!!> Read ➸ The Confidential Agent ➻ Author Graham Greene – Lucywhitedrycleaners.co.uk

The Confidential Agent The Confidential Agent 1939 by Graham Greene is surprisingly good I say surprisingly given that Graham Greene wanted it published under a pseudonym so I was expecting the worst It would make a good companion read to The Ministry of Fear 1943 which is another wonderful Graham Greene book written during the WW2 era Click here to read my review of The Ministry of Fear Back to The Confidential Agent, a man, D, an ex Medieval French lecturer, is unsuited to his role as the eponymous confiden The Confidential Agent 1939 by Graham Greene is surprisingly good I say surprisingly given that Graham Greene wanted it published under a pseudonym so I was expecting the worst It would make a good companion read to The Ministry of Fear 1943 which is another wonderful Graham Greene book written during the WW2 era Click here to read my review of The Ministry of Fear Back to The Confidential Agent, a man, D, an ex Medieval French lecturer, is unsuited to his role as the eponymous confidential agent He is in London to try to buy coal whilst rivals try to foil his mission His unnamed European country in in the midst of a civil war and he is on the Republican side The unnamed war is clearly the Spanish Civil War however things are left oblique Where The Confidential Agent scores highly is in its sense of place D grapples with class and culture in late 1930 England which is beguilingly evoked grotty hotels, Mass Observation, dense chilly fog, the railways, roadhouse pubs, snobbery, suspicion of foreigners, smoggy London, Esperanto lessons, casual violence, pubs, the London underground, taxis, holiday camps, depression era northern pit towns, and much.Apparently Greene wrote The Confidential Agent in six weeks, fuelled by Benzedrine, which probably explains the book s powerful hallucinogenic, paranoid and nightmarish qualities It s a pitch black noir which powerfully distills the mood of late 1930s Britain I remained completely engrossed The Confidential Agent is tense and exciting, but also weighty and provocative Not a sentence is wasted The Confidential Agent is one of Graham Greene s entertainments , and despite its twisty and somewhat implausible plot, it sprofound than many other writersambitious works.Another five star read from Graham Greene and 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. 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 da 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 It s not perfect, but even Greene knew that He wrote it in six weeks and wanted to publish it under a pseudonym Characters conveniently and coincidentally bump into one another, a love story in the time frame of a couple of days, etc But that being said, it s still some damn fine writing I look forward to reading some of hisimportant works. 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. Of all the entertainments that the great Graham Greene had written in his entire ouevre, The Confidential Agent holds a perverse sort of fascination to its origins Apparently on the brink of bankruptcy, bothered by his own personal demons of infidelity in a marriage already breaking at the seams, Greene locked himself up in a state of self compelled exile, in an apartment in London and started a daily dose of Benzedrine to drive himself to put pen to paper and write anything that would sell Of all the entertainments that the great Graham Greene had written in his entire ouevre, The Confidential Agent holds a perverse sort of fascination to its origins Apparently on the brink of bankruptcy, bothered by his own personal demons of infidelity in a marriage already breaking at the seams, Greene locked himself up in a state of self compelled exile, in an apartment in London and started a daily dose of Benzedrine to drive himself to put pen to paper and write anything that would sell like hotcakes And in the process, as the legend goes, he managed to fall into a romantic attraction with the daughter of his new landlady As if mirroring some of these feelings of relentless, determined despair and impulsive, reckless romance, D., the soft spoken, mild mannered confidential agent of the novel is on an impossible mission of sorts, a race against time and he too falls in love unexpectedly, without warning, and only complicates his carefully laid plans to spectacularly disorienting effect Reading The Confidential Agent feels so much like witnessing a little, sweaty game of snakes and ladders with a loaded dice that cannot not quite fall the way you want or expect Living up to the delirious and frenetic nature of its origins, it is a brilliantly crafted and ingeniously, almost wickedly absurd thriller that subverts and surprises at every turn and twist and still succeeds at being unexpectedly profound and poetic, giving us much delicious food for thought, discourse and even debate.D., as said before, is a secret agent on a confidential mission It is not exactly foiling a diabolical conspiracy perpetuated by a grand, preening super villain or sneaking behind enemy lines