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De stille Amerikaan by Graham Greene
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De stille Amerikaan (original 1955; edition 1978)

by Graham Greene

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
5,226105849 (3.94)341
Member:Philippe_Nollet
Title:De stille Amerikaan
Authors:Graham Greene
Info:Amsterdam Bakker 1978
Collections:Literatuur, Your library
Rating:***1/2
Tags:1001 boeken, 20e eeuw, Azië, Brits, Britse literatuur, Klassieker, Koude Oorlog, Kolonialisme, spionage, Fictie, Graham Greene, Historische fictie, Indochina, Literatuur, Roman, Politiek, Vietnam, Vietnamoorlog, Oorlog

Work details

The Quiet American by Graham Greene (1955)

  1. 70
    Heart of Darkness by Joseph Conrad (browner56)
    browner56: Powerful, suspenseful fictional accounts of the intended and unintended consequences of colonial rule
  2. 10
    Doctor Fischer of Geneva, or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  3. 10
    The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Equally moving, and I think it shares top honors for Greene's best.
  4. 10
    Getting to Know the General by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  5. 10
    A Burnt-Out Case by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  6. 00
    The Secret Agent: A Simple Tale by Joseph Conrad (thecoroner)
  7. 00
    Zero Hour in Phnom Penh by Christopher G. Moore (JuliaMaria)
    JuliaMaria: Schauplatz beider Romane ist Südostasien. Spannung. Grausamkeit der herrschenden Gewalt.
  8. 01
    Killing Fields by Christopher Hudson (John_Vaughan)
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» See also 341 mentions

English (98)  Spanish (2)  Dutch (2)  Italian (1)  Swedish (1)  German (1)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (106)
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
A fairly good story about a British journalist, his young Vietnamese girlfriend, and the new kid in town, an American, in 1950's Vietnam. Intrigue and a love triangle. ( )
  br77rino | Feb 12, 2016 |
Provides some insight into how America would become tragically involved in Vietnam. When we look in the mirror that Greene provides us, we see the senselessness of trying to project our own ideas about governance on another country. ( )
1 vote dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Graham Greene was such a great story-teller. [The Quiet American] is a short novel, set in Saigon in the early 1950s, depicting the death of an idealistic young American attached to the U.S. Embassy. The narrator is Thomas Fowler, a veteran British journalist who has been covering the First Indochina War. Fowler is living with a 20-year-old Vietnamese former dance-hall girl named Phuong. He'd marry the girl if his wife back in England would grant him a divorce (but she won't).

By chance, Fowler meets Alden Pyle, ostensibly an embassy aide, recently graduated from college and just arrived from the U.S., eager to find "the third force" and enable it to defeat the warring factions. The concept of "the third force" is the chimera of an academic who's never been to Vietnam, never engaged with conflicting communities, never identified an actual third force. It's just unproven theory. Though Fowler tries, he isn't able to persuade Pyle the idea is nonsense. As time goes on, Fowler sees evidence of Pyle's meddlesome activities, including a bicycle bomb detonated in a busy public square that kills and maims innocents.

To make matters more personal for Fowler, Pyle has proposed to Phuong and won her away.

One evening, Pyle's corpse is fished from a canal. French authorities investigating the death suspect Fowler knows more than he tells them.

The story was inspired by conversations Greene, then a war correspondent, had with an American aid worker (really a CIA agent) in French Indochina in 1951. Greene felt he was being lectured on finding a third force in Vietnam. At the time [The Quiet American] was published (1955) it was widely reviled in the U.S. as anti-American. Sixty years later, it seems quite prescient.
1 vote weird_O | Jan 22, 2016 |
The Quiet American provides an interesting perspective of Vietnam during the decline of the French presence in Indochina. It is a thriller, a romance and a political statement with rich character development, depth of plot, and vivid description of locales. The novel easily holds one's attention throughout the book's short length. I would highly recommend it as I would classify it as Graham Greene's masterpiece. ( )
1 vote eadieburke | Jan 19, 2016 |
I tried three times to read this book but I just didn't like it. I know many others say it's a great book and I'm sure that it's more about me than the book. I got halfway through before I threw in the towel. It's been a long time since I gave up on a book. I really do wish I liked it more. ( )
  Charlie-Ravioli | Jan 18, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 98 (next | show all)
Easily, with long-practiced and even astonishing skill, speaking with the voice of a British reporter who is forced, despite himself, toward political action and commitment, Greene tells a complex but compelling story of intrigue and counter-intrigue, bombing and murder. Into it is mixed the rivalry of two white men for a Vietnamese girl. These elements are all subordinate to the political thesis which they dramatize and which is stated baldly and explicitly throughout the book.
 
There are many natural storytellers in English literature, but what was rare about Greene was the control he wielded over his abundant material. Certainly one can imagine nobody who could better weave the complicated threads of war-torn Indochina into a novel as linear, as thematically compact and as enjoyable as The Quiet American
 

» Add other authors (43 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caddell, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorra, MichaelSuggestions for Further Readingsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundblad, JaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheepmaker, H.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springer, KätheÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stingl, NikolausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valja, JiøíTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
This is the patent age of new inventions
For killing bodies, and for saving souls,
All propagated with the best intentions. -- Byron ---
I do not like being moved; for the will is excited, and action
Is a most dangerous thing; I tremble for something factitious,
Some malpractice of heart and illegitimate process;
We're so prone to these things, with our terrible notions of duty. -- A. H. Clough
Dedication
First words
After dinner I sat and waited for Pyle in my room over the rue Catinat; he had said, ‘I’ll be with you at latest by ten,’ and when midnight struck I couldn’t stay quiet any longer and went down into the street.
Quotations
innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (2)

Book description
While the French Army in Indo-China is grappling with the Vietminh, back in Saigon a young and high-minded American named Pyle begins to channel economic aid to a "Third Force."

Caught between French colonialists and the Vietminh, Fowler, the narrator and seasoned foreign correspondent, observes: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused." As young Pyle's policies blunder on into bloodshed, the older man finds it impossible to stand aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and to himself: for Pyle has robbed him of his Vietnamese mistress.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0143039024, Paperback)

"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.

As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.

Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet American remains a terrifiying and prescient portrait of innocence at large. This Graham Greene Centennial Edition includes a new introductory essay by Robert Stone.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:35 -0400)

(see all 8 descriptions)

This novel is a study of New World hope and innocence set in an Old World of violence. The scene is Saigon in the violent years when the French were desperately trying to hold their footing in the Far East. The principal characters are a skeptical British journalist, his attractive Vietnamese mistress, and an eager young American sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 6 descriptions

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