The Quiet American
"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious... show more
"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas. As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress. Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifiying and prescient portrait of innocence at large. This Graham Greene Centennial Edition includes a new introductory essay by Robert Stone.
Publish date: August 31st 2004
Publisher: Penguin Classics
Pages no: 180
Edition language: English
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Book Club
, Historical Fiction
, Literary Fiction
, 20th Century
The Quiet American is dark, thoughtful, meticulously crafted and full of suspense. Thomas Fowler is a British war correspondent who has been in Vietnam for two years. Not being French or Vietnamese he sees himself as disinterested and apart from the conflict. The novel begins with him waiting for Al...
Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm. The Quiet American is Greene's exploration of relationships and politics against the backdrop of th...
I was expecting more of a spy novel with this one. No, I did not read the back cover or reviews or really anything about this book. I suppose my prejudice stemmed from something I (miss?)read about Graham Greene. However, I was pleasantly surprised with this book and really enjoyed it. Some passages...
But here you go, you can have it anyway. It's not often I close a book and have absolutely no idea what to put in my review. I thought this novel was pretty close to brilliant, but I feel like - I don't know - there's more to this than I even understand. I know what happened and I could tell you, ...
Introduction--The Quiet American