in my opinion, this is one of the best spy novels of all time.
Espionage has long attracted some of our greatest writers because of the complexity of human interaction that it allows them to explore. Betrayal, fear, divided allegiance, even love - all are opportunities available for the novelist to plumb in the context of the spy story, which is why authors such as Greene and Le Carré again and again return to the genre. All those human conditions are made vivid in this, one of Greene's most stunning works, which centers on Maurice Castle, a bureaucrat in the British intelligence service, who pays a debt with the ultimate betrayal of his country. Greene's keen insight and subtlety put the greatest burdens on a reader, and in Tim Pigott-Smith he is well served. In a narration brimming with intelligence and deep feeling, Pigott-Smith perfectly captures Greene in all of his strengths, from his acidic humor to his portrayal of sundering despair. M.O. © AudioFile 2002, Portland, Maine
In a conventional sense this is a book about a double agent, however this is not a conventional book. Greene, much like LeCarre writes about the culture of the espionage community as a metaphor for the way we live today. His characters are rich multi-layered people who have hidden agendas, divided loyalties and in this particular work a profound sense of loneliness. Not as political as some of his other works but, more psychological. That said, due to his strong narrative style it becomes a quick yet emotionally satisfying read.
spy espionage set in the fifties or early sixties. this guy is a double agent and needs to get his wife and kid out of the country. trouble is they're connected to some spy trouble in africa so the situation gets sticky...
for me it explored lonliness, the question of how much to share with your spouse, commitment, and a person's true loyalties. good read
Slow plodding novel about a member of British intelligence. No James Bond moments...just the routine of a civil servant who happens to be in intelligence field. The plot revolves around a "leak" to the Russians that is coming from his department.
The novel has well developed characters and does reveal the paranoia, ambiguity and amorality of a secret service.
Story takes place in England and some nouns, e.g. torch, lift, lorry seem strange to American readers. As an aside, every major character in the story seems to drink alcohol heavily! Good but nor great.
The book is old, but in good condition