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Excellent Good Fair Poor : AUDIOCASSETTES

February 18, 1986|CHARLES CHAMPLIN | Compiled by Terry Atkinson

"The Secret Agent." Book of the Road. The secret agent in such projects as this is the anonymous abridger, here reducing Joseph Conrad's dark, subjective narrative to three listening hours yet preserving something of the author's ponderous style. The setting is pre-World War I working-class London, the protagonist a dull, lumpish anarchist in the pay of a foreign embassy. His big caper produces only three dumb deaths and a sense of irony that anticipates Le Carre. Actor Rupert Keenlyside does several Cockney-flavored voices that convey the story efficiently but miss Conrad's powers of implication. 1/2

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