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The British author shares the “strange . . . inner layers of his playful, guilty imagination” in this glimpse into a brilliant novelist’s subconscious (The New York Times).
Culled from nearly eight hundred pages of the author’s “dream diaries” kept between 1965 and 1989, this singular journal reveals “the feverish inner life of an intensely private man, providing an uncanny mirror-image of [his] novelistic obsessions, insecurities, and moral preoccupations” (Publishers Weekly).
In what Greene calls My Own World—as opposed to the Common World of shared reality—he accompanies Henry James on a disagreeable riverboat trip to Bogota, is caught in a guerilla crossfire with Evelyn Waugh and W. H. Auden, strolls in the Vatican garden with Pope John Paul II who’s doling out Perugina chocolates like hosts, offers refuge to a suicidal Charlie Chaplin, and stages a disastrous play in blank verse for Elizabeth Taylor and Richard Burton. He also shares his headspace with Goebbels, Castro, Cocteau, Queen Elizabeth, D. H. Lawrence, and talking kittens. And the landscape is just as wide: from Nazi Germany to Haiti to West Africa to Bethlehem 1 AD and to Sweden where he seeks treatment for leprosy. Greene is a criminal, spy, lover, assassin, witness, and writer.
Encompassing life, death, war, feuds, and career, and alternately absurdist, frightening, funny, and revealing, these fertile imaginings—many of which found their way into Greene’s fiction—comprise nothing less than “an alternate autobiography . . . a uniquely candid self-portrait” of one of the giants of English literature (Kirkus Reviews).
From Dickens to Wilde—literary criticism and personal reflections by a master “unmatched . . . in his uncanny psychological insights” (The New York Times).
Graham Greene shares his love affair with reading in this collection of essays, memories, and critical considerations, both affectionate and tart, “[that] could have come from no other source than the author of Brighton Rock and The Power and the Glory” (The Scotsman).
Whether following the obsessions of Henry James, marveling at the “indispensible” Beatrix Potter, or exploring the Manichean world of Oliver Twist, Graham Greene revisits the books and authors of his lifetime. Here is Greene on Fielding, Doyle, Kipling, and Conrad; on The Prisoner of Zenda and the “revolutionary . . . colossal egoism” of Laurence Stern’s epic comic novel, Tristram Shandy; on the adventures of both Allan Quatermain and Moll Flanders; and more. Greene strolls among the musty oddities and folios sold on the cheap at an outdoor book mart, tells of a bizarre literary hoax perpetrated on a hapless printseller in eighteenth-century Pall Mall, and in the titular essay, reveals the book that unlocked his imagination so thoroughly that he decided to write forever. For Greene, “all the other possible futures slid away.”
In this prismatic gallery of profound influences and guiltless pleasures, Greene proves himself “so intensely alive that the reader cannot but respond to the dazzling combination of intelligence and strong feeling” (Edward Sackville West).
Three iconic novels from “a superb storyteller with a gift for provoking controversy” (The New York Times).
Graham Greene has been hailed as “one of the finest writers of any language” (The Washington Post) and “the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety” (William Golding, author of Lord of the Flies). His extraordinary reputation rests largely on these three superb novels, all of which have been adapted into classic films.
Brighton Rock: Seventeen-year-old Pinkie Brown, raised in the prewar Brighton slums, leads a motley pack of gangsters whose small-time scams have erupted in murder. The coverup leads Pinkie to a timid and lovestruck young waitress—his new wife, the key witness to his crimes, and, should she live long enough, his alibi. But loitering in the shadows is another woman—one determined to avenge Pinkie’s latest victim.
“Brilliant and uncompromising.” —The New York Times
The End of the Affair: Maurice Bendrix, a writer in Clapham during the Blitz, and Sarah Miles, the bored, beautiful wife of a dull civil servant, begin a series of doomed and reckless trysts. After Maurice miraculously survives a bombing, Sarah ends the affair—quickly and without explanation. It’s only when Maurice crosses paths with Sarah’s husband that he discovers the unexpected fallout of their duplicity.
