John's Reviews > The Quiet American

The Quiet American by Graham Greene
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's review
Oct 31, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: novels
Read from October 31 to November 02, 2011


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John This was first published in 1955. The story takes place in 1952 in Viet Nam before the US was militarily involved. Before the French had given up. Greene has a French officer say, "Probably they will get together and agree to the same peace that we could have had at the beginning, making nonsense of all these years." But the US was already getting involved and "peace" wouldn't come for another 20 years. The 60,000 US lives lost was only a fraction of the cost to the US and we haven't learned a thing except to more carefully look away.

In 1968 I made a conscious decision not to go to Canada. I wonder, if I had read this book before that, if I would have made the same decision.

This is definitely one of Greene's novels not just an entertainment.

I saw the movie before I read the book and it was very good. Followed the story pretty closely and Michael Cain was a great Fowler (Thomas). But a movie couldn't capture the psychological and philosophical angst of the main character and could only parody the naiveté of Pyle. Still a good movie.

I recommend both.

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