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England Made Me

3.43  ·  Rating details ·  1,101 ratings  ·  92 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, 208 pages
Published July 30th 1981 by Penguin Books (first published 1935)
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Average rating 3.43  · 
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 ·  1,101 ratings  ·  92 reviews

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May 04, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Apr 10, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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
Matthew Appleton
79th book of 2020.

This is a slightly odd book by Greene: head-hopping perspective, an odd plot (a bodyguard in Stockholm), some strange incestuous undertones between the brother and sister characters... Though I can't fault Greene's writing (I never would), I certainly think this is a lesser work of his. But, as his entertainments say on the tin, entertaining nonetheless. And, another Greene ticked off.
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
Mar 29, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: graham-greene
A story about Anthony Tarrant and his two sister Kate. Tony is a failure albeit a charming one who never sticks at anything. He has been dismissed from jobs around the world due to his way of corrupting the staff. His sister Kate gets him a job in Stockholm with her lover Krogh a millionaire Swedish industrialist.

The story follows Tony in Stockholm’s Krogh’s bodyguard. We meet the distasteful Minty a journalist and in the background a sycophant and worshipper of Krogh and who will do anything f
Dan Pecchenino
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
Oct 24, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The past is literally another country in this early brilliantly wrought, melancholic, almost elegiac novel by the one and only Graham Greene. "England Made Me" begins with an unusual epigram, a line from a Walt Disney classic (back in those days when Disney used to make classics instead of cashing in to pointless remakes, as they do now) - "All the world owes me a living" and while that seems initially true for only one of the novel's compellingly etched protagonists (for how could there be any ...more
Monty Milne
This is only my second Greene, after “The Honorary Consul”, and although I enjoyed that, this left me distinctly underwhelmed. The Swedish setting could have been interesting but Sweden exists only to supply a bit of background – nearly all the characters are English – and that background is grey, wet and depressing. There were flashes of interest in some of the characters and occasionally in the plot, but….

None of the characters are likeable and the plot is so thin I sometimes got bored. Krogh
Axel Ainglish
Dec 14, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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 ...more
Jul 12, 2011 rated it it was ok
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,
Jul 16, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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.
Jul 31, 2020 rated it really liked it
England Made Me was the 5th novel by Graham Greene, originally published in 1935. Anthony Farrant comes back from lying and cheating his way through the Far East and Middle East, returning to meet his twin sister, Kate, who works for a Swedish businessman, Eric Krogh.

Anthony has grifted through his life, living from hand to mouth. His sister wants him to settle in Sweden, promising him a job with Krogh. Krogh is a crook himself, wheeling and dealing in stocks as he tries to advance his empire i
"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
Patrick McCoy
Dec 13, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Oct 15, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novel, greene-graham
I'm going to take a guess that the title "England Made Me" comes from the school song of Harrow. I won't Google it for this review, because I want to write this while these thoughts are still in my mind. Harrow comes up as a theme in this novel, even though it's set in a highly fictionalized Sweden.
Having read, over the last three and a half months, at least sixteen novels by Graham Greene, I can say that one of the main pleasures of reading him is seeing the variations he makes on his themes.
Sep 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
Surprisingly, I found out I first read this novel in 1974 and, vaguely, I sold it to the DASA Book Cafe some years ago and forgot to look at the last page in which, normally, I would write down the date read and time (presently) in pencil. For some reason, I've learned not to write in ink since, I think, all books I've bought and read are too precious to write, underline or scribble in ink.

Just imagine, time simply flies, I mean I read it some four decades ago and also went to watch the film in
Jan 23, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Another worthwhile Greene novel with three memorable characters. The plot is okay but it's the characters that are the essence of the novel. Anthony Farrant is 30, has travelled a lot, is charming, handsome, unreliable, lost a number of jobs and doesn't tell the truth. He meets up with his twin sister in Stockholm. Kate Farrant is intelligent, efficient, practical, who loves her brother Anthony.
She works for financier, millionaire, Erich Krogh. She is also Erich's girlfriend. Erich is a self-ma
Katie Grainger
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
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
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. ...more
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.
Jul 11, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book. This is a very wierd story, with a strange plot and structure. But its depression era setting and overarching theme - depression era stagnation, global finance, personal failure, incest, corporate corruption, changing mores and values - has I find a lot of surprising resonance today. It could also be the script of some 1960s existentialist French film. Not a master piece, but a little gem nonetheless.
Jan 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
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 hin
Sep 27, 2015 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
Jun 10, 2008 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
Dec 25, 2012 rated it really liked it
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
Sep 14, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Not my favourite, but to borrow the language of the time it's set in, it's "an improving book": among its other qualities, a thoughtful portrayal of enduring sibling loyalties. ...more
Jan 23, 2013 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. ...more
Willie Krischke
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"She might have been waiting for her lover." So opens Graham Greene's book, England Made Me, in a railway station cafe, where Kate Ferrant is expecting to meet her twin brother Anthony. She intends to persuade her boss, Swedish industrialist Erik Krogh, to give a job to the feckless twin, who is unable to "open his mouth without lying."

Krogh employs Anthony as his bodyguard as he secretively works to ensure the success of his business expansion. The Swede's greed leads him to practise insider-tr
Jamie Barringer (Ravenmount)
In this book, Anthony moves to Sweden to work at his sister's boyfriend's company, just before the economic collapse of the Great Depression. Kate's boyfriend Kris is a big business tycoon, very rich, very powerful, and unmindful of his power. Anthony becomes a bodyguard for Kris, and seeks to influence Kris to dress better and do things he enjoys, not just things he feels he has to do in order to maintain appearances. Anthony has made a reputation for himself as a sort of drifter, and Kate take ...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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