“One of the most true and moving novels of my time, in anybody’s language.” —William Faulkner, Nobel Prize–winning author
Our Man in Havana: James Wormold, a cash-strapped vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana, finds the answer to his prayers when British Intelligence offers him a lucrative job as an undercover agent. To keep the checks coming, he passes along sketches of secret weapons that look suspiciously like vacuum parts. But when MI6 dispatches a secretary to oversee his endeavors, Wormold fears his fabricated world will come undone. Instead, it all comes true. Somehow, he’s become the target of an assassin, and it’s going to take more than a fib to get out of Cuba alive.
“High-comic mayhem . . . weirdly undated . . . [and] bizarrely prescient.” —Christopher Buckley, New York Times–bestselling author
From “the most ingenious, inventive, and exciting of our novelists”: Three brilliant novels exploring colonialism, faith, and the mysteries of desire (V. S. Pritchett).
This collection features three classic novels that explore Graham Greene’s most important themes: Catholicism, international intrigue, and the never-ending struggle to know oneself. From West Africa to Vietnam to Mexico, these stories prove that “no serious writer of [the twentieth] century has more thoroughly invaded and shaped the public imagination than Graham Greene” (Time).
The Heart of the Matter: In a British colony of West Africa, Henry Scobie is a pious man of modest means charged with securing borders. But when he’s passed over for a promotion, the humiliation hits hard—for his wife. To make it up to her, Henry accepts a loan from a black marketeer to secure Louise’s passage out of Africa. His single indiscretion quickly leads him—one moral compromise after another—into a web of blackmail, adultery, and murder.
“A powerful, deep-striking novel . . . of a spirit lost in the darkness of the flesh.” —New York Herald Tribune
The Quiet American: Vietnam, 1955. British journalist Thomas Fowler is covering the insurgency against French colonial rule and doing what he can to protect his Vietnamese lover, Phuong. Alden Pyle of the CIA believes in bringing American democracy to Vietnam by any means necessary. But when his ideas of conquest come to include Phuong, pride, passion, and blind moral conviction collide with terrible consequences.
“A heartrending romance . . . Haunting and profound.” —All Things Considered, NPR
The Power and the Glory: In 1930s Tabasco, Mexico, Catholicism is being outlawed. As churches are razed and devotees are executed, a member of the clergy known only as the “whisky priest” flees. He now travels as one of the hunted—attending, in secret, to the spiritual needs of the faithful. When a peasant begs him to return to Tabasco to hear the confessions of a dying man, the whisky priest knows it’s a trap. But it’s also his duty—and possibly his salvation.
“A thriller—but also a novel of ideas . . . A book I would have simply died to write.” —Scott Turow, New York Times–bestselling author
Three compelling novels from the British author who has been hailed as “one of the finest writers of any language” (The Washington Post).
In these novels of international intrigue and domestic drama, political injustice and crime, and the possibility of redemption, Graham Greene once again emerges as “the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety” (William Golding, Nobel Prize–winning author of Lord of the Flies).
Orient Express: The Orient Express has embarked on a three-day journey from Ostend to Cologne, Vienna, and Constantinople. The passenger list includes a Jewish trader from London with business interests in Turkey—and a score to settle; a vulnerable chorus girl on her last legs; a boozy and spiteful journalist who’s found an unrequited love in her paid companion, and her latest scoop in second class: a Serbian dissident in disguise on his way to lead a revolution; and a murderer on the run looking for a getaway. As the train hurtles across Europe, the fates of everyone on board will collide long before the Orient Express rushes headlong to its final destination.
“Interesting and entertaining.” —The New York Times
It’s a Battlefield: In pre–World War II London, during a demonstration in Hyde Park, Communist bus driver Jim Drover acts on instinct to protect his wife by stabbing to death the policeman set to strike her down. Sentenced to hang—whether as a martyr, tool, or murderer—Drover accepts his lot, unaware that the ramifications of the crime, and the battle for his reprieve, are inflaming political unrest. But Drover’s single, impulsive act is also upending the lives of the people he loves and trusts. Caught in a quicksand of desperation, sexual betrayal, and guilt, they will not only play a part in Drover’s fate, they’ll become agents—both unwitting and calculated—of their own fates as well.
