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England Made Me

3.47  ·  Rating Details ·  827 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
From master storyteller Graham Greene comes the tale of Anthony Farrant, who has boasted, lied and cheated his way through jobs all over the world. Then his adoring twin sister, Kate, gets him taken on as the bodyguard of Krogh, her lover and boss, a megalomaniac Swedish financier. All goes well until Krogh gives orders that offend Anthony's innate decency. Outraged and bl ...more
Paperback, 206 pages
Published March 1st 1992 by Penguin Classics (first published 1935)
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Dfordoom
Apr 10, 2008 Dfordoom rated it it was amazing
The most memorable characters in Graham Greene’s 1935 novel England Made Me are, as always, the failures. Anthony Farrant has been fired from jobs everywhere from Aden to Shanghai. He has been black-balled from countless clubs in countless in countless cities. Anthony Farrant, in his one good suit, his Harrow tie (a lie, of course), with his boyish charm and his charming lies. He’s not quite a crook, in fact he believes in most of his money-making schemes. As one employer put it, they had to get ...more
BrokenTune
No, no, no, no, no.
Just when I thought Greene had begun to find his stride as a writer and that The Heart of the Matter really was his worst book, England Made Me proves me wrong. There are some great passages - all mostly within the first 30 pages - and then it is downhill from there....plot-wise. Because the story became so boring that I still have problems recollecting what actually happened. And I only just finished the book.
On the positives: Whatever happened between 1934 and 1935, Greene
...more
Helen
May 04, 2010 Helen rated it really liked it
An enormous Swedish business concern is about to go global. Secretly, it is in dire straits. Erich Krogh, a cold, lonely, self-made man, is covering up some sleazy unethical financing that will be healed as long as the American deal goes through.

Sounds like it's ripped from today's headlines, doesn't it?

Kate Farrant, Krogh's British assistant, and lover, is an efficient, practical, intelligent young woman who loves her ne'er-do-well twin brother just a little too much. Anthony is charming and ha
...more
Peter
Jul 12, 2011 Peter rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
If this book had been writen in the last few years with it's banking crisis and failing economies you could say that he was just merely jumping on the bandwagon but this was first published in 1935 and was the book that was said to have brought him to prominence within the literary community.

As with many of Greene's books he paints a moody scene but there is little action and all the characters are seen as flawed, damaged by public school life.The book is basically about the decline of a conman,
...more
Dan Pecchenino
Mar 06, 2013 Dan Pecchenino rated it it was ok
This is probably the weirdest Graham Greene book I've read. He experiments with shifting points of view and cubistic description in ways that, along with the novel's incestuous themes, make me think Greene must have read a little Faulkner (AS I LAY DYING and THE SOUND AND THE FURY) before writing this. There are some passages of gorgeous sadness that are up there with the best of Greene's work. His depiction of Anthony Farrant and Loo's lovemaking is one such moment. On the whole though, this is ...more
Nadine
Jul 16, 2014 Nadine rated it it was ok
As a character study, excellently done.
Great atmosphere and the style is special. Every word is exactly as it should be.
Women are not stereotypical women, caught in their time, but three-dimensional and not what the men want them to be.
It's about family.
And yet it is difficult to read, not easy and not very light. So it took me longer than expected. But I liked it, it just didn't blow me away.
John McCaffrey
Continuing my Graham Greene journey has led me to this novel. Set in Sweden, but all about the English fascination with societal division, Greene puts forth two main characters, twins, brother and sister, who fall under the golden hand of a tycoon who has lost connection with the working class that sprung him. Dark, at times depressing in its cynicism, but also realistic in its depiction of limitations in people no matter the heights they soar.
Patrick McCoy
Dec 13, 2011 Patrick McCoy rated it really liked it
Shelves: classics
England Made Me (1935) is one of the last novels by Graham Greene on my list to read. I had expected it to take place in England given the title, but was surprised to find it take place in Stockholm, Sweden. This is where the never-do-well Anthony Farrant has landed after his latest failure in Aden (in Yemen), where his twin sister, Kate, works for millionaire businessman Erik Krough. She also serves as his mistress. Anthony Farrat is a charming failure with the gift of the gab who is prone to o ...more
Nadia Ghanem
Jan 14, 2017 Nadia Ghanem rated it it was amazing
I was so shaken by this novel. It was a strange read, and reminded me of The Evenings by Gerard Reve in that it built a formidable tension in a seemingly static setting.

