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The Heart of the Matter | [Graham Greene]

The Heart of the Matter

A police commissioner in a British-governed, war-torn West African state, Scobie is bound by the strictest integrity and sense of duty both for his colonial responsibilities and for his wife, whom he deeply pities but no longer loves. Passed over for a promotion, he is forced to borrow money in order to send his despairing wife away on a holiday.
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Publisher's Summary

In this widely acclaimed modern classic, Graham Greene delves deep into character to tell the dramatic, suspenseful story of a good man’s conflict between passion and faith.

A police commissioner in a British-governed, war-torn West African state, Scobie is bound by the strictest integrity and sense of duty both for his colonial responsibilities and for his wife, whom he deeply pities but no longer loves. Passed over for a promotion, he is forced to borrow money in order to send his despairing wife away on a holiday. When in her absence he develops a passion for a young widow, the scrupulously honest Catholic finds himself giving way to deceit and dishonor. Enmeshed in love and intrigue, he will betray everything he believes in, with tragic consequences.

The Heart of the Matter is one of Graham Greene’s most enduring and tragic novels.

©1971 Graham Greene (P)1994 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“A literary ‘event’….[A] profoundly reverent book.” (Evelyn Waugh)

“No serious writer of this century has more thoroughly invaded and shaped the public imagination as did Graham Greene.” (Time)

“Joseph Porter’s gritty-voiced narration gives the story the perfect measure of world-weary angst.” (Library Journal)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.0 (26 )
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4.0 (16 )
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4.1 (15 )
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    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 06-08-11
    John Huntington Beach, CA, United States 06-08-11 Member Since 2009
    HELPFUL VOTES
    201
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    246
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    "Characters come to life with Greene as the author"

    A nice change of pace. Not the action, spy or detective novel I usually get. Makes me want to go back and start listen to more classics. If you want interesting characters and a philosophical theme to your books this is a great find. Writing at its best.

    3 of 6 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 03-23-12
    Andre Ithaca, NY, United States 03-23-12 Member Since 2003
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    Story
    "African Nightmare"

    The story is set in a British colony in Africa during World War II. The author created a hero who was decent, reasonable, but unfortunately Catholic. The plot involved events which led to the complete destruction of the hero, due primarily to his mindless, ridiculous adherence to the evil dogmas of the Catholic Church. A much better ending would have had the hero converting to some more relaxed religion, or better yet to a sane, reasonable atheism.

    0 of 11 people found this review helpful
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