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مامور معتمد

3.64 of 5 stars 3.64  ·  rating details  ·  923 ratings  ·  71 reviews
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. 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 ...more
Paperback, 317 pages
Published December 2001 by نیلوفر (first published 1939)
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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 ...more
Jan 03, 2014 Trevor rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Everyone
Shelves: 2013-summer
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
Review first published on BookLikes:

"The gulls swept over Dover. They sailed out like flakes of the fog, and tacked back towards the hidden town, while the siren mourned with them: other ships replied, a whole wake lifted up their voices – for whose death?"

So begins the story of D.

D. is an agent - a confidential agent - who is sent to England on a mission. Having arrived in Dover, nothing goes to plan and D. is soon pitched against another agent (L.).

Steve Greenleaf
In 1938, Graham Greene was busy writing two novels. The better-known book became his classic, The Power and the Glory, about the Mexican whiskey priest. But Greene feared that The Power and the Glory would not sell, and he needed money to support his family. Therefore, in the mornings, he wrote one of his “entertainments”, The Confidential Agent. As an entertainment, The Confidential Agent qualifies as a thriller. It has a fast-moving plot, reversals of fortune, and plenty of action. In this re ...more
In the introduction of this book Graham Greene confessed that the book was written as an entertainment designed to appeal to enough people to leave his family financially secure in case he died in WWII and secondly that to get the energy to push it out while writing the power and the glory he consumed large quantities of amphetimines. This last fact answers an idle curiosity I never knew I had, but which has now become rather all consuming. What would ones favourite authors produce if they inges ...more
D is a confidential agent, a poor intellectual, who has come to post-war England to make a coal deal for the government of his unspecified Eastern European country. On the boat he sees L, an upper-class confidential agent charged with the same mission and working for the rebels. D's country is at civil war and the deal is vital to both sides to win the conflict. L does everything in his power to stop D and is aided by D's constant bad luck as he encounters various British officials and members o ...more
A friend of mine was being the "Christmas Culture Fairy" when she gave me this book for Christmas. Sadly I have never read Greene before and this book was written in the 30s. In my experience the language of many classics written pre 1950 has badly dated. However I am happy to report that in the case of 'The Confidential Agent' that is not the case.

This is an excellent book with a great plot that the narrative drives along at a wonderfully fast pace.It also has a rather nice twist at the end too
There's no denying this was an enjoyable read - I finished it in one sitting. Greene's portrayal of D's struggle to find something worth fighting for, to find some goodness in a crooked world, made good what would otherwise have been a fairly by-the-numbers thriller. The rarity and beauty of trust is the major theme. Despite the prevailing miasma of distrust, through two choice relationships with young women, D.'s spinning moral compass is focused on what is good.

While the greatest book's streng
I don't remember now whether The Power And The Glory was the first Greene novel I read - it might have been The Third Man or Our Man in Havana. I mention this because The Confidential Agent was written in parallel with The Power And The Glory, working on one each morning, and switching to the other in the afternoon. An unusual writing regime. One might have expected that the novels would turn out to be very similar, but had I not known the publication dates and read Greene's Introduction where h ...more
Graham Greene writes about the unsaleability of a book called "The Power and the Glory". So he writes this book in the mornings, then writes the "serious" novel in the afternoons; whilst helping dig trenches on London's commons with the war looming. He takes benzedrine to keep him going. "The Confidential Agent" feels drug-fuelled. There's a fever to the adventure, a well-drawn set of characters leaping out of the shadows at each other, with the paranoid agent D. in the middle of the muddle. A b ...more
A solid early work by Greene, but I certainly wouldn't put it up there with other favorites of mine, namely The Quiet American or The Power and the Glory.

