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The Third Man Audiobook

The Third Man

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Publisher's Summary

The Third Man is one of the truly great post-war films. It's a thrilling story of black-marketeering set against a backdrop of Vienna in the immediate post-war era, when the city was divided into four zones amongst the major powers: Russia, Britain, France, and America.

Although the stars of the film, Orson Welles as Harry Lime and Joseph Cotton as Rollo (changed to "Holly" for the film) Martins were American, the two main characters in the book are quintessential Englishmen who were at the same public school.

Graham Greene wrote the novella first ("to me it is impossible to write a film play without first writing the story" Greene wrote later) and then adapted it for the screenplay.

The story is written in the first person from the point of view of the British chief of police, the part played in the film by Trevor Howard. He is investigating the death of Harry Lime when Rollo Martins, a writer of Westerns, arrives in Vienna to visit his old school friend and gets inextricably involved in the mystery.

©1998 CSA Word; (P)2004 CSA Word

What the Critics Say

"Smooth and precise, Jarvis brings Greene's story alive in exquisite detail and with superb characterizations." (AudioFile)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

4.1 (149 )
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4.4 (113 )
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  •  
    Gurth W. 03-05-10
    Gurth W. 03-05-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "excellent narration"

    An excellent narration by Martin Jarvis who has great skill in subtly changing his voice for various characters. I highly recommend this version of a great story

    5 of 5 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Darryl 05-02-13
    Darryl 05-02-13 Member Since 2008
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    "Graham Greene is great"

    While the classic film is slightly different, in general it follows rather closely. but I was struck this time through by some of the literary/symbolic strengths that i had not noticed previously when i listened to it and it will add greater depth to the film as well upon next viewing. I think a nice "paper" could be written on the novel and perhaps a comparison piece. I've read/listened to almost all of Greene and have enjoyed them all and look forward to revisiting a couple of favorites. Similar to LeCarre in the sense that the novels are well written stylistically, and that there is more going on with the language and characters and symbolism than in run of the mill pop thrillers. Hope for Travels With My Aunt someday, very funny and a favorite that should be available.

    2 of 2 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Carolee1945 San Francisco 02-18-16
    Carolee1945 San Francisco 02-18-16 Member Since 2014
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    "Just fantastic!"

    Fascinating post war history combined with a complex crime story. Engaging narration. Beautiful writing. Advice: Listen to beginning a few times to get characters straight

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    J. Manley Claremont, CA USA 02-12-16
    J. Manley Claremont, CA USA 02-12-16 Member Since 2013

    Carharty

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    "The novella behind the screen play behind the movie"

    Very nice Graham Greene: taut, great sense of place, frustrating main character, even that theme playing in the background at key spots.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    John Wesley Teets 09-10-15
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    "Great Story and Narration"
    Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

    I love Graham Greene's work and this is one of his most enjoyable stories. The setting is Austria during the four power occupation just after the end of the last world war. We encounter a down and out western novelist traveling to Vienna at the invitation of his dear old friend. He arrives with little money and no real prospects just in time to attend his friend's funeral. Shortly afterwards the mystery of his friend's death begins to unfold.


    What other book might you compare The Third Man to and why?

    Any old 1940s detective murder mystery.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    My favorite scene gives too much away for a review. An amusing scene not related to Lime's death is Martins drunken discussion with the "book club" members who have mistaken Martins for another author named Dexter, which is also Matins' pen name. Martins accepts their hospitality and free hotel room. However, their Mr. Dexter does not write cheap paperback westerns and they have a difficult time understanding Martins' references to Zane Grey.


    If you could rename The Third Man, what would you call it?

    I cannot think of a better title. The Third Man is perfect!


    Any additional comments?

    Although the book is short, it is a great story with a number of twists. If you have not read Greene, this is a great starter for you.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    S. Jones 04-25-15
    S. Jones 04-25-15
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    "Fans of the Movie, Meet the Book"

    If you liked the classic movie, you'll enjoy this book, if only to discover how faithful Carol Reed reproduced Graham Greene's classic for the screen. About the only difference is the ending (which I think the movie did better). Narrator Martin Jarvis is excellent, as usual.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Sandy 12-27-12
    Sandy 12-27-12

    Love having someone read me a story. Fires in the hearth, rain on the roof, sunny days and surf. Good friends, good food and J S Bach.

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    "Great stuff"

    The movie (and naturally including it's music) is my favourite noir film.
    Here is the story that was written for the movie, so well read by Martin Jarvis.

    Of course as I listened, the imagery from the movie was evoked.

    Most interesting for me was in learning that both Harry and Rollo were English, not American. It was the character of Rollo that developed more depth in the story. An English writer of American Westerns who is used to getting the girl he wants becomes a much more likely pal of Harry.
    I want to watch the movie again, to see if Rollo still seems as simple as I remember.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha 06-10-12
    Martha 06-10-12

    Books books books.

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    "A favorite film becomes a favorite book."

    Jarvis is an exceptional reviewer. As a fan of the film, I wondered if the book would live up to Carol Reed's classic. However, Greene's prose is so exceptionally funny and dark that I was on the edge of my seat throughout the reading, even though I already know how it all ends. Wonderful.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Platypus 08-07-13
    Platypus 08-07-13
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    "Convoluted"
    What disappointed you about The Third Man?

    The book was too hard to follow


    What could Graham Greene have done to make this a more enjoyable book for you?

    Given the reader a list to the characters as I could not understand who was who.


    How did the narrator detract from the book?

    He did not


    If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Third Man?

    Most of them


    Any additional comments?

    The book was too difficult to follow and quite convoluted. I cannot recommend the audio version.

    0 of 2 people found this review helpful
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  • Frankiesam
    London United Kingdom
    12/1/15
    Overall
    Performance
    Story
    "Excellent novel and narration"
    What did you like most about The Third Man?

    The narration is excellent. The novel and film are so well known that it is difficult to believe that the narration would add an extra dimension to the work but, amazingly, Martin Jarvis narrates so well - the pace and tone is outstanding, that the tension and ambiance of the era is communicated so well.


    What was one of the most memorable moments of The Third Man?

    Scene setting at the start is excellent.


    What does Martin Jarvis bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?

    The tone and pace is excellent throughout.


    Any additional comments?

    I thoroughly recommend this book. It is well narrated, the plot and characterisation excellent throughout.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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