Stamboul Train

by Graham Greene | Literature & Fiction |
ISBN: 0140185321 Global Overview for this book
Registered by SEP-393294 on 12/14/2004
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This book is in the wild! This Book is Currently in the Wild!
2 journalers for this copy...
Journal Entry 1 by SEP-393294 on Tuesday, December 14, 2004
Read nearly all of G.G's books and can't get into this one... a classic!

Journal Entry 2 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Thanks Quadrat, good to meet you last night. Too many people to talk to everyone...which is a good thing I 'spose?

Journal Entry 3 by BookGroupMan from Criccieth, Wales United Kingdom on Monday, January 15, 2007
From L P Hartley in the blurb, ‘A tour de force…The realist and the romantic struggle each other...making it a kind of mental minefield’ – not a great quote from the author of the sublime, ‘The past is a foreign country, they do things differently there’. However, the book is a slightly uneasy combination of the heroic & romantic and the more prosiac weaknesses & prejudices of the main characters.

The action is set on the Orient Express as it travels from Ostend to Constantinopole, or ‘stamboul, in the early 1930’s. The train and various stop-overs becomes a play (a ‘train script’!) in several chapters, which Greene unapologetically wrote as an ‘entertainment’ with the film rights in mind. We meet a number of colourful actors, verging on the sterotypical but with a slight twist; the ‘ugly Jew’ Myatt who becomes a good samaritan, sort of; his ‘mistress’ Coral who overcomes her natural innocence to act with great sang-froid and eventual self-awareness. The communist and failed-revolutionary Czinner and thief-turned-murderer Grunlich in the end acted more-or-less in character, but I thought they were both quite sad individuals. Greene also throws in some other dislikable characters, the writer and arrogant social-climber (after J B Priestly apparently), the hard-drinking butch lesbian hack, and her opportunistic partner.

I think I’m beginning to see the appeal of ‘Greeneland’, although I’m happy to be an occasional visitor rather than a resident ;)

I’m grateful to the introduction provided by Christopher Hichens (not this edition) for some of the background to the book, especially the Catholic and Jewish themes in Greene’s books, and finally, from GG, ‘A splinter of ice in the heart…is a necessity for the novelist. One must see unblinkingly into the pettiness and self-deception of the human condition.’

ps. sorry i've had this so long quadrat. I will make available and possible release it unless I hear otherwise?

Journal Entry 4 by BookGroupMan at Cambridge Railway station in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom on Wednesday, January 31, 2007

Released 12 yrs ago (1/31/2007 UTC) at Cambridge Railway station in Cambridge, Cambridgeshire United Kingdom

WILD RELEASE NOTES:

RELEASE NOTES:

I left this on the early train from Ipswich to Cambridge (on a train, of course ;) - part of my challenge to 'wild release' a book-a-month during 2007. I hope this finds someone else and continues its onward journey...

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