An unabridged audio edition of Graham Greene's classic gang-war thriller. A gang war is raging through the dark underworld of Brighton. Pinkie, malign and ruthless, has killed a man. Believing he can escape retribution, he is unprepared for the courageous, life-embracing Ida Arnold, who is determined to avenge a death.... Read by Samuel West.
©1938 Graham Greene (P)2011 AudioGO Ltd
Brighton Rock is a superbly chilling novel. The characters are incredibly well developed and despite the main character Pinkie being an manipulative, murderous psychopath, Greene still manages to make the reader entirely enthralled in what happens to him. The plot is enthralling and the writing style shows Greene's genius. Samuel West's reading is entirely in character and only increases the enjoyment of this remarkable novel.
Both the book and the performance are fantastic
Character portrayal is so convincing that you cannot put the book down. You know these people inside and out and want to read on. Rose's naivety and the complicated self-deprecating "boy" are superbly drawn.
Both the boy and Rose.
One of the best audiobooks I've ever listened to. The only reason why I put 4 stars instead of 5 for the story is that I was more interested in the writing itself, which is matchless for the way the characters are portrayed. But even if you wanted a good story, this wouldn't let you down.
I have seen the movie but couldn't really remember it. I haven't listened to the end of this book as I lost interest. I might have another go at it one day. Perhaps I should see the movie again. It just didn't grip me. Perhaps I wasn't concentrating enough
Audiobooks have literally changed my life. I now actually ENJOY doing mindless chores because they give me plenty of listening time!
A man calling himself "Fred" Hale is about to lose his life, and he knows it. He tries to put off the inevitable murder he knows he's brought on himself by befriending Ida, a curvy broad he's just met at a bar, and asking her to tag along for the day. But the second she's got her back turned, "Fred" disappears for good. Pinkie, a young sociopath barely out of his teens is the new gang boss, and one little murder is no skin off his nose, but he wants to make sure he's got his tracks covered, so he romances Rose, a waitress and just a kid, as she'd seen "Fred" that fateful day, and the last thing Pinkie needs is a witness. Rose falls head over heels for Pinkie's rough ways, so now Pinkie must decide between committing another murder or marrying the girl. But marriage is forever, isn't it? And with Ida sniffing around and asking lots of questions, things get harder and harder to keep under wraps.
An excellent novel by a writer who quickly became one of my all-time favourites, this story boasts a cast of wonderfully flawed characters, and the gripping tension doesn't let you go from beginning to end as the protagonists try to make choices between what they think to be right or wrong according to their own priorities, even as they fear the wrath of a God they're not sure how to serve. This version, as narrated by actor Samuel West is a treat not to be missed.
Graphic, compelling, well written
Yes. I needed to know how far Pinky was willing to go.
Many of them, can't choose
I saw that this was a very popular book on the audible uk site, and thought I'd give it a go. Not disappointed at all. The reader , also, was wonderful. It is not a cheery story, but this story was written very well, and it came alive in your head.
The narration of this audio book is excellent, a pleasure to listen to. The narrator has a cool voice of authority that really suits the story.
This is my first Greene novel, I had never considered reading him before but I was hooked from the opening sentence, which draws you right in. I won't say anything to spoil the story but it has a fantastic sense of doom hanging over it and you can actually feel pity for the most unlikable character.
"Breathtaking performance of this gripping novel"
I've long been a fan of Graham Greene but had held off reading this book for years, because it was "too famous" and - I thought - would be spoiled by the film adaptations. And the story never really seemed like a Greene novel to me. I couldn't have been more wrong; this is Greene at his finest. Gripping, poignant, sinister, touching, comic, chilling - only Greene can deliver such a hard-as-nails story with such a tender economy of phrase.
Samuel West is utterly masterful - his voices are eerily evocative whist never straying into caricature, and his sombre tone is perfect for delivering those Greene gut-wrenching sentences. There were a couple of time towards the end where I literally gasped out loud and held my hands up to my face - punches packed with West's subtle and dark delivery. West clearly 'gets' Greene, and like any brilliant narrator, he delivers the story as if from the author himself.
The book left me quite unsettled for days, but in a brilliant and admiring way. The last line... I felt the floor give way beneath me...
A true classic and one of Graham Greene's best. Samuel West brings this alive and evokes all the flesh crawling muted horror of the book and film alike.
What a great book. It is timeless. The narrator was easy to listen to. The story was gripping and the characters fascinating. I would highly recommend this book.
"Reputations don't come easy!"
Just as in any industry, good reputations don't come easy, that's why Graham Greene has a deserved reputation as a true great.
What a book, what a story, what characters! All as thick, chunky and wholesome as my old mothers home made soup! Like her soup, this story sticks to the ribs, it draws you in, gives warmth and before you know it, your there, deep in the story running with the plot and living with the characters.
Well narrated by Samuel West. A true literary classic.
"West is Best"
Strong storyline skilfully written to carry you along nicely.
Ida Arnold the kind hearted non-Catholic (unlike Pinkie and Rose) with confirmed moral views that lead her on to become the detective of the story.
Spicer. For some reason I liked that simpleminded character. At the same time I think Samuel West's performance of all characters in the novel is excellent.
A good story well told.
"In nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti"
Having gone through the pleasure of linking Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair and Neil Jordan’s 1999 film version of the same, the release of Rowan Joffe’s 2010 refresh of Brighton Rock and John Boulting’s film classic seemed an excellent summer project. The basis for this has, of course, to be a stimulating original text - and this is exactly what Greene provides here. There is so much that is so highly specific. The backdrop of pre-war Brighton, racetrack chicanery, razor gang thuggery, a mesmeric young central couple character juxtaposed against the old sweats and sweethearts of the seaside. Fascinating to follow the thread of Catholicism that does not feature nearly as strongly in either of the film versions and great to get the full picture that neither film adaptations manage to achieve. For what it’s worth, I found the Boulting Brother’s translation to be the better of the two - but neither hold a stick of rock to Greene’s original vision.
I really enjoyed listening to this audiobook. Audible - thank you for having such wonderful audiobooks in your site!
"Classic Graham Greene"
I don't like to directly compare audio versions with printed. Each are a different experience.This audio version is good. Samuel West does a voice similar to that of Richard Attenborough (in the 1947 film version) for the young sociopath, Pinkie Brown. A couple of minor irritations: 1. West's pronounciation of 'Old Steine' in Brighton. It is pronounced 'steen' and not like the German word stein. 2. The polari word 'Palone' is pronounced 'Pal-owm' and not ''Pal-own-ee.' Both of these words are used a lot throughout and the pronounciations grated a bit.
Difficult to compare it directly to other books. It is, of course, a gangster novel, but so much more. It is also a (Catholic) morality play.
The dreary wedding between Pinkie and Rose. Both feel they are committing a 'mortal sin' and heading for damnation, yet both are fully aware of what they are doing.
No. It is, by its very nature, very dark.
"Deeper than a murder story..."
I don't usually re-listen to books even when they are excellent. I would definitely read more books by the same author and recommend this to others.
There are many memorable moments... one vivid section is when Pinkie is attacked at the race course and he flees full of fear.
Ida, she is a wonderful, kind, strong-spirited woman and a contrast to many in the book.
It is certainly emotionally involving, I identified with Ida, she wants to see justice win through. The young and poor characters, like Pinkie and Rose, with their desperate and deprived lives make you feel terribly sad.
I read Brighton Rock because I knew it had a reputation as a classic.I have enjoyed other Graham Green novels. I am not usually interested in murder stories, but the themes of sin and damnation and the wonderful character writing have made this rather bleak story an absolute pleasure.
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