➼ [Reading] ➾ The Confidential Agent By Graham Greene ➱ – Dolove.info
WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY IAN RANKINIn 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 This is a lot of fun A fuddy duddy lecturer, D, comes to England as the confidential agent Only he seems pretty incapable and scared of his own shadow He befriends a young woman, and the pair grow humorously close as they face constant danger and espionage D gradually finds the courage and conviction he needs A well written thriller and on of my favourites out of Greene s less serious works. This is Greene at his best, providing a gnashing noir, a tale of chase and deception The Confidential Agent distills the fears of the late 1930s, people are being driven to an almost post human ignobility Attempting to stay above the feral pragmatism, an agent known as D makes his way to England The timeframe and circumstances suggest The Spanish Civil War, but the details blur into a generic European nightmare D is a classics professor and the reader feels for his obsolescence in these dark times The landscape, the weather and even radio advertisements conspire and haunt Greene provides no relief and actually mocks the possibility of a sentimental response or conclusion Highly recommended. Many a long and weary year ago I read a fair few Greene books This one has a nice grimy atmosphere and a very real uncertainty about who, if anyone, can be trusted The Esperanto lesson always seemed like a nice touch, invented stories, pretended loyalties, unreal language, no end of deceptions. UnabridgedDuration 7h 30 minRead by Patrick Tull From BBC Radio 4 Drama Graham Greene s masterful tale of suspense When Edgar Dominguez is sent to England on a mission to arrange a supply of coal for the Republicans in the Spanish Civil War it seems a straightforward business negotiation but no sooner does he set foot on English soil than he finds himself a hunted man, with seemingly no one he can trust and implicated in murder.Greene wrote The Confidential Agent at the same time as his masterpiece The Power and The Glory It was written in six weeks in 1938 as England stood on the brink of war, and the story is suffused with paranoia, distrust and urgency He wrote it as an Entertainment with the hope of getting a film made of the book and therefore providing much needed income for his family, in which he succeeded A tense thriller where the hero must avoid trap after trap that is set for him haunted by the memory of his dead wife and his own time in prison awaiting execution.http www.bbc.co.uk programmes b07x1rcthttp www.imdb.com title tt0037610 Graham Greene is one of my favourite authors, having started reading his novels when I was in my teens, many years ago, though I haven t read one of his books for several years.Now, on re reading The Confidential Agent , I know why, I like him so much He is a great storyteller and has a wonderful way of phrasing his sentences, in which not a single word is ever surplus to requirements It is a joy and pleasure to read what he has written The Confidential Agent was written by Greene, as one of his entertainments, in the late 1930 s and gives a wonderful evocation of what London must have been like then with inclement weather, foreign intrigue and a sense of impending doom.The story of D a confidential agent given the job of securing coal supplies for his government, as it battles a civil war, is intriguing from start to finish, with plot twists and turns throughout the story, which will have you absorbed until the end.A great story by a master writer. Review first published on BookLikes The gulls swept over Dover They sailed out like flakes of the fog, and tacked back towards the hidden town, while the siren mourned with them other ships replied, a whole wake lifted up their voices for whose death So begins the story of D D is an agent a confidential agent who is sent to England on a mission Having arrived in Dover, nothing goes to plan and D is soon pitched against another agent LIn this race to fulfill his task, D is thrown into the centre of a time and place pulled into antagonising directions there is a battle between the young and old, the aristocracy and the ordinary men, the natives and foreigners, the mad and the sane, the powerful and the helpless, the stupid and the enlightened, love and indifference all elements which would come to define the somewhat harrowing place that is Greene landIt was absurd, of course, to feel afraid, but watching the narrow stooping back in the restaurant he felt as exposed as if he were in a yard with a blank wall and a firing squad Graham Greene famously wrote The Confidential Agent, fueled by Benzedrine, in parallel to The Power and the Glory In contrast to The Power and the Glory, he expected to earn money from the sales of this entertainment It is of no surprise then that The Confidential Agent does not dwell on morality or religion as much as some of Greene s other books It does have elements of those deliberations after all The Confidential Agent is based on and inspired by the Spanish Civil War but it does not go into great depths.And, this for me is where it falls down What I love about Greene is that he commits his protagonists to something an ideal, a cause, a situation, anything and gives them depth This is lacking a bit here D is portrayed well and we learn much of his back story, but knowing D s past does not help much to figure out other characters in the book So, despite a promising start and interesting plot, the story itself loses grip on a number of occasions because there is little chemistry, or tension, between the characters not between D and his nemesis, not between D and his persecutors, and not even between D and Rose The Confidential Agent was first published in 1939, ten years after his first novel The Man Within, and knowing of Greene s life and career, it is still an early work It shows all the potential that would fully develop