The quiet American. (1960, Heinemann) 4 stars

One of Graham Greene's best works. The story is set at the time of the …

Review of 'The quiet American.' on 'Import'

4 stars

Greene tells a drmatic story in one of his most famous novels, but what is particularly amazing about this book is how prescient it was. Written in the early 1950s, The Quiet American seems to predict with surprising accuracy the future of US intervention in Vietnam long before they were actively involved in the conflict there. It also carefully deals with colonialism, racial stereotyping and post-war politics while telling a tense story (in part-metaphor) of war, love and loss (albeit still occasionally a victim to the prejudices of the time when it was written).

The narrator, a journalist, is trying not to be engagé, to be a neutral observer as the war goes on around him. He constantly reminds those around him (particularly the brash American Pyle) that the people of the country that they are in are suffering, and that they have their own motivations and desires, despite …