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