Book #11 of 75: Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

I am slowly working my way through the novels of Graham Greene. The latest one I’ve read is Our Man in Havana, written in 1958. Overall, I have to say that it’s not as strong a book as The Heart of the Matter or The Power and the Glory, but I still found it enjoyable. Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana, is running out of money. He worries what will become of his 17-year-old daughter Milly if something were to happen to him. When Hawthorne approaches him with an offer of $300 a month plus expenses to become a spy for the English government, he becomes Agent 59200/5. He files fake reports, filing for expenses, dreaming up a complicated miliary installation based on one of his vacuum cleaner designs, and recruiting imaginary people as subagents. The home office, so impressed with his work, even send him a secretary, Beatrice. Things turn topsy-turvy when some of the stories come to life. The whole darkly comic novel brims with satire of the espionage system.

4 thoughts on “Book #11 of 75: Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene

  1. ed

    You’re sure you’re not smoking the same ganja? I recently reread Graham Greene’s “The Heart of the Matter” for the first time in years.


  2. birnbaum

    Great book, of course, which occasioned the rare competent cinematic adaptation directed by Sir Carol Reed with Alec Guiness and Ernie Kovacs.

    The bitch of it is— try to find it in a video format.

    Anyone have any clues or a bootleg?


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