Top positive review
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although the story-line is reasonably good and the characterisation is great in some places
on 21 June 2015
I’ve never been too taken by this novel, although the story-line is reasonably good and the characterisation is great in some places, as with the character of Minty, a down-trodden journalist who must’ve reminded Greene of some of his contemporaries, if he wasn’t based on a real person to begin with.
I’m not too sure what I can say – it was alright, and that’s all, an uninspiring novel that sticks out like a sore thumb against such books as The Quiet American, The Heart of the Matter and Our Man in Havana. It probably doesn’t help that twin siblings Anthony and Kate are fundamentally unlikeable, as is Kate’s lover, a powerful financier called Krogh.
In fact, that’s probably part of the problem – it’s difficult to get too absorbed in to a novel when the characters just annoy you, and I certainly felt no sympathy for their plight. That said, using such unappealing characters allows Greene to play them off each other in a way that he might not normally be able to do, and that ought to redeem the novel for serious fans of his work.