The Blundering, Ineffectual American

Lehmann, John
March 1956
New Republic;3/12/56, Vol. 134 Issue 11, p26
The article focuses on the book "The Quiet American," by Graham Greene. There are a number of American characters in it, and they are all mercilessly caricatured. The central character and narrator, Thomas Fowler, is a Protestant by upbringing but in fact an agnostic, continually denying the need for God until that last sentence, the irony of which is supposed to escape him. The story is set in Saigon, is swiftly and economically set, the chief characters and the situation, with its invisible lie is presented in the first few pages of the novel. The story weaves in and weaves out of flash backs, dropping a clue here and a clue there to the two mysteries and developing emotional tensions.


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