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But I could also say--that some of my other favorite aspects of these stories were, some of the other figures featured in the stories rather than the stories themselves. Its odd, but the way the tales were written make it that way. The characters are more memorable than the narrative they're wrapped in. The Mexican, for example, and the American salesman.
I'm compelled by more than just the writing (which simply maintains that great standard Maugham always exercises). Definitely, I'm more keen on the links from the stories to Maugham's own real-life activities; the influence into other author's works; etc. That's the ticket.
I'd like to write my impressions of 'Ashenden' out at length; but I'm also interested (as I said) in the works where I think I see that influence mentioned above. I'm wondering should I start an espionage fiction group or thread all of its own?