Graham Greene's 'long journey through time' began in 1904, when he was born into a tribe of Greenes based in Berkhamstead at the public school where his father was headmaster. In A Sort of Life Greene recalls schooldays and Oxford, adolescent encounters with psychoanalysis and Russian roulette, his marriage and conversion to Catholicism, and how he rashly resigned from The Times when his first novel, The Man Within was published in 1929. A Sort of Life reveals, brilliantly and compellingly, a life lived and an art obsessed by 'the dangerous edge of things'.
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A great writer who spoke brilliantly to a whole generation -
The setting of his life is beautifully observed and conveyed. I have never admired his writing more - the masterly skill and economy; the excitement he manages to pump, not just into the narrative, but into the very sentences, which throb and glow themselves - Observer
A subversive hero, self-consciously seeking out (in Browning's words) 'the dangerous edge of things,' who lived everywhere and nowhere, a man whom few people ever knew... Greene was a restless traveler, a committed writer, a terrible husband, an appalling father and an admitted manic-depressive - New York Times
This is the work of a remarkable man determined to show he is not particularly remarkable...his fame is secure - Daily Telegraph
Greene wrote some of the most commanding English novels of the twentieth century and some of the slickest commercial thrillers - Newsday
Graham Greene was born in 1904. On coming down from Balliol College, Oxford, he worked for four years as sub-editor on The Times. He established his reputation with his fourth novel, Stamboul Train. In 1935 he made a journey across Liberia, described in Journey Without Maps, and on his return was appointed film critic of the Spectator. In 1926 he had been received into the Roman Catholic Church and visited Mexico in 1938 to report on the religious persecution there. As a result he wrote The Lawless Roads and, later, his famous novel The Power and the Glory. Brighton Rock was published in 1938 and in 1940 he became literary editor of the Spectator. The next year he undertook work for the Foreign Office and was stationed in Sierra Leone from 1941 to 1943. This later produced the novel The Heart of the Matter, set in West Africa.
As well as his many novels, Graham Greene wrote several collections of short stories, four travel books, six plays, three books of autobiography - A Sort of Life, Ways of Escape and A World of My Own (published posthumously) - two of biography and four books for children. He also contributed hundreds of essays, and film and book reviews, some of which appear in the collections Reflections and Mornings in the Dark. Many of his novels and short stories have been filmed and The Third Man was written as a film treatment. Graham Greene was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. He died in April 1991.