“Adventurous . . . intelligent . . . ingenious.” —V. S. Pritchett
A Gun for Sale: Born out of a brutal childhood, Raven is an assassin for hire whose latest hit—a government minister—is calculated to ignite a war. When the most wanted man in England is paid off in marked bills, he also becomes the easiest to track—and police detective Jimmy Mather has the lead. But Raven’s got an advantage. Crossing paths with a sympathetic dancer named Anne Crowder, the emotionally scarred Raven has found someone in the wreckage of his life he can trust, maybe his only hope for salvation. Or at least, escape—because Anne is also Mather’s fiancée. Now the fate of two men will depend on her. And either way, it’s betrayal.
“[Greene is] a pioneer of the modern mood we now think of as noir.” —LA Weekly
A quartet of compelling novels from the British author hailed as “one of the most significant novelists of his time” (Newsweek).
From a crisis of faith to a leap of faith, from betrayal and corruption to the hope of redemption, the gripping novels in this collection reveal “a storyteller of genius” (Evelyn Waugh).
A Burnt-Out Case: Querry, a world-renowned architect noted for his magnificent churches, is suffering a crisis of faith that’s led him to what seems like the end of the world: a colony of lepers in the Congo. Here, under the guidance of Doctor Colin, a fellow atheist, Querry’s consideration of the sick could be something close to a cure for his spiritual malaise. So too, it first seems, could a local plantation owner’s lonely and abused wife—Querry’s unlikely confessor. But when Querry reluctantly agrees to build a hospital and his good intentions brand him a modern-day saint, all the intrusive and dangerous piety of civilization returns. And this time it could be inescapable.
“[Greene’s] greatest novel.” —Time
The Captain and the Enemy: On his twelfth birthday, Victor Baxter is spirited away from boarding school by a stranger known only as the Captain, who claims to have won him from the boy’s diabolical father. Settling into a new life in a dire London flat, Victor becomes the willing ward of his mysterious abductor and the tender and childless Liza. He quickly adapts to the only family he’s ever known, despite the Captain’s long disappearances on suspicious “adventures” and a guarded curiosity about this peculiar but devoted couple. Then one day, in pursuit of answers, and perhaps an adventure of his own, Victor responds to an entreaty from the Captain to come to Panama. What follows in this world of dangerous imposture is absolutely revelatory.
“[A] tremendous yarn.” —Paul Theroux
The Comedians: Haiti, under the rule of Papa Doc and his menacing paramilitary, the Tontons Macoute, has long been abandoned by tourists. Now it is home to corrupt capitalists, foreign ambassadors and their lonely wives—and a small group of enterprising strangers arriving in Port-au-Prince: a well-meaning American couple claiming to bring vegetarianism to the natives; a former fighter in World War II Burma and current confidence man; and an English hotelier returning home to the Trianon, an unsalable shell of an establishment on the hills above the capital. Each is embroiled in a charade. But when they’re unsuspectingly bound together in this nightmare republic of squalid poverty, torrid love affairs, and impending violence, their masks will be stripped away.
“The most interesting novel of [Greene’s] career.” —The Nation
The Man Within: In Greene’s debut novel, Francis Andrews is a reluctant smuggler living in the shadow of his brutish father’s legacy. To exorcise the ghosts of the man he loathes, Andrews betrays his colleagues to authorities and takes flight across the downs. He stumbles upon the isolated cottage of a beguiling stranger named Elizabeth, an empathetic young woman who is just as lonely, every bit the outsider as he, and reconciling a troubling past of her own. On the run from those he exposed, Andrews believes he’s found refuge and salvation. But when Elizabeth encourages him to return to the courts of Lewes and give evidence against his accomplices, the treacherous and deadly repercussions may be beyond their control.
“Strikingly original . . . a perfect adventure.” —The Nation
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