Graham Greene is one of my favorite authors, and he should be one of yours as well. In order to convince you of this I came up with this list of why you should be reading his work:
The settings- The settings of the majority of Greene’s novels are exotic, Cuba, Haiti, South America, Mexico, Vietnam and unnamed African countries among others. Not only are the locations exotic but there is always something in the setting that further complicates even everyday life in an already difficult place. Dictators, religious repression, diamond smuggling, and wars are some of the problems that Greene’s protagonists face.
The themes- Religion, war, marital infidelity, smuggling, injustice, government oppression, diplomacy, espionage, suicide, murder, sexuality, politics, colonialism, alcoholism and of course love. What else could you want?
His books made people angry- As a general rule, if you are making lots of people angry then you are probably doing something well, especially in the realm of the arts. Greene found himself the object of a propaganda campaign in Haiti by Francois Duvalier because of The Comedians, he drew criticism from Catholics because of his portrayal of priests, and he was criticized by Americans for his views on the Vietnam War and communism among other things. Greene often returned the criticism of America, and I think it is important that we as Americans read works that are not always favorable to the status quo of our own country. If a book ruffles a lot of feathers, you should make an effort to read it.
Because of Greene’s depiction of man- William Golding (author of The Lord of The Flies) once described Greene as, “the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety.” This is ultimately why you should read Graham Greene’s work. The male characters in his books are strong and offer great insights to us as men now. This is not to say that they are to be emulated, but rather that Greene writes about both the good and bad of the male psyche. You will find yourself relating to these male characters, sometimes more than you want to, but nonetheless there is a lot to learn.
For further information on Greene click here, and for a list of Greene’s complete works on Amazon click here. Read and enjoy, and please do not send complaints when you find yourself with the unending desire to move to the farthest reaches of the earth.