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England made me by Graham Greene
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England made me (original 1935; edition 1973)

by Graham Greene

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611815,963 (3.28)35
Member:baswood
Title:England made me
Authors:Graham Greene
Info:Harmondsworth : Penguin, 1973.
Collections:Your library
Rating:**1/2
Tags:None

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England Made Me by Graham Greene (1935)

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» See also 35 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
No, no, no, no, no.
Just when I thought Greene had begun to find his stride as a writer and that The Heart of the Matter really was his worst book, England Made Me proves me wrong. There are some great passages - all mostly within the first 30 pages - and then it is downhill from there....plot-wise. Because the story became so boring that I still have problems recollecting what actually happened. And I only just finished the book.
On the positives: Whatever happened between 1934 and 1935, Greene has now realised that female characters are also three-dimensional individuals, and that portraying women in novels as cliched side-kicks is best left to the Ian Flemings* of this world.
"It was true, she always knew; she was his elder by half an hour; she had, she sometimes thought with a sense of shame, by so little outstripped him in the pursuit of the more masculine virtues, reliability, efficiency, and left him with what would have served most women better, his charm."

(* I am aware of the anachronism - but can't help myself comparing Greene and Fleming from time to time.)

Review first posted on Booklikes - http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/981488/england-made-me ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
Boring. ( )
  Lynsey2 | Jan 15, 2016 |
A gripping story with Greene's usual sympathetic portrayals of characters caught out of their depth by circumstances. Anthony Farrant, a ne'er-do-well adventurer, finds himself employed by a Swedish tycoon, through the influence of his sister who is the tycoon's secretary and mistress. All of them and a few members of the press for good measure, find themselves sliding into dangerous areas, resorting to treachery and deceit. The writing has Green's usual taut control, oddly marred here by a couple of extraneous excursions into 1930s modern experimentation - stream of conscious, mosaic. ( )
  sjnorquist | Apr 7, 2014 |
When Green's great, he's amazing - as in The Power and the Glory. When he's bad, as in The Captain and the Enemy, he's utterly atrocious. I thought this closer to the second for most of the book, but then realized that I'd just been misled. The blurb made it sound like a potboiler (the blurb ends with an ellipses, for goodness' sake), and the characters' names make it read like a potboiler ('Krogh'? 'Minty'?). But it's not a potboiler. And it's been ruined for me forever now. But if you like grim reflections of life, you'll like this. Just ignore the blurb and the silly names. ( )
  stillatim | Dec 29, 2013 |
If this book had been writen in the last few years with it's banking crisis and failing economies you could say that he was just merely jumping on the bandwagon but this was first published in 1935 and was the book that was said to have brought him to prominence within the literary community.

As with many of Greene's books he paints a moody scene but there is little action and all the characters are seen as flawed, damaged by public school life.The book is basically about the decline of a conman, Anthony Farrant, who has been sacked from various jobs and kicked out of gentlmens' clubs all over the world but finds a kindred spirit in his sister's boss/boyfriend, Krogh, who gives him a job. Ultimately Farrant is killed by a jealous accolyte of Krogh.

Although the relationship between Farrant and his twin sister Kate is interesting this book fell rather flat with me. I personally found none of the characters particularily appealing and although the book is supposed to be about 'personal morality' none seemed to show anything but a selfish self-centred personality. The character Minty I found particularily distasteful.

Although this was an interesting read it is not one which will live long in the memory (personally I feel that when Greene is good he is very good but when he is poor he is shocking and this falls nearer the latter than the former) but perhaps that is because I never went to public school ( )
  PilgrimJess | Mar 2, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
"wonderfully readable"
added by GYKM | editDaily Telegraph
 
"Greene arouses responses of curiosity and attention comparable to those set up by Malraux, Faulkner and Hemingway"
added by GYKM | editNew Statesman
 
Too often the author of "England Made Me" seems to be shadow-boxing, not delivering the full punch. But the story is skillfully fabricated, and the suspense so well maintained that any one who starts it is certain to go to the end.

 
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To Vivien With Ten Years' Love 1925-1935
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England Made Me was also released as The Shipwrecked.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0140185518, Paperback)

Anthony Farrant has boasted, lied and cheated his way through jobs all over the world. Then his twin sister, Kate, gets him taken on as the bodyguard of Krogh, her lover and boss, a megalomaniac Swedish financier. All goes well until Krogh gives orders that offend Anthony's innate decency.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:18:43 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Anthony Farrant has always found his way, lying to get jobs and borrowing money to get by when he leaves them in a hurry. His twin sister Kate persuades him to move and sets him up with a job as a bodyguard to Krogh, which has drastic results.

(summary from another edition)

» see all 2 descriptions

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