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The Quiet American (Vintage Classics) by…

The Quiet American (Vintage Classics) (original 1955; edition 2001)

by Graham Greene (Author)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,1711611,003 (3.96)471
This novel is a study of New World hope and innocence set in an Old World of violence. The scene is Saigon in the violent years when the French were desperately trying to hold their footing in the Far East. The principal characters are a skeptical British journalist, his attractive Vietnamese mistress, and an eager young American sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission.… (more)
Title:The Quiet American (Vintage Classics)
Authors:Graham Greene (Author)
Info:Vintage (2001), Edition: New edition, 192 pages
Collections:Your library

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The Quiet American by Graham Greene (1955)


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» See also 471 mentions

English (151)  Dutch (3)  Spanish (2)  German (2)  Italian (1)  Hebrew (1)  Swedish (1)  All languages (161)
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
Scott Anderson's The Quiet Americans is anything but a description of quiet Americans. It is, rather, a comprehensive history of America's (specifically, the CIA's) very noisy involvement in the geopolitics of the mid-forties to the mid-fifties told by telling the stories of four iconic intelligence operatives: Michael Burke, Edward Lansdale, Peter Sichel, and Frank Wisner.
I found this book to be enlightening: clarifying the events, and identifying the actors that drove the U.S.'s involvement in the major hot spots of the period: Germany, the Soviet satellite countries, the Philippines, and Viet Nam. In choosing the four men most closely involved, then allowing us to "live" with them, the book became impossible to set down.
I found, though, that the history itself (not the writing of the history) incredibly sad. Such a waste of possibilities and what a great disappointment to learn of the America that was, rather than the America that could have been.
  RonWelton | Aug 25, 2021 |
Review will be up on www.sezabez.wordpress.com so keep an eye out! :) ( )
  SarahRita | Aug 11, 2021 |
fiction (loosely based on the British author/correspondent's observations over several years during conflict amongst the French/Viet Minh/General Thé, 1952-1955)--writing is very smooth, setting seems lifelike and accurate, opinions are Greene's own. ( )
  reader1009 | Jul 3, 2021 |
A dark insightful view of war, espionage and the danger of ideology. The author accepts that no one is purely good or bad but in reality a bit of both. in some ways this is a very cynical perspective but it is closer to 'real' than most authors get ( )
  Aetherson | Apr 26, 2021 |
I've never read any Graham Greene before. I really enjoyed this. His ability to portray characters with very few words is outstanding. The tension is superbly maintained. An interesting period of modern history, that is rarely talked about; the situation in Vietnam before the intervention of the Americans but clearly showing the build up and that philosophy that they always 'interfere' for the greater good despite regrettable casualties along the way. ( )
  Patsmith139 | Mar 15, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 151 (next | show all)
Easily, with long-practiced and even astonishing skill, speaking with the voice of a British reporter who is forced, despite himself, toward political action and commitment, Greene tells a complex but compelling story of intrigue and counter-intrigue, bombing and murder. Into it is mixed the rivalry of two white men for a Vietnamese girl. These elements are all subordinate to the political thesis which they dramatize and which is stated baldly and explicitly throughout the book.
There are many natural storytellers in English literature, but what was rare about Greene was the control he wielded over his abundant material. Certainly one can imagine nobody who could better weave the complicated threads of war-torn Indochina into a novel as linear, as thematically compact and as enjoyable as The Quiet American

» Add other authors (53 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Caddell, SimonNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
English, BillCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gorra, MichaelSuggestions for Further Readingsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grandfield, GeoffIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lundblad, JaneTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Magnus, PeterTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Scheepmaker, H.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Smith, ZadieIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springer, KätheÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stingl, NikolausÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Stone, RobertIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Valja, JiøíTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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This is the patent age of new inventions
For killing bodies, and for saving souls,
All propagated with the best intentions. — Byron
I do not like being moved; for the will is excited, and action
Is a most dangerous thing; I tremble for something factitious,
Some malpractice of heart and illegitimate process;
We're so prone to these things, with our terrible notions of duty. — A. H. Clough
First words
After dinner I sat and waited for Pyle in my room over the rue Catinat; he had said, ‘I’ll be with you at latest by ten,’ and when midnight struck I couldn’t stay quiet any longer and went down into the street.
innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm.
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Wikipedia in English (3)

This novel is a study of New World hope and innocence set in an Old World of violence. The scene is Saigon in the violent years when the French were desperately trying to hold their footing in the Far East. The principal characters are a skeptical British journalist, his attractive Vietnamese mistress, and an eager young American sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission.

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Book description
While the French Army in Indo-China is grappling with the Vietminh, back in Saigon a young and high-minded American named Pyle begins to channel economic aid to a "Third Force."

Caught between French colonialists and the Vietminh, Fowler, the narrator and seasoned foreign correspondent, observes: "I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused." As young Pyle's policies blunder on into bloodshed, the older man finds it impossible to stand aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and to himself: for Pyle has robbed him of his Vietnamese mistress.
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