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The Man Within (Vintage Classics) [Paperback]

Graham Greene
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

3 May 2001 Vintage Classics
The Man Within tells the story of Andrews, a young man who has betrayed his fellow smugglers and fears their vengeance. Fleeing from them, with no hope of pity or salvation, he takes refuge in the house of a young woman, also alone in the world. She persuades him to give evidence against his accomplices in court, but neither she nor Andrews is aware that to both criminals and authority treachery is as great a crime as smuggling.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Vintage Classics; New Ed edition (3 May 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099286157
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099286158
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 19.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 407,092 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Graham Greene was born in 1904. He worked as a journalist and critic, and in 1940 became literary editor of the Spectator. He was later employed by the Foreign Office. As well as his many novels, Graham Greene wrote several collections of short stories, four travel books, six plays, three books of autobiography, two of biography and four books for children. He also wrote hundreds of essays, and film and book reviews. Graham Greene was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. He died in April 1991.

Product Description


"Full of treasures for Greene enthusiasts: a complex web of betrayal and deceit and a tormented central character" (Observer)

"From the beginning Greene was fascinated by the thriller, which has at its heart deceit, an idea or an ideal betrayed, emotion hidden behind a mask" (Guardian)

"Greene had wit and grace and character and story, and a transcendant, universal compassion that places him for all time in the ranks of world literature" (John Le Carre)

"He was a writer who was intensely interested in the world more than in books or ideas. And this is why he was such a good story-teller. He was the least parochial of writers yet he was always interested in the particular" (John Berger)

"One of our greatest authors... For experience of a whole century he was the man within" (Independent)

Book Description

Graham Greene's first novel, a taste of greatness to come.

