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Graham Greene: The Entertainer

by Peter Wolfe

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Until 1970, Graham Greene made a sharp distinction between his novels and his lighter fiction, which he called entertain­ments. The use of the two categories seems to indicate that the latter books are trivial and inferi∨ yet Peter Wolfe shows that the entertainments are more than escape fiction; they are, rather, an almost distinct new genre.   Wolfe focuses on seven books, from Orient Express (1932) to Our Man in Havana (1958), showing recurring themes as well as the evolution of the entertainment form.   Graham Greene enthusiasts will find this new book particularly valuable for its long and careful look at the less-discussed works, while readers of thrillers will appreciate Wolfe’s analysis of them as a literary genre.… (more)

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Until 1970, Graham Greene made a sharp distinction between his novels and his lighter fiction, which he called entertain­ments. The use of the two categories seems to indicate that the latter books are trivial and inferi∨ yet Peter Wolfe shows that the entertainments are more than escape fiction; they are, rather, an almost distinct new genre.   Wolfe focuses on seven books, from Orient Express (1932) to Our Man in Havana (1958), showing recurring themes as well as the evolution of the entertainment form.   Graham Greene enthusiasts will find this new book particularly valuable for its long and careful look at the less-discussed works, while readers of thrillers will appreciate Wolfe’s analysis of them as a literary genre.

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