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Set in the torn landscape of the Blitz, this book is a phantasmagoric study in terror. Arthur Rowe was hamstrung by guilt, the guilt of having murdered his sick wife. He was standing aside from the war until the day when he happened to guess the true weight of a cake at a charity fete.
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Graham Greene (1904-1991), whose long life nearly spanned the length of the twentieth century, was one of its greatest novelists. Educated at Berkhamsted School and Balliol College, Oxford, he started his career as a sub-editor of the London Times. He began to attract notice as a novelist with his fourth book, Orient Express, in 1932. In 1935, he trekked across northern Liberia, his first experience in Africa, told in A Journey Without Maps (1936). He converted to Catholicism in 1926, an edifying decision, and reported on religious persecution in Mexico in 1938 in The Lawless Roads, which served as a background for his famous The Power and the Glory, one of several “Catholic” novels (Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair). During the war he worked for the British secret service in Sierra Leone; afterward, he began wide-ranging travels as a journalist, which were reflected in novels such as The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana, The Comedians, Travels with My Aunt, The Honorary Consul, The Human Factor, Monsignor Quixote, and The Captain and the Enemy. As well as his many novels, Graham Greene wrote several collections of short stories, four travel books, six plays, two books of autobiography, A Sort of Life and Ways of Escape, two biographies, and four books for children. He also contributed hundreds of essays and film and book reviews to The Spectator and other journals, many of which appear in the late collection Reflections. Most of his novels have been filmed, including The Third Man, which the author first wrote as a film treatment. Graham Greene was named Companion of Honour and received the Order of Merit among numerous other awards.
Alan Furst is a bestselling author of historical spy novels, including Night Soldiers, Kingdom of Shadows, and most recently, Dark Voyage.
Greene classed The Ministry of Fear as one of his 'entertainments', a straightforward thriller. It is far from that, in fact it is one of his strangest, most unnerving novels. During the 1942 London blitz an apparently ordinary man (who is actually a murderer) wanders into a charity fete and, taking part in a traditional fund-raising competition, successfully guesses the weight of a home-made cake. This simple action leads him into a dark labyrinth of strange and inexplicable happenings - a meeting with two refugees, a fatal stabbing, an encounter in a deserted hotel, the opening of a suitcase, and then in the weirdest chapter of all, the central character... But that would be telling. The book has all the usual Greene ingredients: strange dreams and hazy, threatening memories, shadowy malign enemies, a romance which is a kind of betrayal, and at its centre the worst fear of all - the fear of a mind giving way, a personality distorted, a reality which is actually unreal. A thriller? Yes, and an excellent one. But also a very great deal more. (Kirkus UK)
Less bizarre than Brighton Rock or Thy Labyrinthine Ways, this is a return to the straight mystery novel which in Greene's hands is always something more. Psychologically provocative, atmospherically adept, it is the story of Arthur Rowe who by chance becomes the victim of a group of Nazi agents, operating and gaining power through fear. Strange occurrences, the cake at the fair which makes him the butt of murder, a seance where another man is killed in his stead, a bombing and subsequent amnesia which lands him in a private nursing home; strange people, the private detective who disappears, a fortune teller, the Hilfes - refugee brother and sister, and an enigmatic psychiatrist. Finally, in coordination with the Yard, the webbing of fortuitous events and individuals becomes clear - and Rowe is released from a past and private guilt, the killing of his wife. Ingenious intrigue, handled with fastidious finish. (Kirkus Reviews)
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Book Description William Heinemann Ltd, 1960. "This is an ex-library book and may have the usual library/used-book markings inside.This book has hardback covers. In fair condition, suitable as a study copy. Dust Jacket in fair condition. ". Seller Inventory # 7213209