The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group discussion

93 views
Summer 2010 Theme Read > The Third Man - Graham Greene

Comments (showing 1-6 of 6) (6 new)    post a comment »
dateDown arrow    newest »

message 1: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2087 comments Mod
The Third Man by Graham Greene

The Third Man by Graham Greene

From Steve’s nomination, “Some years ago I was living in Southern Germany but made an concerted effort to get to Vienna just so I could walk the same narrow and winding cobblestoned old town streets. In the story these streets are also strewn with postwar rubble, of course, which contributed to the noir look and feel, but I could still imagine it. Of course a big draw was also the Riesenrad, that giant ferris wheel in the Prater amusement grounds which is still there today. I rode in the very same (or at least I imagined) gondolas as the cynical Harry Lime.

I'm starting to praise the movie too much, but my point is a book by one of my favorite writers made it all possible. The book was good, though this is one of those few examples where perhaps the film was better.

Other locations include (East) Berlin and East Germany (which I travelled into as the Wall came down) for too many spy novels to count, but since I can only nominate one book, The Third Man will have to be it.”


message 2: by Steve (new)

Steve Anderson | 87 comments I hope everyone enjoys the read. You can always (re)watch the great movie, but only after reading ;)

Steve Anderson


message 3: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2087 comments Mod
Several years ago my husband and I were fortunate to be able to visit Vienna and one of the places we wanted to see was Prater Park. Our only opportunity was a rainy evening and the park was pretty empty but we walked around for a bit with my husband whistling the movie music, quite an experience.

Of course, Vienna has been restored but I could still see many of the places mentioned including the Sacher Hotel and St. Stephens Cathedral and the general atmosphere of winding cobblestone streets and small sidewalk cafes was still there. All in all it was a wonderful trip.

The copy of The Third Man that I read had an interesting Preface in which Graham Greene explained how he came to write The Third Man. He says it was not written to be read but only to be seen – as a movie. It seems Greene was asked to write a screenplay for another film for director Carol Reed following their successful collaboration on The Fallen Idol and he had the idea for the Harry Lime character but he felt that before he could write a screenplay for this new movie he had to write out the full story. That full story became the book, The Third Man.

This is the first time I’ve read The Third Man but having seen the movie I did know the story still it was a suspenseful and interesting read.

I will be watching the movie again soon.


message 4: by Hayes, Co-Moderator (new)

Hayes (Hayes13) | 2063 comments Mod
He says it was not written to be read but only to be seen – as a movie. ... but he felt that before he could write a screenplay for this new movie he had to write out the full story. That full story became the book, The Third Man.

Interesting this bit, thanks for sharing that. I've had this impression so many times, that books I have read were never meant to be books but only movies. The Reader and Everything is Illuminated come to mind immediately; I know there are others.

I saw this film so many years ago during a film class while at grad school. I must see it again. And as I live so close it really is a shame that I have never been to Vienna. Must correct that too.


message 5: by Steve (new)

Steve Anderson | 87 comments Hi all,

In regards to The Third Man, I thought you might be interested in this NYT article about Vienna still being the den of spies it's been for centuries: http://tinyurl.com/2bvsql5

Steve Anderson


message 6: by Donna, Co-Moderator (new)

Donna | 2087 comments Mod
Yes, The Third Man came to mind again as I watched the news and saw the "transfer" at the Vienna airport.

On a funny note, the American plane left the US from Dulles airport which is about 10 miles from Vienna - Virginia.


back to top

19126

The Mystery, Crime, and Thriller Group

unread topics | mark unread


Books mentioned in this topic

The Third Man (other topics)

Authors mentioned in this topic

Graham Greene (other topics)
Steve Anderson (other topics)