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Extended Audio Sample The Quiet American, by Graham Greene Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (16,509 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Graham Greene Narrator: Joseph Porter Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date:
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Alden Pyle, an idealistic young American, is sent to Vietnam to promote democracy amidst the intrigue and violence of the French war with the Vietminh. His friend Fowler, a cynical foreign correspondent, looks on but soon finds it difficult to remain simply an observer. Fowler’s mistress, a beautiful native girl, creates a catalyst for jealousy and competition between the men and a cultural clash resulting in bloodshed and deep misgivings.

Written in 1955 prior to the Vietnam conflict, The Quiet American foreshadows the events leading up to the war. Questions surrounding the moral ambiguity of the involvement of the United States in foreign countries are as relevant today as they were fifty years ago.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Greene is a superb storyteller. He evokes the most actual streets, the most vivid skies, and individuals who can have a lacerating reality as they search the labyrinth of their lives.”


  • “A continuously intriguing piece of storytelling....Greene has brought into vivid relief...the fearful price of innocence—and has shown that behind innocence there lurk unconscious arrogance and a self-righteous streak of moral blindness.”


  • “There has been no novel of any political scope about Vietnam since Graham Greene wrote The Quiet American.”


  • “Greene at his best. The hand of the master is clearly revealed in the structure of the novel, which rises to a magnificent climax.”

    New Leader

  • “An intensely observed portrait of Vietnam on the eve of French defeat…Part novel of intrigue, part mystery, part love story, The Quiet American remains as powerful today as when it was first written.”

    Publishers Weekly

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Patrick McCoy | 2/11/2014

    " Probably my favorite Graham Greene novel... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 by Anna | 1/26/2014

    " I think I should re-read this because I feel like I was too young to fully comprehend it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 by Michael Scott | 1/26/2014

    " Background: I've re-read The Quiet American to get in touch again with the Greenesque touch before starting The End of the Affair. The Quiet American is as difficult to categorize as it was easy to read. Apparently, the book is about Mr. Fowler, the morally corrupt British reporter who will recount us the story, and Pyle, the American under-cover agent that everyone knows to be an under-cover agent; the two are involved in the French-Vietnamese war and in the personal war of getting the same Vietnamese girl. In its elusive depth, this book includes three story lines, the mystery of Pyle's murder, the psychological insights on Mr. Fowler, and the reportage on a war that involves the civilians. Each of these story lines is delicately built and presented; a description of each story line is beyond the purpose of this review. For me, the main appeal of Graham Greene comes not from his undeniably wonderful phrasing ("The hurt is in the act of possession: we are too small in mind and body to possess another person without pride or to be possessed without humiliation."), good humor ("I never like giving information to the police. It saves them trouble."), and skillful misenscene. Instead, it is his articulation of the characters that draws me: Mr. Greene thinks and speaks like Fowler, and Pyle, and several other characters, in this writ alone. On the negative side, perhaps each story line would have deserved more text in this book, or even a separate book. To conclude, a very enjoyable read, perhaps a bit too short for the three stories within. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 by Dick | 1/16/2014

    " Exquisite story of Saigan of the French days "

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