Jim Bronson

    HELPFUL VOTES
    28
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    60
    31
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    1
    1
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Bond, James Bond........"
    Would you listen to Agent Zigzag again? Why?

    I have already listened to this audio book twice.


    What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    I enjoyed John Lees' reading of this book, his ability to extract different sounds of English, Irish and German as well as French place you in the room where the action is happening.


    Any additional comments?

    The flow of the story as compiled by the author greatly enhances the experience of hearing this book. Another interesting fact is many of the characters in the story were played out on the movie screen in the James Bond spy movies.Terence Young was one of these real-life characters who actually became a director and screenwriter for movies in the 1950s and 60s. Triple Cross was the name of the movie that briefly, and only briefly touches on this book. I am surprised that the famous author Jack Higgins has not written a book which touches on the real-life character of Eddie Chapman.I cannot begin to imagine the stamina of nerve which is required to be a spy and placed into the situations which Eddie Chapman born every day. His contribution to the World War II effort passes into history as a byline. Hopefully this book will give credit to his courage.

    2 of 3 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Janna Wong Healy Los Angeles, CA 12-02-13
    Janna Wong Healy Los Angeles, CA 12-02-13 Member Since 2013

    I've spent my entire life around the written word - writing it, editing it, teaching it. So, it's no wonder I also love to read it!

    HELPFUL VOTES
    13
    ratings
    REVIEWS
    31
    19
    FOLLOWERS
    FOLLOWING
    0
    5
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "FASCINATING STORY...AND IT'S COMPLETELY TRUE!"

    Maybe it was the time period (WWII), or the location (Channel Islands), but mostly likely, it is Eddie Chapman himself who makes his story of being a double agent (for England and Germany) so arresting and compelling.

    Eddie is little more than a petty criminal with a strong knowledge of how to perform these acts of crime when he is pulled from prison in the Channel Islands (which have been taken over by the Germans) and forced into becoming an agent for them. They like the fact that he's a criminal with a past...it helps them keep him in line.

    After months of training, Eddie's first assignment is to go back to England and blow up one of their factories. He parachutes into his homeland and goes directly to the authorities, offering to become an agent for England. After days of questioning by British officers, they accept his offer. Eddie is now an official double agent.

    The book goes into detail about the training Eddie received from both countries and explains how good he was at memorizing names, faces and places. We learn about the relationships he had with both the German and British officers. And, we learn plenty about Eddie's personal life -- he was pretty good at charming the ladies.

    I found the book -- and, particularly, the subject of the book -- quite fascinating. It was interesting to see the strategizing and behind-the-scenes plotting going on between the two countries. And, it was particularly intriguing to see how this one petty criminal became such a successful double agent.

    The narrator was fantastic -- easy to understand and good with the different accents. A real tour de force performance.

    I enjoyed this book tremendously.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  • Showing: 11-20 of 41 results PREVIOUS1235NEXT

    There are no listener reviews for this title yet.

Report Inappropriate Content

If you find this review inappropriate and think it should be removed from our site, let us know. This report will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.

CANCEL

Thank You

Your report has been received. It will be reviewed by Audible and we will take appropriate action.