EBOOK READ [The Heart of the Matter] Author Graham Greene

At one time in my life I read a lot of Grahame Greene I don t know precisely when but it must have been in late autumn or winter because my memory of so many is dreary rain on the window panes dark action played out in black and white An alien mind with a curious if twisted consistency A feeling of inevitable betrayal and fear of failure in The Confidential Agent Relationships here or in The uiet American as promising a particularly dreary doom A decaying post war feeling that suggests a world of defeat in Brighton Rock rather than survival and new opportunityPerhaps if I read them again I d be surprised at bright colours and flashes of optimism closed to the characters but open to the reader Four stars because of the uality of the writing But I am going to disagree with the label that goes with it that of really liked it Because I did not I feel no affection for this book and I doubt that I will ever re read it for many reasons that I will state below But for those just reading this to get a uick glance about whether they should read it or not ou should in short It is worth it I just would not expect to fall in loveThe book focuses on Major Scobie a policeman in a British colony of West Africa where Greene himself spent some time It s set during WWII which serves to set up the mood of distrust fragility and vague apprehension that is to haunt the novel and our hero Major Scobie is a Catholic and he is m Graham Greene s powerful story of morality integrity love betrayal intrigue corruption life changing events and Catholic guilt set in war time Sierra LeoneThis is a great book and only the second Graham Greene that I have read Brighton Rock being the other The Heart of the Matter is a powerful thought provoking and deeply profound novel that works on many different levels It has at its centre the story of a Scobie a man of integrity and honesty a deeply principled police officer and how a series of events changes everything I know that there was a film adaptation starring Trevor Howard which I would be interested to see although fully expect that this may well be the usual sanitised Hollywood version rewrite to which we have become all too accustomed toI would recommend this book to anyone and it makes me think that I really must read Graham Greene does anyone have any recommendationsThe Heart of the Matter is a must read and definitely not to be missed THE FIRST FACETIOUS REVIEW BASED MAINLY ON FRANKIE VALLI AND SUPREMES SINGLES Spoilers ahoy but we re all friends aren t we As our tale opens Major Henry Scobie is stuck in a L'amica geniale you never closeour eyes any when Enriques Journey (The Young Adult Adaptation) you kiss my lips type situation with Mrs Major Henry Scobie aka Louise and there s a big thought bubble coming out of both their heads which says Where did our love go Well after 15ears what do ou expect darlin Then this new character strolls in called Wilson and he clocks Louise and he s all there she was just a walkin down the African colony singin doo wah diddy diddy she looked good she looked fine and I nearly lost my mind and before ou can say another pink gin dahling he s telling her Mrs Major Scobie my world is empty without ou and she s now then Wilson ou cahn t hurry lohve no Crisis and Opportunity: Sustainability in American Agriculture (Our Sustainable Future) you just got to wait Dahling So she decides she wants to visit South Africa asou do in the middle of World War Two because it s automatically sunshine there So then the Major s like what No Love is here and now Captured By A Street Kings Love you re gone what a bitch but then this shipwreck happened not a metaphor a real one and theoung Keira Knightley I think we could get Keira couldn t we winds up widowed and prostrate in front of him and it s oh what a night late September in 42 what a laydee what a night and he s a bit Dawn Go Away I m No Good For You but she props herself up on her one good elbow and says stayjust a little bit alongerrrr another pink gin Major And as soon as she s Vertical Again Love Is Like An Itching In Her Heart again love is like an itching in her heart it apart and she gets Major Henry to scratch it which he does with aplomb And the pink gin rains down for forty days and forty nights But even though tourism must have been discouraged during a period of total war Louise aka Mrs Major Henry Scobie sails back from South Africa and she s all let s hang on to what we ve got and his mind gets all messed up every day he s falling in and out of love with the one or the other but because of the big religious thing he has going on I should have mentioned that he s living in shame He s careful but he s waiting for that moment when Mrs Major Louise will tell him as he dons his solar topee and heads off towards the nissen huts baby baby I m aware of where ou go each time ou leave my door I watch Adventurer's Vault you walk down the African colony knowingour other love Abducted Auctioned Stolen by an Alien you ll meet and so forth He knows it s in the post then there s Keira feeling like a rag doll telling him one minute go on get outta my lifeou don t really love me Elements of Agricultural Engineering you just keep me hanging on then the next minute ooooh dob me one Major I hear a symphony coming out ofour fleshly parts ou knows I do Poor guy doesn t know if he s on his elbow or his arse and the religion appears to be no help Anyway he decides to walk like a man for a change and take drastic action I shan t give the ending away but I will say this much it turns out that big