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1 May 1980
Doctor Fischer of Geneva. Or The Bomb Party 
by Graham Greene.
Bodley Head, 140 pp., £4.50, March 1980, 0 370 30316 4
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... What can have possessed GrahamGreene? The answer, I suspect, is the ghost of Thomas Mann. The Swiss setting of Doctor Fischer of Geneva might be determined by some generic effluvium of Mann, a compound of his Magic (Swiss) Mountain, his ...
25 April 1991
... shaken his head, on the other hand, and regretted that those who were young and hated war should have to die ‘when cruel old campaigners win safe through’. Epitaphs apart, what will survive of GrahamGreene? Not love, certainly; nor the famously tortured guerrilla of Roman Catholicism, fighting and writing for and against the Church from inside and outside it, and all the more effective a ...

Full of Teeth

Patricia Beer

20 July 1995
The Life of Graham Greene. Vol. II: 1939-55 
by Norman Sherry.
Cape, 562 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 224 02772 7
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Graham GreeneThree Lives 
by Anthony Mockler.
Hunter Mackay, 256 pp., £14.95, July 1994, 0 947907 01 7
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Graham GreeneFriend and Brother 
by Leopoldo Duran.
HarperCollins, 352 pp., £20, September 1994, 0 00 627660 1
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Graham GreeneThe Man Within 
by Michael Shelden.
Minerva, 567 pp., £5.99, June 1995, 0 7493 1997 6
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... of Lady Bracknell, one of the wisest characters in English literature, may eventually be echoed by readers when and if they have worked their way through the four, totally diverse, biographies of GrahamGreene which originally appeared in the summer and autumn of last year. The biographers are Norman Sherry, Anthony Mockler, Leopoldo Duran and Michael Shelden. The actual information they provide ...

A Spot of Blackmail

Douglas Johnson

1 July 1982
J’Accuse 
by Graham Greene.
Bodley Head, 69 pp., £1.95, May 1982, 0 370 30930 8
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... Hale knew, after he had been in Brighton for three hours, that they meant to murder him.’ The opening sentence of GrahamGreene’s most famous novel runs, in menacing innuendo, through his pamphlet J’Accuse. He denounces the world of crime, injustice and corruption which constitutes ‘the dark side of Nice’, and he has ...
6 November 1980
Ways of Escape 
by Graham Greene.
Bodley Head, 309 pp., £6.95, October 1980, 0 370 30356 3
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... For most of his professional life, GrahamGreene might have been described as the Greta Garbo of modern English letters. He preferred to be alone. A wartime Penguin edition of England made me in my possession records on the back cover that ‘he ...
9 June 1994
... informed about the places in the world which he cared about; academics wrote with lists of questions; publishers wrote looking for quotes for books they were about to publish. Authors wrote. In 1973 Greene wrote to Josef Skvorecky: ‘Your letters reach the length of a book by this time ... I feel sad that you are wasting such good material on me, but if you ever come to write about these events I can ...

Cervantics

Robert Taubman

7 October 1982
Monsignor Quixote 
by Graham Greene.
Bodley Head, 221 pp., £5.95, September 1982, 0 370 30923 5
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... There is nothing either good or bad, but thinking makes it so.’ Perhaps rather carefully, the words at the head of GrahamGreene’s new novel are ascribed to William Shakespeare rather than to Hamlet, but inevitably it’s Hamlet they bring to mind. Very Hamlet, this complete scepticism – but not, surely, very GrahamGreene ...

Dream on

C.K. Stead

3 December 1992
A World of My Own: A Dream Diary 
by Graham Greene.
Reinhardt, 116 pp., £12.99, October 1992, 1 871061 36 9
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... any simple symbolic interpretation; and if they can be retained through the levels of waking, they often seem worth recording. There is for me, in other words, a poetry and a prose of dreams. GrahamGreene once wrote that for the novelist identification with a character sometimes ‘goes so far that one may dream his dream and not ones’s own’. In my most recently published novel I decided one or ...

