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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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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 (67)  Swedish (2)  Vietnamese (1)  Dutch (1)  German (1)  All languages (72)
Showing 1-5 of 67 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  john257hopper | May 14, 2016 |
This book was recommended and I don't say no to recommendations especially from friends, but how I wish I'd left this one. Nothing clicked and reading it was a chore. Didn't feel anything for any of the characters. One I don't think I'd ever pick up again. ( )
  paperlesspages | May 3, 2016 |
Haunted murderer tries to flee his destiny and ends up getting trapped. Engaging but frustrating read for me. ( )
  dbsovereign | Jan 26, 2016 |
Catholic morality and the meaning of human nature plagues the minds of Greene's motley crew of characters in this classic. Wonderfully written, gripping from beginning to end, and, at times, crushingly devastating: in fact, the final line of the novel is, in my mind, the cruellest finale that I have ever read. ( )
  m-andrews | Jan 21, 2016 |
Pinkie, a teenager who finds himself suddenly deep over his head as the leader of a local crime gang, tries to bluff his way through in his life of crime and in a dismal romance with a young naive waitress, and ends with a desperate suicide. To some readers he will see like a twisted and darker version of Holden Caulfield. Brilliantly written and filled with vividly drawn characters, as is anything by Greene, still, not on the level with several of his other novels. ( )
  sjnorquist | Jan 19, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 67 (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 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)

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