in his subsequent work, but it just isn t of the same quality However, I do wonder I haven t read The Power and the Glory, yet, but I almost want to wager that Greene put in it what he held back on in The Confidential Agent less aimless caper and study of the human condition. In 1938, Graham Greene was busy writing two novels The better known book became his classic, The Power and the Glory, about the Mexican whiskey priest But Greene feared that The Power and the Glory would not sell, and he needed money to support his family Therefore, in the mornings, he wrote one of his entertainments , The Confidential Agent As an entertainment, The Confidential Agent qualifies as a thriller It has a fast moving plot, reversals of fortune, and plenty of action In this regard, Greene s tale is like those of his contemporary, Eric Ambler, and later writers such as Alan Furst, who inhabit the same shady and treacherous underworld of pre World War II Europe.But this is Graham Greene This is Greeneland.So while The Confidential Agent meets all of the requirements of a thriller, nevertheless, it has that twinge of angst for which Graham Greene is famous For instance, the protagonist is never given a name, only the initial D In this, we perceive shades of Kafka Further, D is haunted by the past The civil war in his home country the Spanish Civil War killed his wife and left him in prison, expecting execution Having escaped captivity, D is assigned a mission to England by his embattled government But D s past pulls at him all the while His memories, his wounds, and the adversaries have traveled with him to try to thwart his mission to buy coal on behalf of his government D is not a James Bond or even a George Smiley He s an amateur, a scholar of the medieval French text The Song of Roland He s intimidated by the thought of personal violence even though he has suffered his share.I don t know if there s any Graham Greene book that I wouldn t recommend Graham Greene s entertainments are weightier than many other writers most ambitious works Greene establishes characters quickly and deeply Although one can describe the tale as action packed , you are taken by fleeting and seemingly minor characters such as Else the cleaning girl at the hotel and the gang members of the mining town Thus, if you re looking for something both entertaining and considerate, you will likely enjoy Graham Greene s The Confidential Agent P.S If you happened to get the Vintage books edition, be sure and read the introduction by Scottish crime writer Ian Rankin For a further appreciation of Greene, check out Pico Iyer s The Man Inside My Head. Read by Patrick TullDescription 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.So, what we have here is a good old fashioned pot boiler Fueled by Benzedrine, Greene wrote it in six weeks To avoid distraction, he rented a room in Bloomsbury from a landlady who lived in an apartment below him He used that apartment in the novel it s where D hides for a day and had an affair with the landlady s daughter He wrote the book for money and was so displeased with his work that he wanted it published under a pseudonym wiki sourced It was an enjoyable listen, yet I would have to agree with Greene to some extent, it is a little odd.2 The Man Within 1929 TR Stamboul Train3 A Gun for Sale 1936 4 Brighton Rock 1938 3 The Confidential Agent 1939 3 The Power and the Glory 1940 4 The Ministry of Fear 1943 2 The Heart of the Matter 1948 3 The Third Man 1948 4 The End of the Affair 1951 TR Complete Short Stories 1954 3 The Quiet American 1955 3 Our Man in Havana 1958 4 A Burnt Out Case 1960 5 The Comedians 1965 4 Travels With My Aunt 1969 3 The Honorary Consul 1973 4 The Human Factor 1978 4 Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party 1980 4 Monsignor Quixote 1982 WL The Tenth Man3 The Captain and the Enemy 1988 A 3.5 star book.First published in 1939 the first year of World War II I found reading The Confidential Agent by Graham Greene relatively entertaining due to its seemingly remote setting which vaguely reminds its readers on the looming atmosphere of countries at war However, we should read its Goodreads synopsis and introduction by Ian Rankin so that we get some background understanding, in other words, we have light with essential information rather than keep reading like being in a dark tunnel and tediously reach nowhere I think it has an apt structure and I liked how the four part story starts with The Hunted, The Hunter, The Last Shot and The End since each title obviously reveals the protagonist s role and the heart of the matter From this kind of structure, we can see that Mr Greene has designed something a bit advanced and modern than others I sometime read some spy novels by John le Carre and found his structure like this however, I don t know who first invented it in the writing world.Incidentally, I would not try to tell you everything I think after reading this book, rather I would say something from what I scribbled in pencil of course on some pages with my remarks For example, from this excerpts D walked to the ditch where his coat lay he couldn t remember leaving it there near L s car and his wallet too He stooped and as he painfully straightened again he saw the girl she had been sitting all the time in the back of L s Daimler She looked back at him through the glass with disgust he realized that he was still bleeding heavily.The manager said, Leave Miss Cullen alone He said gently, It s only a few teeth gone A man of my age must expect to lose his teeth Perhaps we shall meet at Gwyn Cottage She looked hopelessly puzzled, staring back at him pp 38 39 My point is that Mr Greene s protagonist is quite different from Mr le Carre s, I mean he seems timid, oldish and evasive less action but we have to be content with D., a former professor in medieval French, not a former soldier or secret agent In the last sentence, it s simply divine to find the adverb placed there like magic.