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Brighton Rock (Penguin Classics Deluxe…

Brighton Rock (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) (original 1938; edition 2004)

by Graham Greene, J. M. Coetzee (Introduction)

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3,884761,324 (3.74)319
Title:Brighton Rock (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
Authors:Graham Greene
Other authors:J. M. Coetzee (Introduction)
Info:Penguin Classics (2004), Paperback, 288 pages
Collections:Your library
Tags:Gotham reading list

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Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (1938)


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English (71)  Swedish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All (76)
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
Timeless classic! ( )
  Faradaydon | May 11, 2017 |
Brighton rock - no matter where you bite it, what's in the centre remains there. This I presume is Greene's metaphor for our personalities that we are stuck with once we enter adulthood. Pinkie Brown is a violent young gang leader with a personality disorder, psychopathic or similar. Because of his youth he is constantly trying to prove himself to those in his gang and beyond. His catholic background plays a big role in this and his belief in hell and mortal sin frequently surface.

I bought this a bit randomly in a second hand book shop and started to read it as a book between other books that I had listed to read. It has a feeling of trashy pulp fiction about it and the story could be read as such. However, it has a terrific sense of time and place and the drama gathers pace towards the end and the end itself is quite shocking. Some of the content reads as though it was published much later than 1938, sex, violence, religion, the occult. This is an early Greene novel and there are elements in it that point to better books ahead. ( )
  Lord_Boris | Feb 21, 2017 |
Seriously, I am done with Greene's "gritty thrillers".

Years ago, I watched Brighton Rock and didn't enjoy it. Now, having read the book as the (hopefully) last of the "early" works, I have the same impression. Nice, but so not keeping me interested...at all.

And, oh dear, there is some clunky writing in this one.


Review originally posted on BookLikes: http://brokentune.booklikes.com/post/1038651/brighton-rock ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
I read Brighton Rock because I loved The Quiet American so much - in fact, I may get a line from it tattooed on my body! That's a lot of love, y'all. Unfortunately, this book didn't quite capture me the way my first run-in with Graham Greene did.

The story began with a death and then followed a motley crew of characters as they reacted to that death. The mob was involved, there were quite a few murders, and lots and lots of the word "paloney."

The writing was tight and excellent, as I expected from Mr. Greene, and the story was interesting enough, but I never really got swept up in it. I didn't dread reading it but it didn't excite me either. It felt like a very long-form short story that touched on a lot of characters and showcased a lot of wacky behavior but didn't dig deep in the way I wish it would have. ( )
  agnesmack | Jun 6, 2016 |
This is a re-read, after rewatching the superb 1947 film version starring Richard Attenborough as Pinkie and William Hartnell as Dallow. I must say that I think this is one of the relatively few cases where the film is better than the book, or at least more dramatic and absorbing as a cultural product. While it contains the same basic plot, the book digresses a fair bit into Pinkie and Rose's Catholic upbringing and how they relate the concepts of Hell and redemption to their lives, reflecting no doubt the author's own thought processes as a Catholic convert. This gives Pinkie more of a human dimension than is displayed in Attenborough's brilliantly chilling film portrayal. Some of the most dramatically shot and shocking scenes in the film, such as the murders of Hale and Spicer, take place "off stage" in the book. The book, however, does end in a very downbeat way with Rose seemingly about to discover Pinkie's real attitude towards her, which is neatly avoided in the film. Still a very good book, and in my view Greene's best. ( )
1 vote john257hopper | May 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 71 (next | show all)
This is no book for those who would turn delicate noses away from the gutters and sewers of life; but there is nothing that could give the faintest gratification to snickerers. If it is as downright as surgery, it is, also, as clean as a clinic. There is not an entirely admirable character in it; but there is not one that can, by any chance, be forgotten nor one that could be set aside as untrue to life.
Why does this bleak, seething and anarchic novel still resonate? Its energy and power is that of the rebellious adolescent, foreshadowing the rise of the cult of youth in the latter part of the 20th century. And while Catholicism may have given way to secularism, Pinkie ultimately realises that hell isn't located in some distant realm: it's right here, present on earth, all around us.

» Add other authors (7 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Geoff GrandfieldIllustratormain authorsome editionsconfirmed
Byfield, GrahamCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Carey, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Coetzee, J.M.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Joffe, RowanForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Larsen, Magda HenrietteTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindegren, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lladó Bausili, JuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Pade, HenningTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Rojahn-Deyk, BarbaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sibon, MarcelleTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Tainio, TaunoTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vallandro, LeonelTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vernet, Maria TeresaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
West, SamuelNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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'This were a fine reign:
To do ill and not hear of it again.'
First words
Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him.
Hale knew they meant to murder him before he had been in Brighton three hours. [1956 ed.]
young men kept on arriving in huge motoring coats accompanied by small tinted creatures, who rang like expensive glass when they were touched but who conveyed an impression of being as sharp and tough as tin.
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Bookplate: "From the library of Graham Greene"
Flap folder on inside back cover containing cut down dust jacket back and flap
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0142437972, Paperback)

Graham Greene's chilling exposé of violence and gang warfare in the pre-war underworld is a classic of its kind.

Pinkie, the teenage gangster, is devoid of compassion or human feeling, despising weakness of the spirit or of the flesh. Responsible for the razor slashes that killed Kite and also for the death of Hale, he is the embodiment of calculated evil. As a Catholic, however, he is convinced that his retribution does not lie in human hands.

He is therefore not prepared for Ida Arnold, Hale's avenging angel. Ida, whose allegiance is with life, the here and now, has her own ideas about the circumstances surrounding Hale's death. For the sheer joy of it she takes up the challenge of bringing the infernal Pinkie to an earthly kind of justice.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:08 -0400)

(see all 7 descriptions)

In this classic novel of murder and menace, Graham Greene lays bare the soul of a boy of seventeen who stalks Brighton's tawdry boardwalk with apathy on his face and murder in his heart. Pinkie, the boy with death at his fingertips, is not just bad, he worships in the temple of evil, just as his parents worshipped in the house of God. Crime, in his dark mind, is a release so deep and satisfying that he has no need for drink or women or the love of his fellows. He is an astounding character, sinister and fascinating. -- From the cover.… (more)

(summary from another edition)

» see all 5 descriptions

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