The Quiet American
£8.99 saving £1.80 (20%)
Please login (or signup) to download the extract
You will need to Sign Up or Login before you can download a book extract.
To Sign Up all you need to do is give us your email address and a password and let us know the types of books you like. Thank you.
This review is provided by bookgroup.info.
Greene’s brilliant, thought-provoking, novel is set in Vietnam. It is 1952 and the country is trying to regain independence from the French. This is the background for a story that is ostensibly about love and political intrigue, yet works well on a symbolic level - the characters representing the complex and ambiguous interests of the Americans and British in a post-colonial Far East.
The narrator is Fowler, a dissipated English journalist who sees himself as a ‘reporter’ not a ‘correspondent’. He believes he can report dispassionately on the war without being involved – it is only when he experiences it at first hand that he is forced into engagement. His love for Phuong, a young Vietnamese woman, brings him into conflict with Pyle, the eponymous Quiet American. The title hints at the layers of irony within this short but dense novel: as the French inspector says, “yes, a very quiet American” when Pyle’s body is found.
Fowler’s commentary belies the cynical, world-weary persona that he presents to Pyle: “I thought that if I smelt her skin it would have the faintest fragrance of opium, and her colour was that of the small flame. I had seen the flowers on her dress beside the canals in the north, she was indigenous like a herb, and I never wanted to go home”.
The film of the novel was due to be released in the autumn but in the patriotic fervour following 9/11 it was delayed because, above all, it is a criticism of American interventionist foreign policy that is as relevant today as it was then.
The Lovereading view...
One hundred years ago a writer was born who captured the essence of the 20th Century like no other: Graham Greene.
To mark this, literary publishing house Vintage is reissuing eight titles with new introductions by contemporary authors such as JM Coetzee and Zadie Smith.
The Quiet American by Graham Greene
Into the intrigue and violence of Indo-China comes Pyle, a young idealistic American sent to promote democracy through a mysterious 'Third Force'. As his na-ve optimism starts to cause bloodshed, his friend Fowler, a cynical foreign correspondent, finds it hard to stand aside and watch. But even as he intervenes he wonders why: for the sake of politics, or for love.
Browse inside this book
ReviewsA master of storytelling The Times One of the finest writers of any language Washington Post A superb storyteller - he had a talent for depicting local colour, a keen sense of the dramatic, an eye for dialogue, and skill in pacing his prose New York Times There has been no novel of any political scope about Vietnam since Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American Harper's It might be nearly 60 years since The Quiet American was first published, but it still evokes the exotic promise of the Orient, and the troubled relationship Vietnam has with the West Wanderlust
About the Author
Publication date7th October 2004
More books by Graham Greene
Author 'Like for Like'
Author's Facebook Latest
CategoriesModern & contemporary fiction (post c 1945)
Lovereading has all the new books and also suggestions for 'similar' authors whilst waiting for your favourites new books.Carol Peace
Lovereading is like booking a holiday, you don't know what it will be like and it is a whole new experience.Sue Burton
Lovereading recommends, honestly reviews and promotes books-what more can I say?!Rachel Bridgeman
Hooked on books? Give Lovereading a go - for the chance to discover brilliant books, and to see why our members love it so.Claire Hill
Lovereading tells me about new books before they hit the shelves, lets me find other authors I may like and has great prize draws!Sheila Dale
Why I love @lovereadinguk? It's in the name - as dedicated lovers of reading, they are perfect matchmakers for helping me find my next read!Catherine Jenkins
Discover new authors and enjoy old favourites; oodles of literary gems to uncover at Lovereading with candid reviews from real reviewers.Emily Wright
I love Lovereading for the wonderful like for like author recommendations and for highlighting new books, it's a great resource for readers!Lindsay