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Agent Zigzag | [Ben MacIntyre]

Agent Zigzag

Eddie Chapman: rogue, criminal, confidence trickster, hero to both sides and betrayer of all. At the start of the Second World War, Chapman was recruited by the German Secret Service. He was a highly prized Nazi agent. He was also a secret spy for Britain, alias Agent Zigzag.
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Publisher's Summary

Shortlisted for the British Book Awards, Biography of the Year, 2008.

Eddie Chapman: rogue, criminal, confidence trickster, hero to both sides and betrayer of all. At the start of the Second World War, Chapman was recruited by the German Secret Service. He was a highly prized Nazi agent. He was also a secret spy for Britain, alias Agent Zigzag.

Agent Zigzag is the untold story of Britain's most extraordinary wartime double agent. Genuinely courageous, able to withstand withering interrogations from both sides, Chapman was a dashing, charming, and fiercely intelligent man whose talents led to a single end: breaking the rules. He wore loud suits, drove fast cars, and had a woman in every port. Yet at the same time, he was, in his own way, loyal to his lover and their child.

This was a man who courted contradictions as much as he courted adventure. Inside the traitor was a man of loyalty; inside the villain was a hero; the problem for Chapman, his spymasters, and his lovers, was to know where one ended and the other began. In 1943, Colonel Tim Stephens of MI5 said of the story of Chapman: "In fiction it would be rejected as improbable". It is one of the most gripping untold stories of the Second World War.

©2007 Ben Macintyre; (P)2007 Orion Publishing Group Ltd

What the Critics Say

"The Story of an outrageous conman turned wartime spy that would have seemed far-fetched had it been fiction, but makes compelling listening as biography. The atmosphere of the decades before and after the Second World War - incessant cigerettes, East End drives, chaste picnics and secret sins - is almost photographically realised." (The Times)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.2 (82 )
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Performance
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  •  
    Martin 16/11/2010
    Martin 16/11/2010 Member Since 2010
    HELPFUL VOTES
    11
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    "brilliant"

    This really is a great story. Hard to believe it's true. I've listened to it twice now back-to-back, something I've never done with an audiobook before. That says it all.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sara Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom 18/01/2011
    Sara Llanwrtyd wells, United Kingdom 18/01/2011 Member Since 2008
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    "Another great Espionage story"

    This is predominantly the story of Eddie Chapman, a man that the war brought out the very best in. His life of crime is put on hold to employ the same various criminal talents legally in the service of his country during a time of war. Although motivated by self-preservation initially, being stuck on occupied Jersey Island, his actions became undeniably altruistic towards his country, and his contribution in deceiving Germany's military intelligence (the 'Abwehr') invaluable. A natural risk-taker, a womaniser and a career-criminal, his story is fascinating, but the author is honest in his portrayal of the protagonist as a man with a dark side that sometimes came out in his actions. Another great historical documentary/drama from Ben Macintyre on a par in both quality and excitement to his other highly recommended book - 'Operation Mincemeat'.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jonathan st albans, herts, United Kingdom 10/03/2010
    Jonathan st albans, herts, United Kingdom 10/03/2010 Member Since 2008
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    "outstanding"

    This terrific retelling of the exploits of Eddie Chapman, the wartime double agent, is extraordinary. Brilliantly read, the book is a joy for anybody with an interest in WW2 or spying but it is the relationships, between Eddie and spymasters, his various lovers, his friends who he betrays and his country that will keep you listening. Highly recommended.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Emma Pembury, Kent, United Kingdom 29/11/2009
    Emma Pembury, Kent, United Kingdom 29/11/2009
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    "Great romp"

    Brilliant reading by Head, the story is well written and the characters - particularly Zigzags German spy master are sympathetically written.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Jackie Dundee, Angus, United Kingdom 18/09/2008
    Jackie Dundee, Angus, United Kingdom 18/09/2008 Member Since 2005
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    "a real boys own story"

    An absolutely riveting read, you really couldn't make up a more extraordinary story. The character of Eddie would be quite at home in any spy thriller as would the the details of his amazing exploits. I found the workings of a secret agent's life in wartime fascinating and Eddie's larger than life character holds your attention to the end. The book is both highly entertaining and informative in equal measure - a good recommendation from Audible.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Pam Watford, United Kingdom 23/12/2012
    Pam Watford, United Kingdom 23/12/2012 Member Since 2010
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    "Very intriguing"

    A really good listen, beautifully narrated and a fascinating tale of double agents during WW2.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Brian Whitehaven, United Kingdom 11/03/2012
    Brian Whitehaven, United Kingdom 11/03/2012 Member Since 2011
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    "Brilliant"

    A great story what a man I enjoyed every minute. I have listened to this story four time and still think it is unbelievable brilliant.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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