Friday, August 7, 2009

The Quiet American by Graham Greene ***

Written in 1955, The Quiet American is a novel of American involvement in Vietnam at time when the war still belonged to the French. It is an indictment of much American policy in the years since World War II. I found it surprising to see the seeds of the invasions of Cuba, Grenada, and Iraq, foreign policies based on innocence and arrogance.
I never knew a man [country] who had better motives for all the trouble he caused.
The Quiet American by Graham Greene is a great novel by a great author of the World War II era. This was a time of high literary style when authors could freely assume that all readers were educated in French; the novel includes French dialogue without translation or apology. My years of high school French, from around the time Graham Greene wrote, were barely sufficient to get the gist of the scattered French.

A more serious summer read, but very well written and a story well told.

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