Friday, August 08, 2008

Book Review Brief: The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene

Earlier today I finished the novel The Heart of the Matter by Graham Greene. I won't give anything away, but it's a pretty realistic story. It's about a man who is a British government police officer stationed in Africa during World War II. He is unhappy in his marriage and this leads to a series of disastrous decisions.

It demonstrates that there are consequences, often unforeseen, to our actions. I have some differences with the theology that's laid out in the book, but I enjoyed it nonetheless. It really takes the reader into the mind of a man making poor decisions and also shows his struggle with his religious beliefs.

The book isn't a rollicking, gripping story but The New York Herald Tribune review put it well when the reviewer wrote, "A powerful, deep-striking novel, with the surface calm of a summer river, and underneath, the swift drowning melancholy of a spirit lost in the darkness of the flesh." I wish I had written that.

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