This story of how the relationships between a seasoned foreign correspondent trying not to become "involved" in the fighting, a young American idealist whose grievously misguided policies lead to bloodshed, and a young Vietnamese girl all play out during the death throes of French colonial ambitions in Vietnam in the early 50s. It formed the basis of the 2002 Miramax film with Michael Caine and Brendan Frasier.
Only too timely. Very well written. Still poses knotty moral dilemmas for the reader.
Superb novel, still very timely today. Greene's writing is masterful.
a classic about the Vietnam war and our involvement in it . Wonderfully written.
"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious mission to Saigon, where the French Army struggles against the Vietminh guerrillas.
As young Pyle's well-intentioned policies blunder into bloodshed, Fowler, a seasoned and cynical British reporter, finds it impossible to stand safely aside as an observer. But Fowler's motives for intervening are suspect, both to the police and himself, for Pyle has stolen Fowler's beautiful Vietnamese mistress.
The Quiet American provides an interesting perspective of Vietnam during the decline of the French presence in Indochina. It is a thriller, a romance and a political statement with rich character development, depth of plot, and vivid description of locales. The novel easily holds one's attention throughout the book's short length. I would highly recommend it as I would classify it as Graham Greene's masterpiece.