- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Pocket Books; 1st edition (June 1988)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0318330148
- ISBN-13: 978-0318330143
- Shipping Weight: 503 g
- Average Customer Review: 14 customer reviews
The Human Factor Paperback – Jun 1988
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|Paperback, Jun 1988||
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"The Human Factor" is Greene's most extensive attempt to incorporate into fiction what he had learned of espionage when recruited by MI6 during World War II . . . What it offers is a veteran excursion into Greene's imaginative world . . . Sometimes seen as a brooding prober into the dark recesses of the soul where sins and scruples alike fester, he is equally at home in sending a narrative careering along at break-neck pace . . . Raising the demarcation line between 'serious' fiction and fast-plotted entertainment, Greene ensures that components of both jostle energizingly together in his pages." -from the Introduction by Peter Kemp --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
From the Back Cover
"Graham Greene's beautiful and disturbing novel is filled with tenderness, humour, excitement and doubt." - The Times --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.See all Product description
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The cloak-and-dagger intrigue here is rooted in the Cold War, and Greeneï¿½s own sympathies with the Communists, well known, are noticeable throughout the novel. When a leak is suspected in Castleï¿½s section of British intelligence, a secret plan is devised to eliminate the culprit quietly to avoid another Philby-type embarrassment to the government. Itï¿½s of only minor consequence to the higher-ups that they kill Davis, an innocent man. The Russiansï¿½ rush to "save" Castle, whose work for them has really been of only minor importance, seems more like wishful thinking than reality. Codes created from duplicate copies of old books, messages left in a hollow tree, and warning signals made with rings of the telephone now seem to belong to an age much earlier than the mere 24 years which have evolved since the bookï¿½s publication.
Castle is well drawn, for the most part, though he seems a rather clumsy agent-about-to-defect, someone who, though supposedly devoted to his wife and child, has not thought far enough ahead to guarantee their ultimate safety and happiness. Sarah, unfortunately, is an undifferentiated, flat character, and Castleï¿½s devotion to her must be accepted, rather than felt, thereby limiting the impact of the ending. Parts of the book are very moving, and Castle is often a sympathetic character, but I thought the book lacked the philosophical and structural tightness of his earlier, more famous novels.
Nevertheless, the author is telling us extremely important thing: believe your heart but not Government or its different services including Secret ones. The end of the novel is rather sad but it is not because the hero betrayed England and trusted the Soviet Union (it could be vice versa). Maurice Castle loves his wife and stepson, and it is the main factor that destroys the plans of different Secret Services, it is the main human factor that sets the world in motion.
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