Short Review: Graham Greene, A Life in Letters

A short review of Graham Greene–A Life in Letters, ed. by Richard Greene:

I’ll tell anyone who asks that a vital part of being a well-rounded reader is reading biographies, and in some cases a well-edited collection of personal correspondence can be just as insightfulcover art richard greene no relation and informative as a traditional biography. That is very much the case with this book. Richard Greene (no relation) has very effectively selected and arranged the letters most representative of Greene’s relationships, character, and personal shifts.

Greene’s letters are a thoroughgoing testament to his literary brilliance, and a wrenching diary of his struggle to Continue reading

Short Review: Orient Express

A short review of Graham Greene’s Orient Express (aka Stamboul Train in UK):

Graham Greene Stamboul Train cover art penguin publishing

Greene wrote in one introduction to the book, “for the first and last time in my life I deliberately set out to write a book to please, one which with luck might be made into a film.” He succeeded, and Stamboul Train/Orient Express established him as a novelist. It is a satisfying”entertainment” that uses the train setting Continue reading

Pity and the Christian Imagination

“When you visualized a man or a woman carefully, you could always begin to feel pity . . . that was a quality God’s image carried with it . . . when you saw the lines at the corners of the eyes, the shape of the mouth, how the hair grew, it was impossible to hate. Hate was just a failure of imagination.”

-Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory

Easter Story: The Power and the Glory

Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory is a perfect Easter story.

Graham Greene cover art, the labyrinthine ways, penguin publishers way of the martyrIt is the 1930’s and the (unnamed) Mexican state of Tabasco has outlawed Christ and killed most of His priests. The flawed whiskey priest hopes to escape and take the easy road to Vera Cruz, but through slow difficulty realizes that the way of the vera cruz, the “true cross,” is the path of the martyr. Originally released in the US as “The Labyrinthine Ways,” The Power and the Glory is set in a maze-like world of darkness, and the symbol standing at the edge of that maze–the cross–is the same one standing at the center of our own world and history.

“He knew now that at the end there was only one thing that counted – to be a saint.”