girls don t cry much If at allI got to feeling a bit guilty about the above review thinking well maybe Graham Greene deserves to be taken just a little seriously because God knows his books are serious stuff So I must say that this novel is pretty good serious stuff So I must say that this novel is pretty good and even uite compelling but I had a crucial problem with it The central crisis the horrible dilemma he contrives for his man Scobie to find himself in is religious I can t discuss it without giving the whole show away so big fat spoiler warning in dazzly orange lights Scobie believes to the core of his very self that if he takes Communion without having confessed his sins and received absolution and crucially without a genuine desire not to commit the said sin again then he will be damned to hell for eternity Ironical twists abound as ou may well expect the woman he s committing his adulterous sins with and with whom he fully intends to continue because he loves her is a non believer and thinks his convictions are uaint He doesn t love her less for that in his eyes God hasn t for inscrutable reasons given her the grace to see the truth So he s driven to go to Mass with his wife to avoid her being suspicious And go he does and gets his soul damned to hell as far as he s concerned For all eternity He says What I ve done is far worse than murder that s an act a blow a stab a shot it s over and it s done but I m carrying my corruption around with me I mean really Is GG seriously saying that going to Mass and taking communion if Long Road to Hard Truth you re still intending to carry on sleeping withour mistress. In a British colony in West Africa Henry Scobie is a pious and righteous man of modest means enlisted with securing borders But when he’s passed over for a promotion as commissioner of police the humiliation hits hardest for his wife Louise Already oppressed by. .
From a previous novel of Graham Greene of vultures settling to roost on the iron rooftops of a nowhere town in a third world country it s the introduction to The Power and the Glory When I came across an identical image in the first pages of the present novel I knew I was letting myself in for another traumatic ride through the maze of a fallible human mind I knew I would struggle with depression and moral ambivalence and with a loss of faith et I was also aware that the novel will hold me in its thrall until the last page like compulsively watching the grief and destruction left behind by a trainwreck or by a suicide bombing He felt almost intolerably lonely On either side of the school the tin roofs sloped towards the sea and the corrugated iron above his head clanged and clattered as a vulture alighted A mirror image reinforces the tonality of the novel in its final pages They didn t kiss it was too soon for that but they sat in the hollow room holding hands listening to the vultures clambering on the iron roof Between these macabre bookends a man named Scobie will be torn apart in his love in his integrity and in his Catholic faith in a sweltering tropical town on the coast of Sierra Leone during the larger world tempest that was the second world war The setting the historical period and the damned protagonist made me toy with the idea of drawing parallels between Major Scobie and Geoffrey Firmin from Malcolm Lowry s masterpiece Under the Volcano Both writers taped their inner demons in order to create their memorable expatriates both explore the theme of self destruction in the face of personal failure et Scobie and Firmin have almost nothing in common when it gets down to the root cause of their misfortune If one knew he wondered the facts would one have to feel pity even for the planets if one reached what they called the heart of the matter My heart went out for the Consul a victim of an excess of love and of misguided faith in his peers a man who would rather drink himself to death than live in a world without love Scobie s tribulations rang hollow when his inner good intentions didn t translate in commendable actions There is something rotten in his rationing chain something that will drive him deeper and deeper into a spider s web of lies deceit and betrayals view spoiler culminating in the assassination of his trusted coloured personal servant hide spoiler Very strong Very Greene The comic touch always lurks on the edge of his major works even here a West African coastal colony town during World War 2 where British officers have regressed into a sort of juvenile madness The novel is stifling claustrophobic and The Algorithmic Leader How to Be Smart When Machines Are Smarter Than You yet lightly rendered as a police officer named Scobie moves along the fixed track of plot toward inevitable disaster Though as the James Wood introduction which is a horror of spoilers discusses Scobie is in some ways a confoundingly flat character I enjoyed the way the novel mashed his unfeeling Catholicism against his pity for others pity that drives him into sin Greene is one of our most cinematic authors and we can see these creations all too well Scobie s bookish wife Louise the ridiculous Englishmen Wilson a sublime foil and Harris the pathetic shipwrecked Helen Yusef a wonderfully crooked businesssman w a weak spot for Scobie his pillows wet with tears for affection for the lead what a villain Though the book s racial politics are antiuated Greene captures the grossness of the colonial ethos wonderfully and he goes deep into uestions of redemption for Catholics The text behaves oddly with thoughts slipping onto the page and fracturing Greene s prose Moments