Agent Zigzag

  • by Ben MacIntyre
  • Narrated by John Lee
  • 10 hrs and 54 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Eddie Chapman was a charming criminal, a con man, and a philanderer. He was also one of the most remarkable double agents Britain has ever produced. 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 persona ended and the other began.In 1941, after training as a German spy in occupied France, Chapman was parachuted into Britain with a revolver, a wireless, and a cyanide pill, with orders from the Abwehr to blow up an airplane factory. Instead, he contacted MI5, the British Secret Service. For the next four years, Chapman worked as a double agent, a lone British spy at the heart of the German Secret Service who at one time volunteered to assassinate Hitler for his countrymen.
Crisscrossing Europe under different names, all the while weaving plans, spreading disinformation, and, miraculously, keeping his stories straight under intense interrogation, he even managed to gain some profit and seduce beautiful women along the way.
The Nazis feted Chapman as a hero and awarded him the Iron Cross. In Britain, he was pardoned for his crimes, becoming the only wartime agent to be thus rewarded. Both countries provided for the mother of his child and his mistress.
Sixty years after the end of the war, and 10 years after Chapman's death, MI5 has now declassified all of Chapman's files, releasing more than 1,800 pages of top secret material and allowing the full story of Agent Zigzag to be told for the first time.
A gripping story of loyalty, love, and treachery, Agent Zigzag offers a unique glimpse into the psychology of espionage, with its thin and shifting line between fidelity and betrayal.

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What the Critics Say

"[An] intriguing and balanced biography." (Publishers Weekly)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Intrigue and True

I found this book as I so loved John Lee's reading. Lee, does a superb job. His tone is rich, full of a multitude of vocal inflections that carries the imagination deeply into this historical adventure. And like a great actor - he never shines so brightly on the material that his 'acting' takes precedence over the reading.
This is a true story about a very large character. Everything in this account comes full circle - and in a very poignant way. Without giving anything away I am going to mention one person. Cary Grant. You will not believe how he fits into this well told story.
real name:scott stambler

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- Scott

What a great character

Eddie Chapman is a real live spy in this amazing non-fiction story that "reads" like a novel. He is a larger than life gentleman criminal who discovers that he is a loyal British subject who was born to be a double agent. Wonderfully narrated by John Lee (one of the best in my opinion), Eddie cons the Germans who are only too happy to send him back to England to spy for them and he then wastes no time convincing the Brits that he can be an effective double. You can't make this stuff up but the amazing thing is that its all true, and the contributions Eddie Chapman made to the allied war effort are extraordinary. We root for Eddie the whole time and he clearly has nine lives. This is great movie material--I just hope Tom Cruise doesn't get the role.
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- Michael

Book Details

  • Release Date: 09-26-2007
  • Publisher: Books on Tape