Saturday, September 19, 2009

The Tenth Man - post I

Graham Greene has such an easy style that although you know there might be some plot developments that make uncomfortable reading you will get round them in the luxury of a smooth fashion. He is in total control and taking you by the hand into his well described world.

Here the book starts slightly differently with a 33 page introduction by Greene explaining that he was working for Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and had to write some film scripts. The Tenth Man was one of the works he produced. He talks about Our Man in Havana and the way he pulls things together from relatively small ideas.

Here the tenth man is a lonely lawyer Louis Chavel who draws a lot to be killed but ends up swapping his fortune for his life. But he then returns to his former home, now lived in by the mother and sister of the man who died in his place, and starts to live under the same roof taking a role as a handyman.

You guess that Chavel would fall in love with the sister of the man he sent to his death and you sense that she will discover. That might make the plot seem simplistic but the craft in the writing makes you stick with it because you never quite know where it will go.

More soon...

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