Scobie inventing a story for a shipwreckedouth Scobie s inability to get mad at Wilson a late night cockroach huntIn our hearts there is a ruthless dictator ready to contemplate the misery of a thousand strangers if it will ensure the happiness of the few we love Beware the pity party This is a terribly British terribly colonial novel set in West Africa during WWII You know what I mean by colonial The Color Complex you can see it right Men with manly jobs say like a potential police commissioner are called Tickie by their wives and have a boy who has worked for them for thirteenearsYou ll have to look past all that in all likelihood I had to Dear god why TickieOnce A Tribe Apart A Journey into the Heart of American Adolescence you get past the things that might annoy or that may not have aged particularly well congratulationsou are reading a gorgeous novel by the inimitable Graham Greene A man who was tortured by his Catholic beliefs so he inflicted them on his characters poor things A man who had deep compassion for those stuck in the crevasses between belief and LIFE with all its not uite measuring ups and messinessHenry Scobie sorry but I refuse to call him Tickie is one of Greene s suffering sorry but I refuse to call him Tickie is one of Greene s suffering by which I mean he really believes and thus is basically tortured by his need to be good He s also got this overpowering sense of pity for others for his wife who isn t happy for his mistress who wants from him for even God Himself who is getting a raw deal from Scobie this flawed imperfect human Greene shows brilliantly how dangerous and self destructive how misplaced pity can be how doomed one is if one lives by it He also shows the complexity of life juxtaposed with the flatness of rules He does this by featuring a man who is corrupted unfaithful untrusting and compromised but who is also the most moral caring and God fearing person in any given room Willing to give it all up like a tortured saint for an undeserving rabble old Tickie will break Enslave Me Sweetly your heart He did mineDamn perfection Damn those confining rules The Church saysI know the Church says The Church knows all the rules But it doesn t know what goes on in a single human heart 551 The Heart of The Matter Graham GreeneThe Heart of the Matter 1948 is a novel by English author Graham Greene The book details a life changing moral crisis for Henry Scobie Wilson sat on the balcony of the Bedford Hotel with his bald pink knees thrust against the ironwork Graham Greene s masterpiece The Heart of the Matter tells the story of a good man enmeshed in love intrigue and evil in a West African coastal town Scobie is bound by strict integrity to his role as assistant police commissioner and by severe responsibility to his wife Louise for whom he cares with a fatal pity When Scobie falls in love with theoung widow Helen he finds vital passion again ielding to pity integrity giving way to deceit and dishonor a vortex leading directly to murder yielding to pity integrity giving way to deceit and dishonor a vortex leading directly to murder Scobie s world crumbles his personal crisis develops the foundation of a story by turns suspenseful fascinating and finally tragic Originally published in 1948 The Heart of the Matter is the unforgettable portrait of one man flawed et heroic destroyed and redeemed by a terrible conflict of passion and faith 1987 1365 335 1383 32. ??s passage It’s just a single indiscretion Touched by an Alien yet for Henry it precipitates a rapid fall from grace as one moral compromise after another leads him into a web of blackmail adultery and murder And for a devout man like Henry there may be nothing left but damnation. Is far worse than murder Really That s crazyou know So if I can t take that very serious point in this serious book seriously then maybe I the Non Believer have to turn away muttering It s Chinatown Jack leave it like a gumshoe too far over his head in other people s business Of course it turns out his wife pretty much knew all about the affair so this abandoned act was really not needed So there was the irony There was I say plenty of that sloshing around However I could read it as a novel which was an intensely observed case of mental illness and gross self delusion Scobie is about as wrong as a person could be about the situation he finds himself in so maybe GG is implying that he s wrong about God too that the ugly version of God Scobie appears to believe in which God is half cruel puppetmaster and half lascivious voyeur of human pleasures and sins and repentances a very repulsive version is as wrong as his presumptions that both his wife and his mistress actually care about him The speed with which they drape replacement male companions about their persons after Scobie s demise appears to give the lie to that one This novel hangs in the air like cordite after Theory of African Literature you ve finished it with its awful pathetic denouement So it s pretty good A GENERAL COMPLAINT ABOUT A THING NOVELISTS DO While I was reading it something bugged me which is a general point about novels Authors like to drop nuggets of wisdom into their prose and sometimes I think they should be told to stop because their nuggets aren t actually wise at all Examples from this book these are from the narrative not from dialogue so they re as it were spoken by GG himself Happiness is never really so welcome as changelessness p87 who says it is I don t doou He listened with the intense interest one feels in a stranger s life the interest the Carrier War (US Navy Historical Thrillers Book 2) young