This book certainly contains the elements that make Greene's later, more controlled works as great as they are: a very human, very thoughtful protagonist; an engaging tale of intrigue and adventure; and more than a little humor mixed in for seasoning. Still, the whole doesn't come together quite a strongly as what Greene would write afterwards.
Bryn Hammond
I seemed to be keenest on those he subtitled 'An Entertainment'. The inside of this one explains, "in order to distinguish it from more serious work." Hey. I thought his entertainments were great.
The Confidential Agent is one of Greene’s early novels, and you can tell – in fact, the author himself was displeased with it that he wanted to publish it under a pseudonym, although it went on to get decent reviews. I can see why – it’s pretty good, on the upper side of average, and for any other writer would threaten to be one of their better novels. Sadly, the case is different for Greene – his output was of such a high quality that this is overshadowed by his best.

It might not be as memorabl
This was the third Greene book I have read, and while it wasn't as fantastic as Travels with My Aunt or Orient Express, it wasn't meant to be. Greene famously deprecated his genre fiction, among which The Confidential Agent certainly numbers.

He should have cut himself some slack. You would be hard pressed to find a more elegantly written spy novel: It's rare to find a page-turner whose prose can stop you cold.

Aside from the transcendent syntax, the subject matter is profound, more so now than
Felisa Rosa
Graham Greene really knew how to write a sentence, and this book is full of startlingly good ones. He also knew how to craft a scene, and this book has some funny ones. That said, for one of his "entertainments" (the books Greene wrote that he didn't consider serious literary works) this book could be more entertaining. It's kind of dreary and angst-ridden.
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.
Aug 02, 2007 Barbara rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: spy novel aficionados, shell shock survivors
beautiful prose, alienated single-initialed deeply moral protagonist, 1930's cloak-and-dagger action, insights about the effects of war on the psyche.
Anthony Panegyres
A former lecturer in romance languages, D is now a middle-aged confidential agent of the Left, who is in England attempting to secure coal for his side in his unnamed wore-torn home country (which contextually corresponds with Spain). An enemy agent, L, is already in England to perform the same task for what is depicted as the morally bankrupt Right.

The moment the widowed D steps off at the station he chances to meet the daughter of the coal magnate he is required to see. Despite their age gap,
Stephen Gallup
D. is on a special mission to England from a country that's in the throes of civil war to buy desperately-needed coal for his faction and to ensure that his opponent, L., does not succeed at the same task. Throughout the story, L. appears to have the situation well in hand while D. is the underdog, distrusted even by his own people and making such dismal progress that their suspicion is understandable.

There are points at which I can see that this must have been source material for Ian Fleming wh
Earlier in the year, while traveling in Chiapas, Mexico, I read Graham Greene’s The Power and The Glory—a deeply moving book, but also one of the most depressing I’d ever read. I said to myself, “Well—that’s enough Graham Greene.” Then I watched one of my favorite movies of all time, The Third Man, starring Orson Wells; the story was from a Graham Greene book and I decided to give the author another go. I noticed that he had written two kinds of books: those he called novels, and some he called ...more
John Defrog
Spy thriller in which an agent known only as D. – who is on the loyalist side of a brutal civil war in his home country – is on a secret mission to England to purchase coal. Things start to go wrong before he can even get off the ship, where he spots rival agent L. apparently out to stop the deal from happening. Before long D. has been beaten up, shot at, robbed and framed for murder. Greene wrote the novel in six weeks whilst on speed, and in many ways it shows – partly from the number of compl ...more
بهمن بهمن
گراهام گرين در دوم اكتبر 1904 به دنيا آمد. او چهارمين فرزند از شش فرزندي بودكه «چارلز هنري» و «ماريون» گرين داشتند. پدر وي چارلز هنري گرين رئيس مدرسه «برك همستند»[1:] بود. برادرش «هيو» تا مدير كلي شبكة‌بي‌بي‌سي ترقي كرد. برادر ديگرش «ريموند» يكي از كوهنوردان مشهوري بود كه توانست در سال 1933 قلة اورست را فتح كند.

