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The Confidential Agent: An Entertainment (Vintage Classics) Paperback – 1 Nov 2001
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"'In a class by himself...the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-centuryman's consciousness and anxiety' William Golding"
"'The most ingenious, inventive and exciting of our novelists, rich in exactly etched and moving portraits of real human beings...the tragic and comic ironies of love, loyalty and belief'" (V. S. Pritchett The Times)
"'A superb storyteller...he had a talent for depicting local colour, a keen sense of the dramatic, and eye for dialogue, and skill in pacing his prose'" (New York Times)
In a small continental country civil war is raging. Once a lecturer in medieval French, now a confidential agent, D is a scarred stranger in a seemingly casual England, sent on a mission to buy coal at any price. Initially, this seems to be a matter of straightforward negotiation, but soon, implicated in murder, accused of possessing false documents and theft, held responsible for the death of a young woman, D becomes a hunted man, tormented by allegiances, doubts and the love of others.See all Product description
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No nonsense although a bit dated.
Would have liked more about the Spanish civil war.
Disappointed not get advertised introduction...
The frantic days are a physical and mental challenge because D is not a trained spy. He was a lecturer in Romance Languages, expert on the Song of Roland whose Berne MS he discovered. His wife was executed by mistake. A bomb went through four floors and pinned him to the foundation for 56 hours with a dead cat on his chest. He has seen a death cell from inside. He cannot fail. England is at peace and spots him as a foreigner wherever he goes, even in its Northern mining region. All this stress gave Graham Greene a perfect chance to probe deeply into D’s feverish mental state by reproducing his every thought, belief, regret, desire and hope, if any, turning this ‘entertainment’ into a serious psychological study of a wounded man under severe duress.
Finally, a review on Amazon.de quotes Graham Greene long after writing this novel about its gestation, shedding fresh light on its frantic, frenzied nature. A confession not to be missed.