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The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale (Modern Library Classics)

ISBN13: 9780812973051
ISBN: 0812973054
Binding: Paperback
List Price: $10.95
Publisher: Modern Library
Published Date:
Pages: 352
Average Goodreads rating: 3.59/5 (110 ratings)

Selected by the Modern Library as one of the 100 best novels of all time

Edited and with Notes by Peter Lancelot Mallios
Introduction by Robert D. Kaplan


In reexamining The Secret Agent in a post-9/11 world, Robert D. Kaplan praises Joseph Conrad’s “surgical insight into the mechanics of terrorism,” calling the book “a fine example of how a savvy novelist may detect the future long before a social scientist does.”

This intense 1907 thriller–a precursor to works by Graham Greene and John le Carré–concerns a British double agent who infiltrates a cabal of anarchists. Conrad explores political and criminal intrigue in a modern society, building to a climax that the critic F. R. Leavis deemed “one of the most astonishing triumphs of genius in fiction.”