NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)

Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!


Tuesday, August 25, 2009


by Graham Greene

"Alden Pyle is sent to Vietnam to promote democracy with a unit known as Third Force. In Vietnam, Alden meets foreign journalist, Thomas Fowler. As naive and idealistic as Pyle is, Fowler, realistic and cynical, is very aware of the changing winds blowing in Vietnam." (From the CD container.)

I've only read three Graham Greene novels, but I find him to be a very compelling author. In this book and The Heart of the Matter, I was taken in by what appears on the surface to be a simple story but then unfolds to reveal hidden intricacies, like origami in reverse.

The Quiet American is not action-packed. It is subtle and graceful in its questions of right and wrong and its demand to know if the end sometimes can justify the means. It never offers an answer, but the one you give yourself may surprise you.


Nan said...

I will go back to Heart of the Matter someday, I promise. Did you see the film of The Quiet American with Michael Caine? It was really great. There's a site which compares the 2002 and 1958 versions. I haven't seen the earlier one.

Lezlie said...

Nan ~ I haven't seen either version of the movie. Though do I remember correctly that Brendan Fraiser stars in the 2002 version? I may have to check that out . . . :-)


(Diane) Bibliophile By the Sea said...

I've seen several posts about this book lately. I'll add it to my future list; thanks

Lezlie said...

Diane ~ I hope you love it! Greene is moving quickly up my list of favorite authors.


Care said...

I read this for one of my personal read-book-see-movie challenges. Yes, you are correct, Brendan Fraser is in it. :)

Lezlie said...

Care ~ Now *that's* a selling point for me! :-)


Gilion at Rose City Reader said...

I've read four Greene novels -- this one, The Heart of the Matter, The Power and the Glory, and a later one that I can't remember the name of right now.

You captured the essence perfectly. The stories are entertaining as you read them, but their power comes through later.

Good reminder to make Greene one of my Authors of the Day and get his bibliography posted as one of my lists. I do plan to read them all eventually.

Lezlie said...

Rose City Reader ~ Thank you! I sometimes have a hard time writing about books like this. I have two more of his lined up for after I finish up a couple more challenges -- Brighton Rock and The End of the Affair.


joanna said...

I've always wondered about this book, and about the movie too... Thanks for the intriguing review! :-)

Lezlie said...

Joanna ~ You're welcome! I haven't seen either version of the movie, but I'm guessing the book lends itself well to the medium. It was very easy to picture everything that was going on.