England made me is introspective, slow in action although I now know it was a false sense of slowness, Greene had caught me so intensely into the internal dialogues & tragedies of each character that I failed to hear the ticking of fate's clock. So when the clock did strike, I was caught totally unawares, and as in life, with
...more
Bob
Sep 27, 2015 Bob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Mine is actually a 1970 Penguin - too bad I can't find the precise edition on here as the cover illustration is very characteristic of that time.

A somewhat lesser-known Greene from 1935, he presents a marvelous rogues gallery of unsympathetic characters, all hustling to get by. Set in English expatriate circles in Stockholm, the year is not specified but perhaps late 1920s - people from all walks of life are still dabbling in stocks with get-rich-quick fervor ("having a flutter" is the frequentl
...more
Katie Grainger
Jan 24, 2016 Katie Grainger rated it liked it
When I first started reading England Made Me I found it a little boring but as the book progressed I got into it. The story is about Anthony and Kate Farrant, who are twins, Anthony is the brother who can't hold down a job and Kate comes to 'rescue' him and take him to Sweden to work for her lover and employer Krough.

Krogh is a corrupt business man with a huge fortune who Kate is due to marry. Anthony with his sense of justice is unable to stomach Krogh's dodgy dealings, when he steals stories
...more
John
Jun 10, 2008 John rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
"The Shipwrecked" is about a very big business that gets overextended, and the attempts of its owner to cover his tracks regardless of who gets hurt. If it had been written last year, the business would have been involved in subprime mortgages.
It's also about twins -- a brother and sister -- who have grown up and grown apart and what happens when they get back together.
It's probably the best book I've ever read that was set in Stockholm, Sweden.
As with seemingly all of Graham Greene's novels, m
...more
Kingfan30
Jul 09, 2012 Kingfan30 rated it it was ok
Shelves: 1001-books
I really don't know what to say about this book. I never really got into the story and still can't really tell you what it was all about. I have no idea what Krogh was involved in, I think I must have drifted off at some point and missed something. None of the characters were particularly likeable and some seemed to come and go without any point to them. At least it was a short read and hey its another one ticked off the list.
Trevor
Jan 23, 2013 Trevor rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-copy
A joy to read, Graham Greene is an absolute master of the English language and story telling.
Willie Krischke
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kevin Song
Jul 20, 2017 Kevin Song rated it did not like it
Greene....you need to tone it down with your flowery language. There were barely any instances with engaging plot shifts or noticeable character developments. This entire novel just drudged continuously and predictably with the same wistful, reminiscing tones and left no room for any other elements whatsoever. Extremely boring and dull, I found myself speed-reading purely for the sake of finishing.
Sarah
Sep 28, 2015 Sarah rated it liked it
Re-reading this, probably for third or fourth time. I am reading a 1976 Penguin paperback version, which I bought second hand in Brighton around 1983, as a student. I mention that as the book is old and worn, faintly tawdry as it has stills from the movie on the cover, and due to its age it is falling apart as I read it.

All of which is so in keeping with the novel itself, it is rather spooky. The book is about Anthony Farrant, trying to live the life he believes he is fitted for but failing, alb
...more
Kim
Jul 03, 2013 Kim rated it liked it
"England Made Me" is a novel by Graham Greene first published in 1935, it was republished as" The Shipwrecked" in 1953. I'm not sure why it was originally titled "England Made Me", and I have absolutely no idea why it was republished with the title "The Shipwrecked". Maybe if it had taken place in England or on a ship or a deserted island I'd get it, but it wasn't at any of these places, it took place in Stockholm, Sweden.

Now I have to figure out if I liked the book and the answer is, I don't kn
...more
SlowRain
Apr 07, 2013 SlowRain rated it liked it
Anthony, a habitual down-on-his-luck wanderer, is persuaded by his twin sister to move to Sweden and accept a job working for her wealthy employer, which he accepts. However, questionable as his character is, there are some things that even Anthony just won't be a part of.

While this was an earlier novel by Graham Greene, he had already found his voice by the time it was written. The narrative is smooth and thoughtful, and the characters are well-developed for the most part. It's not a thriller i
...more
Booklovers Melbourne
May 30, 2014 Booklovers Melbourne rated it really liked it
Also reviewed on http://bookloversmelbourne.blogspot.c...

Other than Brighton Rock, whilst at school, (in Brighton, coincidentally) I had never read any of Greene's work until I came across a handful of his novels for sale in Penguin format a few weeks ago.

First published in 1935, England Made Me, also published as "The Shipwrecked", was one of Greene's earlier works. It revolves around the relationship between Anthony Farrant and his twin sister Kate.

