Monday, 14 July 2008

Our Man in Havana

Title: Our Man in Havana

Author: Graham Greene

Number of pages: 220

Started: 9 July 2008

Finished: 14 July 2008

Opening words:

"That nigger going down the street," said Dr. Hasselbacher standing in the Wonder Bar, "he reminds me of you, Mr. Wormold." It was typical of Dr. Hasselbacher that after fifteen years of friendship he still uses the prefix Mr -- friendship proceeded with the slowness and assurances of a careful diagnosis. On Wormold's death-bed, when Dr. Hasselbacher came to feel his failing pulse, he would perhaps become Jim.

The Negro was blind in one eye and one leg was shorter than the other; he wore an ancient felt hat and his ribs showed through his torn shirt like a ship's under demolition.

Plot summary:

Wormold is a vacuum cleaner salesman in a city of powercuts. His adolescent daughter spends his money with a skill that amazes him so when a mysterious Englishman offers him an extra income he's tempted. In return all he has to do is file a few reports. But when his fake reports start coming true things suddenly get more complicated and Havana becomes a threatening place.

Summary taken from Amazon.

What I thought:

I quite liked this book, not as much as others of Graham Greene's books that I have read but it was readable in a whimsical sort of way. It reminded me of Catch 22 by Joseph Heller, which I guess was due to the absurdity of them both – in this book that someone could be recruited as an agent and simply make up the whole thing, people, intelligence, details and actually end up in the worrying position of it coming true! Not one of my favourite Greene books but perfectly readable.

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