Regular price: $14.18

Membership details Membership details
  • A 30-day trial plus your first audiobook, free.
  • 1 credit/month after trial – good for any book, any price.
  • Easy exchanges – swap any book you don’t love.
  • Keep your audiobooks, even if you cancel.
  • After your trial, Audible is just $14.95/month.
OR
In Cart

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

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    124
  • 4 Stars
    67
  • 3 Stars
    32
  • 2 Stars
    10
  • 1 Stars
    3

Performance

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    118
  • 4 Stars
    60
  • 3 Stars
    10
  • 2 Stars
    5
  • 1 Stars
    0

Story

  • 4.5 out of 5 stars
  • 5 Stars
    111
  • 4 Stars
    56
  • 3 Stars
    16
  • 2 Stars
    6
  • 1 Stars
    4
Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

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

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

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

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.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

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

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.

3 of 3 people found this review helpful

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Excellent Revisit!

I loved the revisit to a familiar story in audible form and the reminder of the film in the tune.

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

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 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Spectacular. Superb. Wonderful.

Of course the basis for one of the greatest movies of all times, but the story by itself...Wonderful. I am stunned struck by the story.

Of course I still see Orson Wells' Harry Lime.

:-)

0 of 1 people found this review helpful

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Frankiesam
  • 12-01-15

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.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Bel
  • 05-17-18

Just like I remembered it

I watched the film decades ago, so I remembered roughly what it was about.
When I got hold of a cheap copy of the audio book, I thought it was a great chance to actually get to know the original story.
Although my memory of the film is hazy at beast, my impression was, that it is a good adaptation.

I really enjoyed the book. Martin Jarvis' narration was perfect, and I didn't even mind that the audio was interspersed with the Harry Lime Theme which is so well known from the film. In fact, I actually enjoyed it.
If you don't know the story, go ahead and listen to it, then go on and watch the film if you can get a copy.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Renzo
  • 06-08-17

Time to revisit a classic we grew up with.

Would you consider the audio edition of The Third Man to be better than the print version?

No. Different, not better. A book can be kept, dipped into and enjoyed.

What did you like best about this story?

Another world, defeated WW2 Europe.
We studied this in English at school early 1970's. We grew up with the atmospheric film and I have the soundtrack.

5 of 7 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Amazon Customer
  • 09-30-17

Classic Tale

I have read the book, seen the film and now heard the audio: wonderful reading of a marvellous book.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Ed Switzerland
  • 07-22-18

An essential classic

Whether you’ve seen the film or not, this wonderfully engaging story (in effect a screenplay for the film) is a must.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Olly Buxton
  • 06-30-18

Short, lightweight story

Notwithstanding Martin Jarvis' typically brilliant narration, it is a hard book to engage with. Greene switches perspective repeatedly through the book, though it isn't well signposted so it is hard to keep track of whose head the reader is inside at a given moment. Also (rather like in Le Carré's Smiley books) much of the background exposition takes place by way of dialogue during a sequence of interviews and interrogations, which saps the book of energy. Nice twist in the middle, though, and the picture of postwar partitioned Vienna is vivid.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • R. Manson
  • 06-25-18

Excellent

I really enjoyed this audio story, the audio did a great job of bringing it to life.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars
  • TonyP
  • 06-21-18

A classic story, well told

An enjoyable story, if a little short. It is really just a novella, but the story and atmosphere are very good. The reading is well done, although the film music may be a classic, it is badly used, and is very intrusive.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Caroline
  • 06-21-18

A Great Story - expertly Read!

It's years since I have read any Graham Greene but I enjoyed this so much it has made me re-discover this great story-teller. Martin Jarvis' narration is perfect too. Highly recommended!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Paul D
  • 06-16-18

Classic

Classic book with a excellent reading. Quality writing with well crafted characters and a solid plot.

Sort by:
  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • David James
  • 07-22-18

Superb reading of a perfect novella

Greene wrote this as preparation for writing the screenplay. The novella matches the movie, and the performance honours both.