Patricia's Reviews > The Ministry of Fear

The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene
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's review
Jan 22, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: existential-fiction
Read in January, 2008

The Ministry of Fear was published in 1943. Between the fantastic background of dropping bombs, some of the odd-sounding terminology of London in the '40's, and the starkness of the novel, I was constantly trying to make sense of the main character, Arthur Rowe's situation in the novel. It is certainly a "noir" novel in which the unsuspecting character stumbles upon a dangerous secret when he wins a cake at a fete or fair. His fate worsens when he is framed for murder by a small undercover group who know about the cake. And Rowe is not blameless, either. He suffers from guilt pangs from a mercy killing of his wife awhile before he finds himself with the cursed cake.
As usual, I admire Graham Greene's ability to set a moral situation for his character in which the character may consider and suffer over the alternatives, and eventually choose a path which is irreversible--very much like the "human situation"--which is why Graham Greene continues to be my favorite author of all authors.

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