For Arthur Rowe the charity fete was a trip back to childhood, to innocence, a welcome chance to escape the terror of the Blitz, to forget twenty years of his past and a murder. Then he guesses the weight of the cake, and from that moment on he's a hunted man, the target of shadowy killers, on the run and struggling to remember and to find the truth.
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(198mm x 129mm x 14mm)
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
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UK Kirkus Review »
Greene classed The Ministry of Fear as one of his 'entertainments', a straightforward thriller. It is far from that, in fact it is one of his strangest, most unnerving novels. During the 1942 London blitz an apparently ordinary man (who is actually a murderer) wanders into a charity fete and, taking part in a traditional fund-raising competition, successfully guesses the weight of a home-made cake. This simple action leads him into a dark labyrinth of strange and inexplicable happenings - a meeting with two refugees, a fatal stabbing, an encounter in a deserted hotel, the opening of a suitcase, and then in the weirdest chapter of all, the central character... But that would be telling. The book has all the usual Greene ingredients: strange dreams and hazy, threatening memories, shadowy malign enemies, a romance which is a kind of betrayal, and at its centre the worst fear of all - the fear of a mind giving way, a personality distorted, a reality which is actually unreal. A thriller? Yes, and an excellent one. But also a very great deal more. (Kirkus UK)
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Author Biography - Graham Greene
Graham Greene was born in 1904. On coming down from Balliol College, Oxford, he worked for four years as sub-editor on The Times. He established his reputation with his fourth novel, Stamboul Train. In 1935 he made a journey across Liberia, described in Journey Without Maps, and on his return was appointed film critic of the Spectator. In 1926 he had been received into the Roman Catholic Church and visited Mexico in 1938 to report on the religious persecution there. As a result he wrote The Lawless Roads and, later, his famous novel The Power and the Glory. Brighton Rock was published in 1938 and in 1940 he became literary editor of the Spectator. The next year he undertook work for the Foreign Office and was stationed in Sierra Leone from 1941 to 1943. This later produced the novel The Heart of the Matter, set in West Africa. As well as his many novels, Graham Greene wrote several collections of short stories, four travel books, six plays, three books of autobiography - A Sort of Life, Ways of Escape and A World of My Own (published posthumously) - two of biography and four books for children. He also contributed hundreds of essays, and film and book reviews, some of which appear in the collections Reflections and Mornings in the Dark. Many of his novels and short stories have been filmed and The Third Man was written as a film treatment. Graham Greene was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. He died in April 1991.