The Quiet American: Graham Greene

The Quiet American

"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.

As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.

Originally published in 1956 and twice adapted to film, The Quiet Americanremains a terrifiying and prescient portrait of innocence at large. This Graham Greene Centennial Edition includes a new introductory essay by Robert Stone.


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  • A former member
    A former member

    What Alice said - really sorry but I'm not sure I'm going to be able to make it to Reading in time as a work meeting I've been trying to get in the diary for ages has been organised for 5pm in London. But thank you to whoever chose the book though - I'm a few pages from finishing and it's been really interesting.

    March 2, 2014

    • Alister M.

      I would like to think both, but I suppose there was a lot about the motivation of all characters that were deliberately left ambiguous, and it was clear from fairly early on that the narrator wasn't entirely reliable.

      March 4, 2014

    • Gill P.

      His motives were certainly suspect....but it was my impression that given his profession of being a journalist his account was attempted to be given in as an objective way as possible, indeed I believe that he would have prided himself on doing so

      March 4, 2014

  • Alister M.

    Sorry cant make this again (and another one that I really wanted to chat about) see you all next time

    March 3, 2014

  • Catherine K.

    Anyone fancy some food before the meeting? Xxc

    1 · March 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    Hi, I'm afraid I'm going to cancel too as I've not managed to finish the book, but hopefully see u all next time, Fran

    March 2, 2014

  • Alice M

    Sorry to pull out so late; I hope there's still time for someone on the wait list to read it.

    March 1, 2014

    • Catherine K.

      Hopefully see you next time Alice xxc

      March 2, 2014

  • A former member
    A former member

    I have been an absolute epic failure attending these groups, but i would really love to come. So hopefully see you all there :-)

    February 25, 2014

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