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
"[An] intriguing and balanced biography." (Publishers Weekly)
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.
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.
Learning more about WWII.
This novel reads in list form, much like a diary. I was hoping for a smoother story line.
There was little dialogue in the novel. This separates the reader from the story.
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.
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!
Classics, history, historical fiction, marketing, Napoleonic stuff and of course 'Boys own Adventure'. This is my bent. Occasional self help as well.
Theif, lover, spy.
It sounds so plausible, it has to be true and what a ride.
The accents are brilliant. The story tone to his voice. The pace is perfect. Could not done better myself.
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.
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.
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.
I have already listened to this audio book twice.
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.
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.
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!
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.
There are no listener reviews for this title yet.
Report Inappropriate Content