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

by Graham Greene

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4,783None967 (3.94)265
Member:Philippe_Nollet
Title:De stille Amerikaan
Authors:Graham Greene
Info:Amsterdam Bakker 1978
Collections: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

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The Quiet American by Graham Greene (1955)

1001 (35) 1001 books (35) 1950s (22) 20th century (82) Asia (32) British (64) British fiction (33) British literature (59) classic (60) classics (46) Cold War (22) colonialism (44) English (35) English literature (66) espionage (53) fiction (769) Graham Greene (37) Greene (27) historical fiction (26) Indochina (24) literature (132) novel (169) politics (25) read (62) spy (23) to-read (55) unread (36) Vietnam (308) Vietnam War (60) war (92)
  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
    Getting to Know the General by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  3. 10
    A Burnt-Out Case by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  4. 00
    The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene (Sandydog1)
    Sandydog1: Equally moving, and I think it shares top honors for Greene's best.
  5. 00
    Doctor Fischer of Geneva, or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
  6. 00
    The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad (thecoroner)
  7. 01
    Killing Fields by Christopher Hudson (John_Vaughan)
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» See also 265 mentions

English (83)  Spanish (2)  Italian (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (89)
Showing 1-5 of 83 (next | show all)
What I most respect Graham Greene for is his complex views on sexual relationships. There is none of the screaming drama found in modern writing. No one stomps off in a fit of wall punching, or turns to ridiculous mind games. In The Quiet American, the young and idealist Pyle tells the jaded married British Fowler that he is in love with his mistress. They go on to have an adult friendship despite contending for the same woman. It is so refreshing to read. ( )
  juliettehendrikx | Mar 26, 2014 |
I've been reading a bunch of Coetzee lately, and, finally done with that, picked up this one as a palate cleanser. Consider my palate clean: beautiful writing, fabulous and well thought out plot, critical without being preachy, better than the movie. Why don't more people write books like this? Why didn't Graham Greene? (compare the dreck that is 'The Captain and the Enemy,' or 'England Made Me'). I guess it's actually pretty hard to write a good book.
The ending is great, too. It's 'happy,' but in a way which is far more soul-crushingly depressing than any sad ending could ever be. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
Graham Greene's 1955 novel, "The Quiet American," has been adapted to film twice, first in 1958 and again in 2002. The story follows Fowler, a British journalist, Phuong, his Vietnamese mistress, and Pyle, an American attache to the Economic Mission. The love triangle between the three represents the conflicting interests of the old colonial powers and American regarding Vietnam. The book uses the literary device of flashback to portray Fowler eventually losing his acceptance of Pyle's naïveté, which in turn forces Fowler to finally take a side. Greene's novel demonstrates excellent foresight of the impending Vietnam War. ( )
  DarthDeverell | Nov 4, 2013 |
From: Linus's Blanket.
Graham Greene’s The Quiet American has been sitting on my shelf for a good long while, and this year’s resolve to read more freely has finally gifted me with the opportunity to take it down off the shelf. Its intriguing beginning introduces Thomas Fowler, an English journalist in Saigon covering the Vietnam War, as he waits for his dinner guest and romantic rival, Alden Pyle, a young and idealistic American operative. Pyle never shows and when Fowler is picked up by the police for questioning, it is revealed that he’s been murdered. The rest of the story unfolds in a weave of flashback and present day, before the United States formerly enters the war.

One of the things that was most fascinating about reading The Quiet American was its pointed bias in examining the rise of the United States as a powerful contender on the world scene, brashly testing its limits in establishing governments and influencing international politics that it understands in purely textbooks terms. Fowler’s justifications and beliefs are thoroughly examined while Pyle’s remain vague and when they are apparent, gauche. As a man, and as a stand in-in for the US, he is clearly green, idealistic, bumbling and dangerous. Green writes a compelling novel that is deftly paced, and a page-turner in its own beautiful and understated way. Pyle’s mysterious dealings, and Fowler’s involvement in his demise haunts the spare narrative. Both disturbing and enlightening, The Quiet American is a thought-provoking read and a worthwhile peek at how other countries and cultures view US Foreign Policy. Recommended. ( )
  daniellnic | Sep 25, 2013 |
This is not a book I feel or think very much about (of?). People are drawn in broad strokes--broad, brutal strokes. It's a screenplay, it's white guilt, it's fiction by a journalist. Do women write spy novels, and are they successful? ( )
  amelish | Sep 12, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 83 (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 (44 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caddell, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundblad, JaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheepmaker, H.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springer, KätheÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stingl, NikolausÜbersetzersecondary 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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:36:40 -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 3 descriptions

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