2. The End of the Affair: Graham Greene

001Why did I read it?

I really loved Brighton Rock and I have seen some of the films made out of Greene’s other books (The Quiet American, The Third Man etc). I had this in a set of classics I took when my Grandma was clearing out some of her books. I started to read it about a year ago I think but put it to one side, probably because I had to read something else for book club, and forgot about it. I started it again this time.

Genres

Classic fiction/ literary fiction, romance?

Plot Summary

Writer Maurice Bendrix has a chance encounter with the husband of his ex-lover who reveals to him that he thinks she is having an affair. He is driven by his own jealousy to employ a private detective to find out for certain and he reflects on ‘the end of the affair’.

My Review

I don’t know why, but I expected something a bit more romantic. I enjoyed the first half of the novel, as Bendrix wrestles with his jealousy, but once we start to hear Sarah’s (his lover’s) voice I began to find it a bit difficult as the tone changes and it becomes a deliberation on faith, specifically Catholicism. There were some elements of this in Brighton Rock but that is a lot more plot driven and more exciting. Not being a Catholic, I couldn’t really empathise with Sarah’s dilemma. I’m also rather pre-disposed to judge people who indulge in affairs negatively so that immediately puts me agains Maurice and Sarah, but then again Sarah’s cuckolded Senior Civil Servant husband Henry is no more sympathetic. The best characters are the private detective and his sickly son! In all, interesting, but not my cup of tea.

3 stars (4 for the first half, 2 for the second!)

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3 thoughts on “2. The End of the Affair: Graham Greene

  1. I really liked it, but I admit that’s probably because I’m a lapsed Catholic and so Sarah’s dilemma (and the dilemma of a lot of Greene characters) really spoke to me. I agree with you about disliking characters who are having affairs, but it didn’t bother me so much in this book as it usually does.

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