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Brighton Rock (Twentieth Century Classics)…

Brighton Rock (Twentieth Century Classics) (original 1938; edition 1991)

by Graham Greene

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3,535641,495 (3.76)268
Title:Brighton Rock (Twentieth Century Classics)
Authors:Graham Greene
Info:Penguin Classics (1991), Mass Market Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:Your library

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Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (1938)


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English (59)  Swedish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (64)
Showing 1-5 of 59 (next | show all)
I probably shouldn't have tried reading this on the bus. It is not suited for quick spurts of reading scattered throughout the day. It requires getting stuck in and giving it your full attention. I did enjoy the first couple of chapters -- it was utterly chilling to be following Hale around as he tried desperately to avoid being killed, and then to follow boy-genius-gang-leader Pinkie as he set about covering up the crime. At one point I thought "Wow, this kid gives Alex from A Clockwork Orange a run for his money." But then the book meandered into Catholicism, and good and evil vs. right and wrong, and it was only through major struggle that I actually managed to finish the book and not look up the ending. Later I did read some reviews and could see where the book would have merit as something to ponder and discuss, but that's not what I had expected it to be. I'd expected something more along the lines of A Gun for Sale (still my favourite of Greene's "entertainments") and my expectations were probably not realistic.

Overall I think I'd much rather see the Richard Attenborough movie. ( )
  rabbitprincess | Jan 31, 2015 |
Graham Greene is one of my favorite authors but try as I might, I could not get into this book. I felt too many steps removed from the action to follow what was happening or to have any sort of connection with the characters. ( )
  pussreboots | Sep 18, 2014 |
I like Graham Greene novels. His protagonists face these complex morale dilemmas of the 'damned if you do, and damned if you don't' genre. And especially his 'Catholic' novels where the source of the dilemma is when one of the commandments comes into conflict with choices in life. Brighton Rock had many of the elements of a great Graham Greene novel, but I didn't find it as compelling as some of his other works. Pinkie is a teenage sociopath gang leader. He murders a man named Fred and feels that he won't get caught for his crime since he has a manufactured alibi. But Rose, a waitress, could break Pinkie's alibi. Although Pinkie is actually repulsed by Rose, he decides to marry her since the law would prevent her from having to testify against a husband. Both Rose and Pinkie are Catholics and many of their actions go against what they believe is morally right. Although the plot sounds like it would be perfect for a Graham Greene morality tale, the characters seemed shallow. It's hard to feel any empathy toward Pinkie since he is completely selfish and has no compunction against murdering friends and I found it hard to think that someone who behaves like that would really be conflicted by any religious upbringing. Rose, although sweet, is a pretty lightweight character and I didn't really get a strong feeling of angst or conflict in her. One thing that was different in this story, is the real hero, Ida Arnold, is totally anti-religious, has no issue with sleeping with different men, but still can distinguish right from wrong. Good story, but not my favorite by Greene. ( )
  jmoncton | Aug 4, 2014 |
This is the paperback. I have the hardback as well
  SteveJohnson | Mar 30, 2014 |
As with all Graham Greene novels, totally totally depressing. According to my writing instructor, this is the first depiction of a psychopath in literature, though I think Poe preceded him with his books.
A story so well-written you can endure the endless groups of horrible characters all of whom are hideous in one way or another, none of whom ever share an unmixed laugh.
Not to be read at night or when suffering a depressive bout. But well worth a contemplative read when the sun is shining and you have lots of lovely company about.
I'm not in the right frame of mind and protected only by a "fierce" poodle, so I didn't finish it. I just knew it was going to end badly, for everyone. Still, I suppose, like dental flossing, it is good for you. ( )
  Dabble58 | Jan 1, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 59 (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
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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Book description
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 Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:45:04 -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 6 descriptions

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