Anthony is a wastrel. A lost soul of middl
...more
Chloe
Feb 16, 2009 Chloe rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Diehard Greene fans
Shelves: fiction, 1001-list
The ties to one's homeland and the myriad different perceptions of "home" form the theme of this early Graham Greene novel. Anthony Farrant is a ne'er-do-well who has left a string of abandoned jobs and broken relationships behind him as he has worked his way around the globe. When his mistress leaves him and he's sacked from his job once more, his twin sister Kate shows up to whisk him away to Stockholm where she serves as the secretary/mistress of Krogh, a powerful titan of industry who is eng ...more
Axel Ainglish
Dec 14, 2014 Axel Ainglish rated it really liked it
It is a splendid book.And more if You think it was his first work. Sensitive and with plenty of beauty in the scenaries and well depicted main characters. A story of love and friendship settled in the old days (meaning e.g. the fifties)where ethics intervene reassuring the reader about how things must be. Highly recommendable for all sort of people. Is not easy not to be moved by a so touching story and way of writing. One would like to be as the main character.Although appearing this one as a b ...more
Tony
Oct 10, 2015 Tony rated it really liked it
ENGLAND MADE ME. (1935). Graham Greene. ****.
This is one of Greene’s lesser-known novels, written just before his first ‘entertainment’ novels, “Stamboul Train.” It tells the story of Anthony Farrant, a neer-do-well man of the world who doesn’t seem to be able to hold onto a job. On his travels, he stops to visit his sister in Sweden. She works as a confidential secretary for an industrialist who is one of the wealthiest men in the world. There are strong hints that the relationship between brot
...more
Dane Cobain
Jun 21, 2015 Dane Cobain rated it really liked it
I’ve never been too taken by this novel, although the story-line is reasonably good and the characterisation is great in some places, as with the character of Minty, a down-trodden journalist who must’ve reminded Greene of some of his contemporaries, if he wasn’t based on a real person to begin with.

I’m not too sure what I can say – it was alright, and that’s all, an uninspiring novel that sticks out like a sore thumb against such books as The Quiet American, The Heart of the Matter and Our Man
...more
Raj
Feb 21, 2010 Raj rated it it was ok
Anthony Farrant is a loner who jumps from country to country getting and being fired from jobs. His twin sister Kate gets him a job as a bodyguard to her lover, a rich Swedish industrialist which goes okay until Farrant discovers something about his new boss that offends his sense of decency.

I really didn't get this novel. None of the characters were particularly likeable, it wandered a lot and didn't hold my attention particularly well. I think this may be because it was particularly character-
...more
Russio
Jul 23, 2011 Russio rated it liked it
The blurb calls it - not the best Greene but one with some splendid use of metaphor. Spot on really. An incestuous seeming pair of twins tied up in some intrigue in Stockholm - a little "Third Man"-esque in places,lots of unattributed overlapping speech and narrative musings from any character given the lead in a particular chapter. At its best with the main protagonist Anthony in the lead.

It dwells on relativity - not in an Einstein sense but in the senseof how people obsess about their own ra
...more
Kevin
Jun 10, 2013 Kevin rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Calzean
An early Greene novel but one that has aged well. The way Greene gets to the soul of his characters is simply enjoyable.

The story of twins - Kate has stamina, loyalty and a desire to be associated with power and money, her brother Anthony has the desire for money but is a selfish conman who cannot hold a job. Kate introduces her brother to Krogh, her employer and lover, who is also the richest man in Europe. Anthony and Krogh hit it off - they have lots in common - they are both care little abou
...more
Joseph
Feb 24, 2014 Joseph rated it liked it
Shelves: literature
interesting book by Greene, one of his earliest. stylistically, i did not expect this Joycean attempt at stream of consciousness, or whatever. once i got into the rhythm of the book, it was fine, but the first instance of it was jarring.

many of the reviewers have reviewed the plot, so i won't. i do, however, think the book is about unrequited love and its consequences for some people. the ending was not expected, although there were plenty of foreshadowings in the pages preceding the final chapt
...more
Kirsten
Dec 25, 2012 Kirsten rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Very good. I can see the same approaches, character types and stylistic tones coming out in this as in Brighton Rock (the only other Greene I have read so far). Dark, lonely and desolate; I like the way the damp, the mist and the surrounding water in Stockholm infiltrates everything and enhances the novel's mood. It wasn't mind-blowingly excellent, but I loved the couple relationships: of the twin brother and sister, of Krogh and his old-friend-now-hired-muscle Hall, and that of Anna and Krogh. ...more
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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 Ca
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“He had always despised people who thought about the past. To live was to leave behind; to be as free as a shipwrecked man who has lost everything.” 4 likes
“Not so bad this ending because one is getting used to endings: life like Morse, a series of dots and dashes, never forming a paragraph.” 3 likes
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