Top critical review
7 people found this helpful
Well read version of an average book
on 3 February 2011
I sometimes listen to audio books when I'm doing long drives at night for my job. I've tried reading Brighton Rock a couple of times but have never really managed to get into it, so I thought this would be a good way to experience a book that I know a lot of people rate very highly.
On the positive side, this is a well read audiobook - the reader is engaging and the sound quality is crisp and clear. As far as the novel itself goes, the character of Pinkie I found fascinating. Really well rounded and brilliantly presented, perfectly encapsulating that tipping point between teenage angst and sociopathic violence. The problem I had, and I know this will be sacrilege to Greene fans, is the pace of the novel which was just so slow. In parts I found it incredibly dull. Some of the dialogue between characters, especially in the first chapter where Hale meets Ida, was really clunky and difficult to believe. There was just no authenticity to the conversations they had. Which was strange because, in contrast, the dialogue between Pinkie and his mob, Pinkie and Rose, Pinkie and the police etc. was really well done and extremely credible.
The frustrating thing, for me, was that a long dull spell would suddenly be broken by an extremely well written and interesting section, before lapsing back into mediocrity again. So I found the whole thing a bit patchy. I've given it 3 stars because the characterisation and the better sections rescue it from being a total disappointment, but it hasn't really inspired me to check out the rest of Greene's catalogue.