The Quiet American
  • The Quiet American
  • The Quiet American
  • The Quiet American
ISBN: 0143039024
EAN13: 9780143039020
Language: English
Release Date: Aug 31, 2004
Pages: 180
Dimensions: 0.73" H x 8.43" L x 5.85" W
Weight: 0.79 lbs.
Format: Paperback
Select Format Format: Paperback Select Conditions Condition: Good


Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

List Price: $17
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Book Overview

Graham Greene's classic exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam

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.

For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.

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Book Reviews (7)

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   Cannot believe I waited so long to read Graham Greene
Leaving aside your feelings about the Viet Nam conflict, Greene is a truly great writer who can describe a scene or situation in the fewest words, but with extraordinary effect. I read this because Nguyen, the author of The Sympathizer, was reportedly heavily influenced by it. The book by Greene is much better written and has more layers of moral ambiguities. But I am still thinking about these books and will for a long time.
   Best Greene
After a few years, I read it again. It is my favorite from Greene's collection. He has an ability to engulge a reader in a story so much so that I never left the characters after I left the book for a day or so, who seemed to hither and yon. The humor is pleasing and deeply subtle. This book can be used on a cruise or a trip to a mountain cabin if you want to take it lightly. It is not a long book.
   An Acknowledged Masterpiece
This story is set in Vietnam during the early 1950s, when the French communists and several independent national forces were fighting to oust their Vietnamese masters. A jaded and self-proclaimed neutral British journalist loses his Vietnamese mistress to a young idealistic American who is there to help economic development, but soon discovers that it has other clandestine goals. The two men, rivals of the young woman, are caught in an attack on a rural watchtower where their values are revealed. The physical and political atmosphere is portrayed vividly and the observations about exporting democracy are today as relevant, as they were then. This is a great read and a classic.
   Back To A Place We Never Left
Part of the Vietnam War and part of many other journalist books that have evolved from the Vietnam War or War in Vietnam, the Quiet American is a classic study of culture. Understanding culture, misunderstanding culture, and being unaware of culture and thinking that one can change culture in a short amount of time, with a long amount of resources. It does not take Greene long to get us through what was then a long war. War is constant on this planet and always casts black characters, journalists, spooks, soldiers, scouts, generals, colonels, restaurateurs, hoteliers, fatale. The art imitates life and there is nothing like a war to provide the best that Central Casting can provide. And that story of war must be told by masters such as Greene, Halberstam, Hemmingway, et. Alonzo's work in this regard is to be expected.
   Horrible kindle version of a wonderful book
The dreadful rating has nothing to do with the book itself, which is really good and often very funny. It is one of the great classics of the writing Cold War. But the Kindle is probably the worst I have ever seen odd spaces on the page, lines randomly broken, many words misread and misprinted, even half-sentences missing. This should simply not have happened, and the company concerned should not have ever put out material like this.
   How corruption and ideology ruined old Vietnam
Interwoven with a delicate but exploitative love affair between a young Vietnamese journalist and a beautiful young Vietnamese woman is a rumination on the power players in the last years of French Indo-China, each of them moving carefully on an almost liquid chessboard. The American vision of a democratic Vietnam, in the form of an earnest young CIA officer, is soundly flayed. The dying remnants of great power - imperialism are soundly flayed. The possibility of a Third Way between a corrupt South Vietnamese government and the Communist North is soundly deceived. As conditions move from ideology to a smorgasbord of violence, the amorality of the players surfaces, especially that of the journalistic character who hid raw arrogance under the main fig leaf of non-engagement for a time. When he does engage, the result was metaphorically like all the bold moves in Vietnam of that era, squalid murder by drowning the victim in mud. Nevertheless, it is written beautifully.
I know that Greene was a renowned author, but I found his stiles in this novel still.