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Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars
4.0 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Such a mature work for a 21 year old, but then Graham Greene was an exceptional talent. He maybe overdoes the descriptive narrative and could have shortened the book by about fifteen pages, but the plot and the characters and their traits are spot on, and as I know Lewes and have been to the White Hart many times the novel has an extra resonance for me. Not to be missed - a very important addition to any collection of Greene's works.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Best Left on the Shelf 12 May 2011
By Mr. Ross Maynard VINE VOICE
I am a great fan of Graham Greene, but his first published novel, and his only historical work, is not, in my view, a success. The author has not yet found his style and the book is overwritten in a very self-absorbed way. Struggling through the lush prose we find a pretty thin story, every stage of which feels contrived and artificial. The end is touching in its way but also annoyingly perverse, and belief is suspended too many times for the book as a whole to be a satisfactory experience. While the rest of Greene's novels are all worth reading, this one is probably best left on the shelf for completeists and academics only.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Greene's masterful debut 22 Dec 2004
Francis Andrews is on the run because he informed against a gang of smugglers of spirits - of which he used to be a member - by means of an anonymous letter to the customs, resulting in the death of a ganger who was shot during a set up. Now Carlyon and his men are after Andrews to take revenge. One night, as he is fleeing from his pursuers, Andrews comes across a cottage in Hassocks where he is given shelter by the beautiful Elizabeth Garnet.
As Elizabeth slowly grows to trust Andrews, she learns from him about his past, his violent father, smuggler and owner of the ship "Good Chance" with which he used to transported brandy to England. He also tells her how, after his father's death, he met Carlyon who suggested that he joins the crew. Andrew then tells Elizabeth how deeply he detested these men because he could never ascertain himself in front of them the way his father had. Betraying them was thus a way for him to show his fellow smugglers that he "is of importance now".
It is then that Elizabeth suggests that Andrews go to Lewes the following day where the Assizes are to be held and bear his witness to show his courage. Indeed, a difficult and dangerous decision for Andrews to take...
A powerful novel about courage, cowardice, love and faith. It is commendable that Mr Greene achieved to write such a mature novel at the age of only 23.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Complexity 18 Sep 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Andrews is a complex character (but perhaps no more complex than any of us). His self-doubt and vacillation reflect the way many of us (and I put myself close to the top of the list) despise ourselves and our cowardly shrinking from the best way.
Elizabeth's response to him seems, to me, over-wise and -saintly, but perhaps this is Andrews' excessive self-analysis over-ruling actuality.
His solution, when his mind becomes clear, is surprising but, one realises, inevitable.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.0 out of 5 stars  11 reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent first achievement 24 Mar 2003
By Amazon Customer - Published on
*The Man Within* follows a fellow named Andrews through his horrifying experiences of paranoia and self-doubt, made all the worse by the fact that some people want to kill him. Andrews is wanted by the police in connection to the murder of an officer, pursued by his former co-smugglers because of his betrayal, and loathed by the locals because of his testimony against a group of popular criminals. There is only one person - the angelic Elizabeth - who provides him with any support, but she also creates for Andrews his biggest dilemma: to face death for someone whom he may never be able to love, or to find a new life, but without the one person who would make it worth living.
The writing does not show Greene at his peak, but it does demonstrate an early ability to craft brilliantly complicated characters and problems of morality in a manner similar to Dostoevsky..
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastically Entertaining 26 April 2005
By brewster22 - Published on
I'm usually leery of favorite authors' first and last books. They never seem to be up to the standard of the books that come between. In Graham Greene's case, his last novel, "The Captain and the Enemy," certainly holds true to that rule of thumb. However, "The Man Within," his first, holds its own with any of Greene's fabulous later novels. This has all of the elements that would later become Greene trademarks: the conflicted and flawed male protagonist, the murky mood of intrigue and corruption, the delightful local flavor. You can just see Graham Greene novels filmed in crisp black and white (as many of them were). "The Man Within" is an excellent intro to Greene's work for a Greene neophyte and a welcome treat for die-hard fans.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A classic Greene novel 22 May 2000
By AK - Published on
The Man Within is a fantastic book about love and fear. It has elements of action, courtroom drama and good old-fashioned romance. The main character constantly assures us that he is a coward and unworthy of the love given him by the farm girl Elizabeth and also of his former associate whom he betrays in the begining of the book, yet he continues to perform uncharacteristic acts of bravery. His motives for these acts of bravery bring into question the true nature of courage and greatness. This book is surprising at every turn and yet every event, and every conversation makes total sense. It's a difficult book to put down, and you'll probably want to read it again.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Welcome to Greeneland 23 May 2010
By Yonatan - Published on
The Man Within was Graham Greene's first published book, and a big best seller back in 1929. He was very young when he wrote it, 25 years old,and you can feel it, especially in the love scenes, but heck, it's still Graham Greene, and he writes like a god. All the elements that appear in his later, more famous books--great plot, lush description, beautifully turned sentences, themes of love and God and faith and betrayal, of struggles with the dark side of human nature, they're all here.

A young man called Andrews has ratted on his friends, a gang of smugglers. He hides out from them in the first place he can find, an isolated cottage. A beautiful and saintly girl lives there and gives him shelter. He falls in love with her. She urges him to do the right thing, to go to court and testify against the smugglers.

Since this is Greeneland, everything is in shades of gray; the man he has betrayed is actually the only man who has ever been good to him, a kind of father figure. And Andrews is no hero; he didn't rat on his gang because they were criminals, he ratted on them because they treated him like he was a nobody. And nobody wants these men to go to jail; the townspeople, the police, and the courts are rife with corruption.

Throughout the book, Andrews continually steps outside himself to question his motives and to struggle against his baser instincts. As the quote by Sir Thomas Browne says, "There's another man within me that's angry with me."

The Man Within begins as a standard Hollywood gangster movie, and ends as a soul-searing story of redemption. It's not The Heart of the Matter, it's not The End of the Affair, but it is a bit like going back in a time machine and seeing the first glimmerings of what turned out to be a world-straddling, God-given talent.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read, and a good book for literature 19 Mar 2011
By E-chan - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I came to this book because I was looking for a completmentary book for a literatue essay.

This book, while not very fast paced, is interesting since it's (to me), an introspective look at a Judas figure. Thematically, the book is mostly about redemption and forgiveness.

There's not much to be said, because each person's reading experience will differ, but I think that if you're looking for a book that you can mull over, this is a good book to read.

A more complete review of the book can be found here: [...] (I'm sorry, but I reviewed it in the context of another book).
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