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The Third Man | [Graham Greene]

The Third Man

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.
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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

3.9 (67 )
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4.2 (38 )
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Performance
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  •  
    03-05-10
    03-05-10 Member Since 2006
    HELPFUL VOTES
    5
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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 Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 05-02-13
    Darryl Cedar Rapids, IA, United States 05-02-13 Member Since 2005
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    1 of 1 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Martha VANCOUVER, WA, United States 06-10-12
    Martha VANCOUVER, WA, United States 06-10-12

    Books books books.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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
  •  
    Sandy BUCKETTY, Australia 12-27-12
    Sandy BUCKETTY, Australia 12-27-12 Member Since 2008

    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.

    HELPFUL VOTES
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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.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Platypus Perth, WA, Australia 08-07-13
    Platypus Perth, WA, Australia 08-07-13
    HELPFUL VOTES
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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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