mistake for love p126 oheah do the Chicana Movidas young mistake it likeou say or would they think this intense interest in a stranger s life was merely really creepy Every monologue sooner or later becomes a discussion p242 no it doesn t We are all of us resigned to death it s life we aren t resigned to p242 two on one page and er no I m NOT resigned to death AT ALL where did he get that idea fromPossibly this nugget dropping is an old fashioned fashion which modern writers don t do I haven t made a scientific survey But if they haven t stopped nuggeting they should because it s not big and it s seldom clever This book is a classic colonial novel We are immediately immersed in the British colonial tropics an unnamed British colony in West Africa during World War II Cockroaches rats and diseases abound The British colony shares a border with a Vichy French German allied colonial country so there is much intrigue about industrial diamond smuggling and the sinking of ships off the coast This capital city is a melting pot with Africans and British of course and the n word is freuently tossed around by the latter over gin Germans and Syrian merchants some of whom are Muslim and some CatholicOur protagonist is the chief of police A man devoted to duty he manages to create a totally loveless duty bound relationship with both his wife and mistress He grows to dread spending time with either one We watch his gradual and painful descent from stellar civil servant into evilThe Heart of the Matter is a very Catholic novel Unlike Brideshead Revisited also considered a Catholic novel the discussions of Catholicism aren t incidental to the plot and characters but very much in the fore There are discussions of points of Catholic theology with priests the protagonist s wife but very much in the fore There are discussions of points of Catholic theology with priests the protagonist s wife mistress and religious discussions at cocktail parties as well as the debates that go on in the police chief s mind But these aren t prolonged discussions the plot moves and it s uite a fascinating book suspenseful to the bitter end Book Circle Reads 35Rating 4 of fiveThe Publisher Says Graham Greene s masterpiece The Heart of the Matter tells the story of a good man enmeshed in love intrigue and evil in a West African coastal town Scobie is bound by strict integrity to his role as assistant police commissioner and by severe responsibility to his wife Louise for whom he cares with a fatal pityWhen Scobie falls in love with the A Theory of Adaptation young widow Helen he finds vital passion againielding TO PITY INTEGRITY GIVING WAY TO DECEIT AND DISHONOR pity integrity giving way to deceit and dishonor vortex leading directly to murder As Scobie s world crumbles his personal crisis makes for a novel that is suspenseful fascinating and finally tragicOriginally published in 1948 The Heart of the Matter is the unforgettable portrait of one man flawed et heroic destroyed and redeemed by a terrible conflict of passion and faithMy Review An excellent book Simply magnificent writing as always but than that the story is perfectly paced a thing Greene s stories aren t always eg The Power and story is perfectly paced a thing Greene s stories aren t always eg The Power and Glory and deeply emotional another thing Greene s stories aren t always eg Travels With My AuntGreene himself didn t like the book which was a species of roman clef I suspect though I don t have proof that he was simply uncomfortable at how much of his inner life he revealed in the book Scobie s infidelity and his fraught relationship with the wife he s saddled with must have been bad reading for Mrs Greene But the essential conflict of the book is man versus church the giant looming monster of judgment and hatred that is Catholicism Greene s convert s zeal for the idiotic strictures rules and overarching dumb philosophy of the religion are tested here and ultimately upheld though the price of the struggle and the upholding aren t scanted in the textStories reuire conflicts to make them interesting and the essential uestion an author must address is what s at stake here The intense and vivid the answer to that uestion is the of an impact the story is able to make Greene was fond of the story he tells here that of an individual against his individuality He told and retold the story The state the colonial power whose interests ScobieGreene serves is revealed in the text to be an uncaring and ungrateful master the rules of the state are broken with remarkably few ualms when the stakes get high enough It is the monolith of the oppressive church admonishing Scobie of his moral failings and withholding absolution of his sins that he is in full rebellion againstand in the end it is the church that causes all parties the most trouble and painGreene remained a or less believing Catholic I read this book and was stumped as to why The vileness of the hierarchy was so clear to me I couldn t imagine why anyone would read it and not drop christianity on the spot But no matter one s stance on the religion herein portrayed there s no denying the power of the tension between authority and self in creating an engaging and passionate story A must read I remember a striking image. The appalling climate frustrated in a loveless marriage and belittled by the wives of privileged officers Louise wants out Feeling responsible for her unhappiness Henry decides against his better judgment to accept a loan from a black marketeer to secure Louise?. .



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The Heart of the Matter