- Publisher: Penguin Classics (1992)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 014018533X
- ISBN-13: 978-0140185331
- Product Dimensions: 12.7 x 1 x 19.6 cm
- Shipping Weight: 118 g
- Average Customer Review: 3 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,013,351 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
20th Century Third Man And The Fallen Idol Paperback – 1992
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“A master storyteller, one of the first to write in cinematic style with razor-sharp images moving with kinetic force.” – Newsweek --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
About the Author
Graham Greene (1904-1991) worked as a journalist and critic, and was later employed by the foreign office. His many books include The Third Man, The Comedians and Travels with My Aunt. He is the subject of an acclaimed three-volume biography by Norman Sherry. --This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.
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This is the beginning of Graham Greene's classic espionage thriller, very well constructed with wonderfully drawn characters and a suspenseful plot.
Philippe Horak / email@example.com
THE THIRD MAN
Rollo Martins is invited by his school-friend hero, Harry Lime, to post-war Vienna, 'a smashed dreary city' occupied by four powers...
Everyone has a racket, but Martins learns that Lime 'was about the worst racketeer who ever made a dirty living'. What's more, LIme has just been killed - by accident? The truth is almost more than Martins can stand...
THE FALLEN IDOL
Philip is a small boy left in a large Belgravia house with Baines, the butler, and 'thin, menacing, dusty' Mrs Baines. And Baines has a girl-friend. Soon Philip is 'caught up in other people's darkness...'
Greene writes in the preface that "The Third Man was never intended to be more than the raw materiall for a picture". Still, the novel is not lack of intricated plots, suspenses, character's thought processes, and Greene's typical sharp wits. The Fallen Idol was not written for the films. It is a short story with intensity and suspense: a boy got involved in the lives of adults.
Graham Greene is the master of suspense, even in these two rather short stories. That's all I have to say about this book.
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
The Third Man is narrated by Colonel Calloway, a competent but world-weary, cynical police inspector of the British Occupation Army at the end of the Second World War. The problem for the American, Rollo Martins, in Calloway's opinion, is that Martins "believed in friendship, and that was why what happened later was a worse shock to him than it would have been to you or me." And then Calloway apologizes for being presumptuous about others' conceptions of friendship.
My copy of The Third Man arrived five days after I ordered it. I had to replace my old Pocket Book 1974 edition when I realized the Pocket Book editors had deleted Calloway's more trenchant observations of the Russian Occupation Army--as an arm of Stalin's foreign policy initiatives--in the spirit of "Detente," the policy of accomodation that characterized the early seventies, or until the Russian invasion of Afghanistan.
But the Russians are portrayed only as boorish lackeys of a totalitarian state. The real evil is perpetrated mostly by ex-pat Americans led by Harry Lime and Colonel Cooler. In one remarkable passage, Greene describes Lime's evil as something out of Christopher Marlowe: "Marlowe's devils wore squibs attached to their tails: evil was like Peter Pan--it carried the horrifying gift of eternal youth."
Odd to think of romance blossoming in such an environment. Greene describes Anna Schmidt, with her head bent against the chill winds, "a dark question mark on the snow."
The Third Man, a classic! (five stars)