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The End of the Affair (1951)

by Graham Greene

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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6,0411621,361 (3.96)452
WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MONICA ALI The love affair between Maurice Bendrix and Sarah, flourishing in the turbulent times of the London Blitz, ends when she suddenly and without explanation breaks it off. After a chance meeting rekindles his love and jealousy two years later, Bendrix hires a private detective to follow Sarah, and slowly his love for her turns into an obsession.… (more)

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English (154)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (1)  Hebrew (1)  Italian (1)  Portuguese (Brazil) (1)  Spanish (1)  All languages (161)
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
This book was not at all what I expected. It took a turn that I could not have imagined and then it became about so much more than just an ending of a love affair, it became about love itself, about hate, about jealousy and indifference. And it became about religion and about God, which is an entirely different thing than religion itself. I felt pain and confusion and sorrow and anger. I was Bendrix and then I was Sarah, and I understood and misunderstood them equally.

Greene is a masterful storyteller with a complete command of his craft. He teases us with making Bendrix a writer and describing how he writes and fashions a story, but there is something beneath the description that mingles truth and mendacity, just as they are mingled in the persons of Sarah and Bendrix. As I watched Bendrix swing between love and hate, I thought of Janus the God with two faces and realized that love and hate are the same emotion turned on its head. Have you ever truly hated someone that you did not love? It is too strong an emotion to waste on someone to whom you have been otherwise indifferent. It springs from love in the face of betrayal or severe disappointment, and it is love morphed into another guise and, as such, it can morph back again.

I was initially confused about the relationship between Bendrix and Henry, but I do think that when we love and lose someone we feel tied to those who have also loved and lost. In the end, we control so little of what is truly deep emotion in us. Trying to control it is as futile as battling with God. God always wins. ( )
  mattorsara | Aug 11, 2022 |
didn't finish. the whole thing is a bit too smarmy for me. maybe I will try again in the future, but just couldn't stomach this. ( )
  apende | Jul 12, 2022 |
When I was very young I read “Brighton Rock; I was so young that I wasn’t able to appreciate the quality of Greene’s writing, and I don’t remember the book, and now it feels like “The end of the affair” is the first book I’ve read by him, and I really appreciate it.

The narrator of the story is Maurice Bendrix, a writer. He has a friend called Henry, whose wife, Sarah, Bendrix has an affair with. The story takes place at the end of the Second World War and following it.

At one point Sarah ends the affair, but a couple of years later, after a chance meeting, Bendrix becomes jealous of the man Sarah apparently now is seeing, and hires a detective to follow her.

The detective steals Sarah’s diary, so we get to see things from her side, how she feels about Bendrix and everything.

Bendrix and Sarah both lack religious beliefs, but Sarah begins to visit Smythe, a confirmed atheist, whose main interest in life is trying to convince others that there is no God.

For some reason, Sarah’s conversations with Smythe make her begin to believe in God.

To a certain extent, I feel that the book is not about a man and his love affair, or the end of the affair, but about belief or non-belief in God, and about Catholicism.

I appreciated the book so much that I could easily have read it again, immediately, had I not had many other books to read. Highly recommended. ( )
  IonaS | Jun 10, 2022 |
Rithöfundurinn Graham Greene var kaþólskur og hann mun hafa ritað fjórar bækur þar sem hann fjallaði sérstaklega um trúna og spurningar sem henni tengjast. Sagan The End of an Affair sem kom út 1951 er síðust þeirra bóka og segir frá rithöfundi sem á ástarsambandi við gifta konu.
Sagan er þrungin hatri, eigingirni og öfundsýki aðalpersónunnar og hefst tveimur árum eftir að konan hafði slitið sambandi þeirra án skýringar. Eftir því sem á söguna líður rifjar höfundurinn upp ástarsamband þeirra og angist sína við aðskilnaðinn en um leið hefur hann rannsókn á högum konunnar með aðstoð einkaspæjara þar sem hann er þess fullviss að hún hafi fundið sér annan ástmögur.
Það er ekki mikið að gerast í sögunni. Öllu heldur byggist hún upp á hugsunum og samtölum einstaklinga sem eftir því sem á líður snúast að trú og deilum um tilvist Guðs.
Mér fannst sagan áhrifarík og snart mig djúpt. Ekki síst vegna sárrar angistar aðalpersónunnar og skilningsleysis á afstöðu konunnar sem hann elskaði. ( )
  SkuliSael | Apr 28, 2022 |
Capa horrorosa - tapado com papel da cacau show
  Correaf | Nov 20, 2021 |
Showing 1-5 of 154 (next | show all)
In "The End of the Affair" the splendidly stupid private detective, Alfred Parkis, and his apprentice son, and the maudlin grifter who is the heroine's mother, equal the best of the seedy supernumeraries of his other novels. It is savage and sad, vulgar and ideal, coarse and refined, and a rather accurate image of an era of cunning and glory, of cowardice and heroism, of belief and unbelief.
Great romantic novels are about pain and hate, and among the greatest is Graham Greene's searing The End of the Affair. It is one of the most forensic and honest analyses of love you will ever read.

» Add other authors (16 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Ali, MonicaIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Firth, ColinNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Hogarth, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kitchen, MichaelReadersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them enters suffering in order that they may have existence.
Leon Bloy
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A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses that moment of experience from which to look back or from which to look ahead.
Henry had his tray, sitting up against two pillows in his green woollen dressing-gown, and in the room below, on the hardwood floor, with a single cushion for support, and the door ajar, we made love.
I suppose Germany by this time had invaded the Low Countries: the spring like a corpse was sweet with the smell of doom,...
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WITH AN INTRODUCTION BY MONICA ALI The love affair between Maurice Bendrix and Sarah, flourishing in the turbulent times of the London Blitz, ends when she suddenly and without explanation breaks it off. After a chance meeting rekindles his love and jealousy two years later, Bendrix hires a private detective to follow Sarah, and slowly his love for her turns into an obsession.

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