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England Made Me (1935)

by Graham Greene

Other authors: See the other authors section.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
8121023,636 (3.21)50
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 bodyguard to Krogh, her lover and boss, an all-powerful Swedish financier. But Farrant does have a sense of decency, and when Krogh gives orders that offend him, he leaks information to Minty, a down-trodden journalist, with drastic results.… (more)
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» See also 50 mentions

English (9)  French (1)  All languages (10)
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
what was graham thinking? what was I thinking to finish it? ( )
  mahallett | Oct 3, 2019 |
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 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (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.

 

» Add other authors (12 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Walcheren, Renée vanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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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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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 bodyguard to Krogh, her lover and boss, an all-powerful Swedish financier. But Farrant does have a sense of decency, and when Krogh gives orders that offend him, he leaks information to Minty, a down-trodden journalist, with drastic results.

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