On the Lower Slopes

Stefan Collini: Greene’s Luck

5 August 2010
Shades of GreeneOne Generation of an English Family 
by Jeremy Lewis.
Cape, 580 pp., £25, August 2010, 978 0 224 07921 1
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... GrahamGreene was more than half in love with easeful failure. He chose to end A Sort of Life, the sly memoir of his early years that stood in for an autobiography, with ‘the years of failure which followed the ...
3 December 1981
The Mosquito Coast 
by Paul Theroux.
Hamish Hamilton, 392 pp., £7.95, October 1981, 0 241 10688 5
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... haven’t given a distinct image of Theroux as a novelist. He has set them in Kenya, Malawi, Singapore, London, Dorset, Cape Cod, and now in Honduras; and produced as many different kinds of novel. GrahamGreene ranges as widely, but the Greene themes and style impose them selves; and Theroux has written on V.S. Naipaul’s themes. Apparently his own work doesn’t have the same sort of continuities ...

Taking what you get

Walter Kendrick

6 December 1984
Getting to know the General: The Story of an Involvement 
by Graham Greene.
Bodley Head, 224 pp., £8.95, September 1984, 0 370 30808 5
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Saints, Sinners and Comedians: The Novels of Graham​ Greene 
by Roger Sharrock.
Burns and Oates, 298 pp., £15, September 1984, 0 86012 134 8
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Travels in Greeneland: The Cinema of Graham​ Greene 
by Quentin Falk.
Quartet, 229 pp., £14.95, September 1984, 0 7043 2425 3
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The Other Man: Conversations with Graham​ Greene 
by Marie-Françoise Allain.
Bodley Head, 187 pp., £7.50, April 1983, 0 370 30468 3
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... with no steady rhythm, every year or so tossing a new stumbling-block into the path of those who would like to understand them. Thomas Hardy was England’s worst offender in this regard: but GrahamGreene, now 80, bids fair to give Hardy a run for his money. Not in quality, of course. Even Greene’s most enthusiastic advocates wouldn’t attempt to place him in the top rank of English novelists ...

Madly Excited

John Bayley

1 June 1989
The Life of Graham Greene. Vol. I: 1904-1939 
by Norman Sherry.
Cape, 783 pp., £16.95, April 1989, 0 224 02654 2
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... Ever since Jane Eyre, the female best-seller has usually been honest enough to be Little Me. There is, nonetheless, a remarkable similarity in technique between, say, Margaret Drabble and GrahamGreene. Both create an entirely coherent romance world, powered by variations on self-satisfaction, in Greene’s case masquerading as self-disgust. In both cases this is highly transmissible to the reader ...

Holy Padlock

Pat Rogers

6 October 1983
The Religious Life of Samuel Johnson 
by Charles Pierce.
Athlone, 184 pp., £12.50, March 1983, 0 485 30010 9
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... Entering Mexico at the start of The Lawless Roads, GrahamGreene saw among the peasant women of Monterrey the signs of a real religious life about him – ‘the continuous traffic of piety’. One of the most striking things about Samuel Johnson is the depth of ...

Short Cuts

Christopher Tayler: Costume Drama

11 October 2012
... 67.) Ford being the man he was, though, his triumph was confused. Was Last Post part of his master plan or was it a slightly botched afterthought? Ford sometimes took the second view, which prompted GrahamGreene to exclude the novel from his edition of the sequence in 1963. Then there was the question of where Parade’s End should be shelved: along with Ulysses and Mrs Dalloway? With Goodbye to All ...

Diary

Michel Lechat: Graham Greene​ at the Leproserie

2 August 2007
... It would be nice to say that GrahamGreene just appeared one day in Yonda, the leprosy settlement in the Equateur Province of the then Belgian Congo where I was the doctor, stepping off the gangway of the bishop’s riverboat as Querry does ...

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