Rather, it is a mission for his fellow countrymen and yet also pitted against his own countrymen D hails from a continental country in the throes of civil war, presciently based on real life Spain at the time when the book was written, and his mission requires him to negotiate a purchase with a rich coal mine tycoon in cosy England And he has to do it before his Government s rivals the fascist, aristocratic rebels succeed as they too have their man dispatched to do their bidding and get the coal, by hook or by crook Doesn t this sound a simple battle of wits and fortunesNo, it isn t any simple spy thriller, of course Because the man at the helm of things is Graham Greene and D is no usual agent He is rather an utterly believable human being, a subtle, congenial man who has been scarred and hardened by the brutal realities of war and now is devoted, like a fanatic, to his cause and mission Nothing can really throw him off his track, nothing that is, except for misfortune and bad luck and Greene packs the narrative with both these things, so much that D finds himself, with every step forward in the right direction, with every successful feint against his rivals, plunged even deeper into a chaotic deluge of paranoia, treachery and certain failure All this darkens the narrative relentlessly, to nihilistic effect and the distinctly marked bleakness of The Confidential Agent seems like a terrific practice run for the unyielding and nightmarish claustrophobia of The Ministry Of Fear and the cynical moral parable of The Third Man There is a sordid sense of moral decadence to be found in some of the characters and even as Greene presents us with an enthralling, evocative and vivid outsider s view of England s befuddling social and cultural ambiguities to make us feel D s predicament to the hilt, he also does not shy from exploring a meaner, nastier side to the generally benign atmosphere of a new country, which make his twists and turns work evenintuitively and cleverly Not for once can the reader hazard a guess as to in which direction would the plot go next and that extraordinary feeling, of following D down some rabbit hole of every best laid plan, move or countermove going awry, makes this such a deliriously hypnotic read from cover to cover D himself is a fascinatingly etched character, like so many in Greene s morally grey universe he is vulnerable, both easily gullible and tough to crack or intimidate and yet there is a genuinely heroic and chivalrous man inside his weary and wary surface and the writer expertly plumbs these depths, letting his creation shed layer like layer to make us believe in his determined quest and to root for his success and even his escape Even the other characters in the narrative are sketched cohesively and convincingly from the rival agent L., whose own commitment to his job of subterfuge is admirable and understandable for D to the ingeniously cast women of the narrative the waif like hotel maid Else for whom D begins to feel a pity bordering on a dangerous obsession and most notably, the free spirited, strong willed and even brave hearted Rose McCullen with whom D falls, headfirst and despite their age differences, in love, rediscovering, thus, the gentle romantic soul that was buried deep with the devastating death of his wife This wistful romance is one of Greene s other masterstrokes of plotting he is refreshingly unabashed about any pig headed question of decency and he lets this romance flow in seamlessly and incidentally into the narrative to lend it a real heart of throbbing passion But then, The Confidential Agent is chock full of surprises It feels dark and even dire when, in the hands of any other writer, it would have been all sensational and even upbeat then again, it is beautifully tender, wise, even witty and warm when you expect it to be cynical and dark This is Greene writing in a fever of swirling emotions and feelings all at conflict with each other to the effect that this novel becomes something else, something absurd, nightmarish, darkly hilarious, mesmerising and romantic, all at the same time Can you think of any other book, written in a few weeks, in a fast and furious haze of Benzedrine fueled burst of energy, to be this thoughtful and thrilling 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 o 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 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 mast 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 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, doubt 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 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


About the Author: Graham Greene

Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a Catholic novelist rather than as a novelist who happened to be Catholic, Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair, and The Power and the Glory. Works such as The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Human Factor also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage Excerpted from Wikipedia


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