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Publisher's Summary

Originally published in 1938, Graham Greene’s chilling exposé of violence and gang warfare is a masterpiece of psychological realism and often considered Graham Greene’s best novel. It is a fascinating study of evil, sin, and the “appalling strangeness of the mercy of God,” a classic of its kind.

Set in Brighton, England, among the criminal rabble, the book depicts the tragic career of a 17-year-old boy named Pinkie whose primary ambition is to lead a gang to rival that of the wealthy and established Colleoni. Pinkie is devoid of compassion or human feeling, despising weakness of the spirit or of the flesh. Responsible for the razor slashes that killed Kite and also for the death of Hale, he is the embodiment of calculated evil. As a Catholic, however, he is convinced that his retribution does not lie in human hands.

He is therefore not prepared for Ida Arnold, Hale’s avenging angel. Ida, whose allegiance is with life, the here and now, has her own ideas about the circumstances surrounding Hale’s death. For the sheer joy of it she takes up the challenge of bringing the infernal Pinkie to an earthly kind of justice.

When finished, the listener is sure to ponder some lofty moral issues to which Greene, a Catholic writer, withholds easy judgments.

©1938 Graham Greene, renewed 1966, 1970 by Graham Greene (P)1990 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

Critic Reviews

“In a class by himself…the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety.”—William Golding, Nobel Prize–winning author

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.6 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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Story

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  • Overall

Awful Reader

Great writer. Terrific book. Awful reader. Terrible performance. Who makes these decisions? How does this Richard Brown get such work? If the reader is not an artist the listener is cheated. How can I pay the same amount to listen to Frederick Davidson read John le Carre as to hear RB to read GG? There is not a student at Tisch who could not do a better job than this. Inexcusable. Fire the hirer.

Dear Blackstone Audio or Audible or whomever: give the job to somebody who knows what they're doing. My wife, an equally avid consumer of audiobooks is less tolerant than I. She would not have given this book15 minutes. I hung in for reasons not related to the value of the experience. Good prose by a bad reader? Good dialogue by one who cannot act? Stop letting this happen. Please.

20 of 22 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Theological thriller

Not just a question of justice for murder, but the nature of good and evil, of God and the Church are under investigation in this taut, wonderfully written story of twisted young love.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • debra
  • Lancing, TN, United States
  • 08-06-12

A Masterpiece

Once again Greene creates vivid characters who the reader feels sure actually exist. This may be among his best, I say may be only because I still have a few more to read!!! Bravo.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
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Anti-Semitic

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

I am not sure why they chose to record the original version of this book, which is full of ugly anti-Semitic invective, when Greene himself repented and edited out that content in later editions.

Would you be willing to try another book from Graham Greene? Why or why not?

Not by this publisher.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

He seemed to mix up the different voices at times and I couldn't tell who was saying what.

You didn’t love this book... but did it have any redeeming qualities?

This is a very interesting novel spoiled by anti-Semitic content, which Greene tried to rectify during his lifetime. Why anyone would go back and re-inject such objectionable content into a book whose author had removed it is beyond me.

Any additional comments?

Yuck.

6 of 8 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story

Hissy / pitchy recording

Hard to listen to. The recording is very low fidelity and contains a lot of harsh sibilants.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful