Brighton Rock

By Graham Greene
Read by Richard Brown

9.73 Hours 03/01/2011 unabridged
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Originally published in 1938, Graham Greene’s chilling exposé of violence and gang warfare is a masterpiece of psychological realism and often considered Graham Greene’s best novel. It is a fascinating study of evil, sin, and the “appalling strangeness of the mercy of God,” a classic of its kind. Set in Brighton, England, among the criminal rabble, the book depicts the tragic career of a seventeen-year-old boy named Pinkie whose primary ambition is to lead a gang to rival that of the wealthy and established Colleoni. Pinkie is devoid of compassion or human feeling, despising weakness of the spirit or of the flesh. Responsible for the razor slashes that killed Kite and also for the death of Hale, he is the embodiment of calculated evil. As a Catholic, however, he is convinced that his retribution does not lie in human hands. He is therefore not prepared for Ida Arnold, Hale’s avenging angel. Ida, whose allegiance is with life, the here and now, has her own ideas about the circumstances surrounding Hale’s death. For the sheer joy of it she takes up the challenge of bringing the infernal Pinkie to an earthly kind of justice. When finished, the listener is sure to ponder some lofty moral issues to which Greene, a Catholic writer, withholds easy judgments.

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Summary

Summary

Originally published in 1938, Graham Greene’s chilling exposé of violence and gang warfare is a masterpiece of psychological realism and often considered Graham Greene’s best novel. It is a fascinating study of evil, sin, and the “appalling strangeness of the mercy of God,” a classic of its kind.

Set in Brighton, England, among the criminal rabble, the book depicts the tragic career of a seventeen-year-old boy named Pinkie whose primary ambition is to lead a gang to rival that of the wealthy and established Colleoni. Pinkie is devoid of compassion or human feeling, despising weakness of the spirit or of the flesh. Responsible for the razor slashes that killed Kite and also for the death of Hale, he is the embodiment of calculated evil. As a Catholic, however, he is convinced that his retribution does not lie in human hands.

He is therefore not prepared for Ida Arnold, Hale’s avenging angel. Ida, whose allegiance is with life, the here and now, has her own ideas about the circumstances surrounding Hale’s death. For the sheer joy of it she takes up the challenge of bringing the infernal Pinkie to an earthly kind of justice.

When finished, the listener is sure to ponder some lofty moral issues to which Greene, a Catholic writer, withholds easy judgments.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“In this classic novel of murder and menace, Graham Greene lays bare the soul of a boy of seventeen who stalks Brighton’s tawdry boardwalk with apathy on his face and murder in his heart.”  Nobel laureate J. M. Coetzee
“In a class by himself…the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety.” William Golding, Nobel Prize–winning author
“A superb storyteller with a gift for provoking controversy.” New York Times
“Greene had the sharpest eyes for trouble, the finest nose for human weaknesses, and was pitilessly honest in his observations…For experience of a whole century he was the man within.” Independent
“Why does this bleak, seething and anarchic novel still resonate? Its energy and power is that of the rebellious adolescent, foreshadowing the rise of the cult of youth in the latter part of the 20th century.” Guardian

Reviews

Reviews

Author

Author Bio: Graham Greene

Graham Greene (1904–1991) was an English novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. He was an ardent convert to Catholicism, and religious themes are at the root of much of his writing. He served with the Secret Intelligence Service during the Second World War. His novels are set in places in a state of seedy decay, and many of his locations, such as Vietnam in The Quiet American and Cuba in Our Man in Havana, became international crisis spots.

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Details

Details

Available Formats : Digital Download, Digital Rental, CD, MP3 CD
Category: Fiction/Classics
Runtime: 9.73
Audience: Adult
Language: English