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The Third Man by Graham Greene
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The Third Man

by Graham Greene

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,570447,149 (3.77)177
  1. 30
    The Thirty-Nine Steps by John Buchan (chrisharpe)
  2. 00
    Utz by Bruce Chatwin (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: Bruce Chatwin's tribute to Greene, it follows a similar plot.
  3. 00
    How to Talk About Books You Haven't Read by Pierre Bayard (Queenofcups)
    Queenofcups: Bayard treats Greene's book discussion group scene in this very amusing little book.
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» See also 177 mentions

English (30)  Spanish (6)  German (3)  French (1)  Danish (1)  Dutch (1)  Catalan (1)  All languages (43)
Showing 1-5 of 30 (next | show all)
Not really a novel per se according to him. Not as meaty as The power and the Glory or Our Man In Havana. ( )
  soraxtm | Jun 18, 2019 |
This was great on audio, narrated by Martin Jarvis. I have the special Kindle edition that has clips and stills from the film inserted into the text, and I followed along with that. When I finished up, I watched the film again, and it was full of fabulous. I had not realized that Greene was asked to write a screenplay specifically set in post WWII Vienna. He said he needed to write a novella first in order to flesh out the characters, so that is what he did. When they filmed it, they changed some major things, but Greene was a part of all the discussion. He and the director disagreed on the ending, so the book has a completely different ending than the film. When Greene saw the finished film, he said that the director was right, and that the film has the stronger ending. ( )
  Crazymamie | Jan 18, 2019 |
This must be a first - the film was better than the book.

Written as a basis for a screen play it lacks depth. Green explains the reason for the book in the preface.
"The Third Man was never written to be read but only to be seen."
"To me it is almost impossible to write a film play without first writing a story. Even a film depends on more than plot, on a certain measure of characterization, on mood and atmosphere; and these seem to me almost impossible to capture for the first time in the dull shorthand of a script. One can reproduce an effect caught in another medium, but one cannot make the first act of creation in script form. One must have the sense of more material than one needs to draw on. The Third Man, therefore, though never intended for publication, had to start as a story before those apparently interminable transformations from one treatment to another."

I had no empathy for any of the characters.
It did however make me want to view the film again. ( )
  Robert3167 | Feb 23, 2018 |
My second TBR Takedown book was a goodie. Graham Greene's The Third Man which he wrote for a screen play. I had the kindle version which included photo's, copies of writer's notes for the film and video segments of the film.

It starts off in February, in Vienna. I didn't realize that Vienna was divided into sections for English, American, French and Russian. It is a postwar, crime story. Harry Lime is dead and Rollo Martin, Western story writer, has come to Vienna to see his friend in time to attend the funeral.

Graham Greene tells us in the beginning of the story that the movie is better, that he wrote the story to help guide him in helping with the film production. The film was produced by Carol Reed. It stars Joseph Cotten, Valli, Orson Welles, and Trevor Howard. The atmospheric use of black-and-white expressionist cinematography by Robert Krasker, with harsh lighting and distorted "Dutch angle" camera technique, is a major feature of The Third Man. Combined with the iconic theme music, seedy locations and acclaimed performances from the cast, the style evokes the atmosphere of an exhausted, cynical, post-war Vienna at the start of the Cold War. (Very apt description by Wikipedia).

Some points from the book. The main character besides Harry Lime the dead guy is Rollo Martin. Rollo is impetuous and Martin is thoughtful so Rollo Martin is a some of each. Martin has learned that he shouldn't mix his drinks (Rollo tends to have several women on the string) and Martin has decided that he shouldn't mix his drinks anymore. Other parts that I come to expect include the occasional Catholic reference.

Achievements: Guardian 1000 (Crime), 1001 Books You Must Read Before You Die (2006 Edition),
Top 100 Crime Novels of All Time - UK Crime Writers' Association (72). The Top 100 Mystery Novels of All Time Mystery Writers of America (48).

It was a quick read. Rating is a bit off as the film has corrupted my impression of the book. 4.2 ( )
  Kristelh | Feb 4, 2018 |
Rollo Martins has just arrived in post-war Vienna in time to learn that the friend who invited him, Harry Lime, has been killed in an accident and his funeral is that afternoon. Through his grief, Martins recognizes that there are an unusual number of strangers offering him money, a bed and help getting back home, but not a lot of believable information about the day Harry died. All these things make novelist Martins suspicious that Harry's death wasn't an accident.

A slim book, this noir story of espionage was written by Greene in order to give him a feel for his characters before writing the script for the movie of the same name. There are some changes between the two, but if you enjoyed the movie (which is why I bought this book), you'll enjoy reading what's going on inside Martins head as he slinks around looking for a killer. ( )
  mstrust | Feb 24, 2017 |
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» Add other authors (31 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Baldini, GabrieleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Burger, FritzTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jarvis, MartinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap, H.W.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
To Carol Reed in admiration and affection and in memory of so many early morning Vienna hours at Maxim's, the Casanova, the Oriental
First words
One never knows when the blow may fall.
Quotations
For the first time Rollo Martins looked back through the years without admiration, as he thought, He's never grown up. Marlowe's devils wore squids attached to their tails: evile was like Peter Pan--it carried with it the horrifying and horrible gift of eternal youth.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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This entry represents those editions containing only The Third Man. Please do not combine this work with editions that also contain other stories.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140286829, Paperback)

Rollo Martins' usual line is the writing of cheap paperback Westerns under the name of Buck Dexter. But when his old friend Harry Lime invites him to Vienna, he jumps at the chance. With exactly five pounds in his pocket, he arrives only just in time to make it to his friend's funeral. The victim of an apparently banal street accident, the late Mr. Lime, it seems, had been the focus of a criminal investigation, suspected of nothing less than being "the worst racketeer who ever made a dirty living in this city." Martins is determined to clear his friend's name, and begins an investigation of his own...

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:15:55 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Rollo Martins, invited to Vienna by his schoolmate and hero Harry Lime, arrives just in time to attend Lime's funeral, but when he learns his friend was the subject of a criminal investigation, Martins embarks on a quest to clear Lime's name.

» see all 5 descriptions

Legacy Library: Graham Greene

Graham Greene has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Graham Greene's legacy profile.

See Graham Greene's author page.

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