Friday, January 2, 2015

Recently Read: The End of the Affair

Author: Graham Greene
Genre: Classic
Publication Date: 1951
Page Count: 192
Rating: 5/5

This was my first Graham Greene I read. I own a couple of his best-know works, but the synopsis of this one really caught me eye so I decided to start with this one, and I'm so glad I did.

Maurice Bendrix is an author, making enough to support himself comfortably and he is on the verge of fame. Two years ago, his affair with his friend's wife ended suddenly and he still loves her and is searching for closure. He hires a private eye to trail Sarah out of jealousy towards the new lover he assumes she has, but he is surprised by what the private eye finds.

 I absolutely loved this book! I went into this book not knowing what to expect, but very intrigued by the synopsis. The writing is perfect, if it was chocolate- it would melt in your mouth. The bitter and jealous tone of the narration is so strong and honest for the first quarter, and then the tone shifts seamlessly for the second half of the novel, but is just as strong and honest.

I expected bitterness and jealousy to be big themes in this novel, and they definitely are, but the biggest theme in this novel caught me by surprise. This novel is more about faith- in God and other people- and questioning and attempting to deny that faith. Another pleasant surprise about this novel was how developed and strong the female character was. I loved that she was not just an object of desire and passion- but a real person with her own turmoils to face and decisions to live with. I found myself underlining and starring whole passages quite frequently. After reading the second paragraph on the first page I knew I would love this book- and I have been thinking about that paragraph for days after finishing the book.

This book has a really beautiful epigraph that captures the tone and themes so well.
"Man has places in his heart which do not yet exist, and into them enters suffering in order that they may have existence." 
 -Leon Bloy 

I love a well thought out epigraph! I would love to read about Greene's biography after I read more of his works. This book was so powerful it read like it was wrote from experience, and I'm curious to see if that is true. I will be picking up more of Greene's works very soon. I already own The Quiet American and Travels With my Aunt

If you haven't read any Greene yet, I really think this is a great novel to start with- and if you have read Greene previously- you should add this one to your list. There are many beautiful copies of this book, the two pictured above are both by Penguin. On the left is the 20th Century Classic Edition,- which is the one I own and on the right is the Classic Deluxe Edition- I love all of the books in this edition and they have published all of Greene's major works in these matching editions.

There is also a movie adaptation of this book with Julian Moore- which I'm curious to see.

Leave your thoughts on the movie, book, or Greene below!     

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