The Comedians

By Graham Greene
Read by Joseph Porter

11.13 Hours 02/01/1994 unabridged
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Three men meet on a ship bound for Haiti, where corruption and terror reign under the dictatorship of Papa Doc and the Tontons Macoute, his sinister secret police. Disillusioned and noncommittal, they are the “comedians” of Greene’s title. Brown is a disenchanted English hotel owner; the Smiths are an American couple on a good-will mission; Martha is the young wife of a Latin American diplomat; Jones is an engaging fool. They play their parts, respectable or shady, in the foreground, experiencing love affairs rather than love, enthusiasms but not a faith, and meaningless accidental deaths. Hiding behind their actors’ masks, they hesitate on the edge of life, afraid of love, pain, and fear itself. With alternating comedy, irony, and grim violence, Greene weaves these lives in a pattern of mounting suspense.

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Summary

Summary

Three men meet on a ship bound for Haiti, where corruption and terror reign under the dictatorship of Papa Doc and the Tontons Macoute, his sinister secret police. Disillusioned and noncommittal, they are the “comedians” of Greene’s title. Brown is a disenchanted English hotel owner; the Smiths are an American couple on a good-will mission; Martha is the young wife of a Latin American diplomat; Jones is an engaging fool. They play their parts, respectable or shady, in the foreground, experiencing love affairs rather than love, enthusiasms but not a faith, and meaningless accidental deaths. Hiding behind their actors’ masks, they hesitate on the edge of life, afraid of love, pain, and fear itself. With alternating comedy, irony, and grim violence, Greene weaves these lives in a pattern of mounting suspense.

Editorial Reviews

Editorial Reviews

“One of Graham Greene’s most chilling and prophetic novels.” Amazon.com editorial review
“Laughter is possible even in the dark night of Haiti…A vision that is at once comic and intensely serious…A major novel!” Roger Sharrock, author of Saints, Sinners and Comedians
“Greene’ Comedians is eminently, expertly stylish. It may not be his most important book but a good many attractive adjectives apply.” Kirkus Reviews (starred review)
“One of his best novels…The Haiti of The Comedians is grainy, visceral, forthright, and true.” Chicago Tribune

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: 11.13
Audience: Adult
Language: English