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The Secret Agent

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  • Narrator

    Mr Verloc, going out in the morning, left his shop nominally in charge of his brother-in-law.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in The Secret Agent
  • It could be done, because there was very little business at any time, and practically none at all before the evening.

  • Mr Verloc cared but little about his ostensible business.

  • And, moreover, his wife was in charge of his brother-in-law.

  • Narrator

    The shop was small, and so was the house.

    Profile Picture of Narrator in The Secret Agent
  • It was one of those grimy brick houses which existed in large quantities before the era of reconstruction dawned upon London.

  • The shop was a square box of a place, with the front glazed in small panes.

  • In the daytime the door remained closed;

  • in the evening it stood discreetly but suspiciously ajar.

  • Narrator

    The window contained photographs of more or less undressed dancing girls;

    Profile Picture of Narrator in The Secret Agent
  • nondescript packages in wrappers like patent medicines;

  • closed yellow paper envelopes, very flimsy, and marked two-and-six in heavy black figures;

  • a few numbers of ancient French comic publications hung across a string as if to dry;

  • a dingy blue china bowl, a casket of black wood, bottles of marking ink, and rubber stamps;

  • a few books, with titles hinting at impropriety;

  • a few apparently old copies of obscure newspapers, badly printed, with titles like The Torch, The Gong—rousing titles.

  • And the two gas jets inside the panes were always turned low, either for economy’s sake or for the sake of the customers.

  • Narrator

    These customers were either very young men, who hung about the window for a time before slipping in suddenly;

    Profile Picture of Narrator in The Secret Agent
  • or men of a more mature age, but looking generally as if they were not in funds.

Welcome to a new way to read!

Regular books are just lines and pages of text but Literal books look like a group chat. This intro will show you how to:

  1. Change and use the 4 different reading modes.
  2. Interact with the book to comment, take notes, and more.

Auto Load


When you select Auto Load you can set your reading speed (WPM), press play, and read the story as if the book were a group chat happening live.

AI Reader


Selecting the AI Reader will add AI voices to Auto Load so that you can hear the book read to you while each line of the book loads.

Tap To Load


If you'd rather control when each line of the book loads select Tap To Load. As you read tap the “Next Message” button to load the next line.

Free Scroll


Free Scroll mode allows you to do just as the name implies and freely scroll up or down throughout the book. All messages are pre-loaded in this mode.

Reader Tools


While reading you can tap on a speech bubble to make social comments, write private notes, define words, and translate words or sentences.

Ready to start?


Ready to get started? Tap start and then the play button to start reading your first Literal book in Auto Load mode.