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Joseph Conrad

The Secret Agent

The place is London, and the time is the late 1800s. Mr. Verloc appears to be an unassuming owner of a bric-a-brac store, but he’s actually a spy for an unnamed country. When he’s summoned by his superiors and ordered to plant a bomb to foment unrest in English politics and society, he finds himself stuck in a more-than-uncomfortable situation.
Conrad’s novel is set against the background of the Greenwich Observatory bombing, in which an anarchist unsuccessfully tried to detonate a bomb near the building. Terrorist activity was on the rise, and Conrad uses the fear and uncertainty of the time to explore the meanings of duty and of evil, along with the influence politics and political movements have on terrorist violence.
The Secret Agent is widely considered one of Conrad’s finest novels, with modern critics praising its prescient forecast of 20th century politics and society.
355 printed pages

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Quotes

    Fifa Bouhas quoted2 years ago
    By a be­ne­vol­ent pro­vi­sion of Nature no man is a hero to his valet, or else the her­oes would have to brush their own clothes
    Fifa Bouhas quoted2 years ago
    The ma­jor­ity of re­volu­tion­ists are the en­emies of dis­cip­line and fa­tigue mostly. There are natures too, to whose sense of justice the price ex­ac­ted looms up mon­strously enorm­ous, odi­ous, op­press­ive, wor­ry­ing, hu­mi­li­at­ing, ex­tor­tion­ate, in­tol­er­able. Those are the fan­at­ics. The re­main­ing por­tion of so­cial rebels is ac­coun­ted for by van­ity, the mother of all noble and vile il­lu­sions, the com­pan­ion of po­ets, re­formers, char­lat­ans, proph­ets, and in­cen­di­ar­ies
    Suwitri Novita Sanjiwanihas quoted6 years ago
    George Ramsay
    Rachel Daniels

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