Megan Harlan
February 20, 1998 AT 05:00 AM EST

The Quest for Graham Greene: A Biography

type
Book
Current Status
In Season
author
W.J. West
genre
Biography

We gave it a B+

Writer Graham Greene (Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, A Burnt-Out Case) was also a British spy, often traveling 40,000 miles a year for his undercover work. Naturally, his lifelong cultivation of secrecy makes him a challenging subject. But newly discovered letters and West’s own detective work offer fresh information on, for example, Greene’s intelligence excursions to Russia and Indo-China, and how he (and friend Charlie Chaplin) fell victim to a Mafia-masterminded tax fraud that resulted in permanent exile. In The Quest for Graham Greene: A Biography, West even works in clues from Greene’s novels, which are more factual than many realize, resulting in a real cloak-and-dagger bio. B+

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