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The Heart of the Matter

Narrated by: Joseph Porter
Length: 10 hrs and 5 mins
4 out of 5 stars (84 ratings)

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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.

Critic Reviews

“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 Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Genuine and brutally honest!

I first heard of this book while listening to Chimamanda Adichie's, Americanah. I recall the 2 characters in the story refer to "the Heart of the Matter," as honest, and I totally agree. This book is without pretense. I did not feel that the Author was trying to convince me of anything...and yet I felt deeply.

I know Mr.Scobie/Greene, as this book is a reflection of his experiences. His story of internal struggle is one that I and I'm sure many relate to. The suffering that we harbor for ourselves and others, the anguish of desiring love but not feeling worthy, the turmoil that accompanies those secret wrongs that we've contributed to... that cancer that festers and eats away at our souls at some time or another, and that wanting desire to escape it all.

Reader, I was consumed by this book. Not because it stirred deep emotion inside of me. Rather, because it gave me permission to be stirred. Knowing that I am part of a tribe that has and will struggle with internal battles, manifest, at some point and that my ill fated attempts to right my wrongs will be subject of talk for but a brief period and will soon be forgotten as the dead!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    2 out of 5 stars
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Not nearly as good as Greene's "The Quiet American

What disappointed you about The Heart of the Matter?

Characters were not developed enough for their choices to "ring true." Big disappointment after reading " The Quiet American."

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

Would have been better as a short story.

Would you listen to another book narrated by Joseph Porter?

Yes

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

Well written in places - a few quotable sentences.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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.

6 of 11 people found this review helpful

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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

British Colonialism and Catholic Guilt ho hum

I bought this because it is referred to. in Ghana Must Go. II am afraid I could not get past the acceptance
of white supremacy and hysterical white women heroines. ho hum

0 of 2 people found this review helpful

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    2 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars
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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.

2 of 21 people found this review helpful