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  • Agent Zigzag

  • A True Story of Nazi Espionage, Love, and Betrayal
  • By: Ben MacIntyre
  • Narrated by: John Lee
  • Length: 10 hrs and 53 mins
  • 4.6 out of 5 stars (1,916 ratings)

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Agent Zigzag

By: Ben MacIntyre
Narrated by: John Lee
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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 orders orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory in Britain. 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.

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.

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.

©2007 Ben MacIntyre (P)2007 Books on Tape

Critic reviews

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

“Macintyre is the more graceful writer; Agent Zigzag has a clarity and shape that make it the more fluid account...I would give a personal nod to Macintyre’s as the better book...A review cannot possibly convey the sheer fun of this story...or the fascinating moral complexities.” (New York Times Book Review)

“[Agent Zigzag’s] incredible wartime adventures, recounted in Ben Macintyre’s rollicking, spellbinding Agent Zigzag blend the spy-versus-spy machinations of John le Carré with the high farce of Evelyn Waugh.” (The New York Times)