Top positive review
9 people found this helpful
on 26 February 2015
Greene actually states that "The Third Man" was never intended to be read; it was written as a screenplay for the film and a basis on which to discuss how the plot should, or would, unfold. Despite this, it is a good read. Much of the story remains the same with only small differences here and there so we find ourselves on very familiar ground. Already, at the start, we have that sense of deja vu and yet, because it IS Greene, after all, the story maintains its hold on you and keeps you interested throughout. It is well written and you can see how strongly it influenced so much of the quick-moving atmosphere in the film. You can also see how the changes they made really were for the better but it is also very easy to note what is not there; the sounds of running in the empty square, or the hollow noises of the sewers and the roar of the water. It really is a sketch, not a full-blown work.
The short story, "The Fallen Idol", accompanied "The Third Man". This is Greene at his very best; rich language, superb attention to detail, a flowing story seen through the eyes of an interested observer. The story, of a small boy left in the care of the butler and his wife while his parents go off on holiday (with tragic results), is quite simple but enriched by the fact that we see it partly through the eyes of the child. The language Greene uses is by no means childlike. For anyone who has pretensions of becoming a writer - start here.