گرين در مدرسة پدرش و سپس در آكسفورد تحصيل كرد. وي نوشتن را از مجلات دانش‌آموزي آغاز كرد. اولين مجموعة شعر وي به نام «آوريل سرايي»[2:] در سال آخر حضورش در آكسفورد به چاپ رسيد پس از فارغ‌ال
David B
A former university professor attempts to secure British coal for his government, which is enmeshed in civil war. He must contend with both the enemy and untrustworthy agents on his own side. Graham Greene presents an unlikely, introspective hero who pursues his goal doggedly out of duty rather than passionate ideology. Shell-shocked and traumatized by his war experiences, his emotions and sense of outrage gradually begin to stir as he witnesses the human cost of his own mission.
Great, gripping tale of a 'confidential agent' on a mission in 'safe, secure, complacent' post-war Britain, where he tries to negotiate a coal contract on behalf of one side in a civil war in an unspecified country on the continent. To everyone's disbelief and astonishment, D is tailed by the opposing side, set upon by conspirators, shot at, and ultimately arrested for a murder which he didn't commit.
The mild, implacable immeasurably courteous agent then becomes the hunter instead of the hunted.
* * 1/2

This is probably my least favourite of Greene's "entertainments", but I'm not sure how much of it can be chalked up to the book and how much of it is a lack of engagement on my part. The plot is promising: a university lecturer from a civil-war-torn country is sent to England to negotiate a coal deal, but along the way he becomes a wanted man, racking up charges that include the possession of a false passport, theft, and even murder. However, I felt rather detached from the proceedings, p
Adam  McPhee
Read this because I heard the protagonist is supposed to be a professor concerned with The Song of Roland, one of my favourites. There's not much of it in the book, though. There's an interesting premise and I like that the spy is permanently broke and is always looked down on by the snooty British as a foreigner. Makes for a contrast to the sort of thing you expect from a spy novel after Ian Fleming. On the other hand, the action is boring and none of the secondary characters feel real enough f ...more
Patrick McCoy

The Confidential Agent (1939) is the final work of fiction by Graham Greene that I have read. After this I plan to read his autobiographies, however, this is what Green considered one of his entertainments, written for money. Even when Green writes for money the result is a literary spy novel about D., a confidential agent from an unnamed country (I suspect it is Spain) to buy coal from neutral England in the midst of a civil war. D. is a former lecturer in French literature who is known for hav
D. is the agent of a European government embroiled in a civil war in the 1930's (I guess Spain), he has come to England on Mission to buy coal, vital to his government's survival.
England appears to be a safe haven, however D. brings the violence and treachery of civil war with him, infecting all those he comes into contact with.
All the citizens of the unnamed European country are referred to only by an initial, adding to the feeling of uncertainty, who is on which side, who can be trusted?
Seamus Mcduff
Classic GG 'Entertainment', closer to The Third Man and Brighton Rock than The End of the Affair and The Quiet American.
Intelligent thriller with nice observational writing and some high-brow humour. The early 20-century Englishness alone is the worth the price of admission alone.
From the last page;

"Graham Greene was born in 1904 and educated at Berkhamsted School, where his father was the headmaster. On coming down from Balliol College, Oxford, where he published a book of verse, he worked for four years as a sub-editor on The Times. He established his reputation with his fourth novel Stamboul Train, which he classed as “entertainment” in order to distinguish it from more serious work. In 1933 he made a journey across Liberia, described in Journey Without Maps, and on h
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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
More about Graham Greene...
The Quiet American The End of the Affair The Power and the Glory The Heart of the Matter Our Man in Havana

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“The soap-box orators talked in the bitter cold at Marble Arch with their mackintoshes turned up around their Adam's apples, and all down the road the cad cars waited for the right easy girls, and the cheap prostitutes sat hopelessly in the shadows, and the blackmailers kept an eye open on the grass where the deeds of darkness were quietly and unsatisfactorily accomplished.” 1 likes
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