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The End of the Affair
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Archive 2017 > October 2017: The End of the Affair (Spoilers)

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Phil Jensen | 73 comments This is the thread for when you're done reading.

I am technically the discussion leader, but I haven't even started the book yet. I am wrapping up an obscure Danish takeoff of Gulliver's Travels travels, and I aim to begin End of the Affair tomorrow.

End of the Affair is divided into five "books" (which seems a bit vainglorious for 160 pages). I aim to finish one per day, ending on Friday.


Nina | 449 comments I just finished the book. How is everyone else doing? Need to let it sink in a bit to clear my mind on what I actually think about it. I definitely enjoyed the read. It has a lot of interesting thoughts.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments I am about 60 pages in. Life intervened. Specifically, my 1 year-old smashed my reading lamp.

The emotions in Greene's writing connect to me on a deep level. This is one of those times that I feel like someone has been able to put my emotional states into words.


message 4: by Laurie (last edited Oct 16, 2017 09:22AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Laurie I just finished the book. I also feel like I am going to need to let this book sink in. It was a roller-coaster of emotions.

What stands out for me the most, was Maurice's jealously. How can one be so jealous and yet claim to love someone? The man was suffocating.

"There are times when a lover longs to be also a father and a brother, he is jealous of the years he hasn't shared" Really?

Like I said I just finished reading this book. I do know for certain, I need to read more of Graham Greene, his writing is moving.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments I took this book with me to see my dad in hospice over the weekend. The later portions of it were well timed. When a loved one dies, it's like they're taking part of you with them. I alternated between it and Psalms. I'm in the last 20 pages or so.


Phil Jensen | 73 comments Finished. My review:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

I have mixed feelings about it. I loved the beginning and the end. I'm wondering if it would appeal very much to non-Christians.


message 7: by Nina (last edited Nov 10, 2017 01:59AM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nina | 449 comments I am so sorry to hear about your father, Phil! Letting go of our loved ones is the most difficult thing to do in life.


I took some time to think about the book and my conclusions and opinion. Actually, let me rephrase this: I finished the book, wasn't quite sure what to think about it, decided to give it some time and thought before having an opinion, life went on and after some time I realized that I actually hadn't thought about it at all. Or, let's say, the book didn't stick with me. It didn't make me think about it any further. I enjoyed reading it, I liked the style, it was certainly an interesting study of this relationship but despite all this, it didn't resonate with me. I closed the book, started another one and it feels like I had read it a long time ago. So, my conclusion is that it is a good book but it's not so much for me. Maybe it's not the right time and at some future moment I'll reread it and it will strike a chord. Or maybe not. Anyways, I'm glad I finally got to read a Greene novel, thanks for suggesting, Phil.


message 8: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
Phil wrote: "Finished. My review:

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/2...

I have mixed feelings about it. I loved the beginning and the end. I'm wondering if it would ..."


Phil, I could not find your review.


message 9: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
I could say more in the review, but this should be sufficient: https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...


message 10: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
I did not like the narrator. He was mean and malicious. I could not understand why the woman loved Maurice. He was so insecure in their relationship. I could not understand why Maurice was so hateful to her and had her investigated after the affair ended.

I thought so many things were improbable including the husband and lover living together in harmony after the wife/lover dies.


message 11: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
Most of all, I found the steps to sainthood improbable for a woman who never actually became a Catholic. (Actually, I found the "miracles" so ridiculous I almost started laughing in the park.) What did others think about the religious angle?


message 12: by Phil (last edited Nov 10, 2017 01:45AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

Phil Jensen | 73 comments Here's my review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I linked it wrong the first time.

Emily, I read your review, and I my opinion is pretty similar to yours. I was more forgiving of the religious coincidences, though. Greene was making a point about the way that a receptive person will find cause for faith, and a skeptical person will remain skeptical. I thought he piled them on a little too high, but at least he was more restrained than Waugh in Brideshead Revisited: The Sacred and Profane Memories of Captain Charles Ryder.

This is the most overtly Catholic Greene book I have read. My all time favorite by him, The Power and the Glory, has a priest as a protagonist, but is more generally concerned with how you determine your value to society.

I was mostly okay with the unlikable main character, although he got a bit whiny at times. He epitomizes self-loathing, and most of his actions are driven by a desire to avoid thinking about himself. In a religious sense, he represents the sinful nature of people and the need for redemption.

As I mention in my review, the religious element was a little too pat for me. I enjoyed the human relationships more.


message 13: by Nina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nina | 449 comments Phil wrote: "Here's my review:

https://www.goodreads.com/review/show...

I linked it wrong the first time.

Emily, I read your review, and I my opinion is pret..."


'Greene was making a point about the way that a receptive person will find cause for faith, and a skeptical person will remain skeptical.'
That's an interesting point you're making, Phil. I entirely missed this point. And I'm happy to see you mentioning your favourite Greene. This was my first Greene and I was rather disappointed as I had high expectations from his books but I might give him a second chance. That being said: Emily, which is your favourite Greene?


message 14: by ☯Emily , moderator (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
Probably the best Greene book is The Quiet American, which is prophetic. He wrote it before the American involvement in Vietnam, but reading it now, you would think he wrote it after USA got involved. However, my favorite book is Our Man in Havana, which is a farce about the CIA bungling in Cuba.


message 15: by Nina (new) - rated it 4 stars

Nina | 449 comments ☯Emily wrote: "Probably the best Greene book is The Quiet American, which is prophetic. He wrote it before the American involvement in Vietnam, but reading it now, you would think he wrote it after US..."

Great recommendations, added to my TBR list, thanks, Emily!


message 16: by ☯Emily , moderator (last edited Nov 10, 2017 09:35AM) (new) - rated it 3 stars

☯Emily  Ginder | 772 comments Mod
Nina wrote: "☯Emily wrote: "Probably the best Greene book is The Quiet American, which is prophetic. He wrote it before the American involvement in Vietnam, but reading it now, you would think he wr..."

Actually Our Man in Havana is about a British spy agency, but I applied it to the CIA in my review. The issues discussed could well be applied to the CIA.


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