Yooperprof's Reviews > The Quiet American

The Quiet American by Graham Greene
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Aug 18, 08

bookshelves: imperialism, britain, usa
Read in July, 2008

I didn't like this as much as my other excursions into "Greene-land." It's certainly a prescient novel, about Vietnam and the folly of American meddling in the world, published in 1955 (!). This was long before the adventures of the CIA and other US interventionists were fully known - in places like Guatemala and Iran and Congo. But "Quiet" wants to be more than just a political tract; Greene also wants it to be a character study AND a faith novel, like "The Power and the Glory." There's too much going on in only 180 pages, and Greene has too many axes to grind to get them all sharp. Moreover, the eponymous character is too much of a straw man to be credible; Graham Greene wants so badly to make his point about the wrong-ness of the United States that he doesn't bother to flesh Pyle out. I liked the movie better!
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