The Secret Agent (Annotated with a Biography about the Life and Times of Joseph Conrad)

The Secret Agent (Annotated with a Biography about the Life and Times of Joseph Conrad)

3.4 36
by Joseph Conrad
     
 

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The novel is set in London in 1886 and follows the life of Mr. Verloc, a secret agent. Verloc is also a businessman who owns a shop which sells pornographic material, contraceptives, and bric-a-brac. He lives with his wife Winnie, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law, Stevie. Stevie has a mental disability, possibly autism, which causes him to be very excitable;

Overview

The novel is set in London in 1886 and follows the life of Mr. Verloc, a secret agent. Verloc is also a businessman who owns a shop which sells pornographic material, contraceptives, and bric-a-brac. He lives with his wife Winnie, his mother-in-law, and his brother-in-law, Stevie. Stevie has a mental disability, possibly autism, which causes him to be very excitable; his sister, Verloc's wife, attends to him, treating him more as a son than as a brother. Verloc's friends are a group of anarchists of which Comrade Ossipon, Michaelis, and "The Professor" are the most prominent. Although largely ineffectual as terrorists, their actions are known to the police. The group produce anarchist literature in the form of pamphlets entitled F.P., an abbreviation for The Future of the Proletariat.

Conrad wrote The Secret Agent while living in France in 1906 and 1907. It was published in September, 1907 by Methuen and Company, London. In 1998 Modern Library ranked it as the 46th best novel of the top 100 of the twentieth century.

This book is annotated with a biography about the life and times of Joseph Conrad.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
2940013098503
Publisher:
Golgotha Press
Publication date:
08/15/2011
Sold by:
Barnes & Noble
Format:
NOOK Book
File size:
251 KB

Meet the Author

Joseph Conrad (1857-1924) grew up amid political unrest in Russian-occupied Poland. After twenty years at sea with the French and British merchant navies, he settled in England in 1894. Over the next three decades he revolutionized the English novel with books such as Typhoon, Nostromo, The Secret Agent, and especially Heart of Darkness, his best-known and most influential work.

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
December 3, 1857
Date of Death:
August 3, 1924
Place of Birth:
Berdiczew, Podolia, Russia
Place of Death:
Bishopsbourne, Kent, England
Education:
Tutored in Switzerland. Self-taught in classical literature. Attended maritime school in Marseilles, France

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Secret Agent (Barnes & Noble Classics Series) 3.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Otay.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This comment is specific to the eBook version I recently received. There are a number of places where a line (or more) of text is missing. Other times, there is a portion of a paragraph inserted in a place where it clearly does not flow. The galley proof should be checked more carefully before production.
Ryan Mihalak 4 months ago
I would have given it 5 stars except for the idiotic and long intro (80 pages, really?) included. I read to escape the reality of the world, if only for a few minutes. I don't need 1/4 of a book (literally) comprised of an intro, written by a liberal hack. I bought this book for Conrad's writing, not Steven Marcus (if I wanted to read his writings, I'd search out his published works). Not sure I'll ever buy a B&N classics book again - I'll try to find an out of print copy or alternative means. Secondly, he gives away the book in his intro. For such an "esteemed" writer, you'd think he'd know how an intro should be penned.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Educative
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Manirul More than 1 year ago
Lovely...! beautiful.....!.... Just enjoy it.....!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yeeeessssss
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Gtg be on tomorrow
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
OUR FRIEND MY SISTER COMMITEDSUICIDE A COUPLE DAYS AGO IRL? SHE WAS A GOOD FRIEND AND SISTER AND I WILL SURELY MISSS HER AND I HOPE YOU WILL TOO. RIP STORMY -HER SISTER
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Yo kid.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Same here. My wifi is being totes irregs. [Totally irregular] so... bye
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A couple small critiques before I heap praise onto Conrad's The Secret Agent. First, Steven Marcus (the writer of the Introduction and Endnotes) appears to do too much work within this. Over 90 pages of introductory material that give away key plot points, it's best if it is skipped and then read afterwards, if you wish. The endnotes are also much more numerous than necessary; in fact, quite a few of them refer to knowledge that may be common to yourself. They also often refer back to the introduction, which suckers readers into perusing it for more information. Second, Conrad (to paraphrase a review found in the rear of the book) lengthens a short story. This is a novel that could easily be 70 pages long, if not for the over-descriptive text in-between conversations describing characters emotions hanging on every statement. But there is a catch-22. This is necessary, though not at the time. Conrad plays up simple conversations which enhances some foreshadowing by attempting to create dramatic tension in seemingly normal conversations. By doing so, he lengthens a story, which the reader realizes is running on far too long about half-way through it, when a simple two-minute conversation is stretched out over 20 or so pages through Conrad's flowery descriptions of the inner-workings of the character's minds. This is all annoying to the audience, but we find out it is necessary during the novel's climax, in which (avoiding spoilers while describing as best I can here) Conrad finally enchants us with the back-and-forth mind-readings of a psychological breakdown and the blissfully unaware victim. If Conrad does not prepare us properly for this descriptive scene, we are feeling that the climax is aggressively drawn out, and thus seems unreal. By stretching out the novel, he allows the plot to simmer slowly, instead of microwaving his soup. For readers who can afford to plow through intricately sowed fields of plot, the payoff is one that provides a couple of excellently played twists at the end. For those that are impatient, this novel is one they should pass up; but they do so at their own spoils.
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