The Third Man
By Graham Greene
Why this book?
According to the author, The Third Man “was never written to be read, but only to be seen.” However, I love that it is in the text where the characters—who cast such long shadows in the film—were given their original weight and heft. The story is simple, but the history is inescapable. Rollo Martins, an American writer investigating the death of his friend, unveils a black market penicillin ring. The cynicism and disillusionment of postwar Vienna are vivid and palpable. Martins—earnest and relentless—shifts between innocence and ignorance, leaving you to wonder if he isn’t Greene’s commentary on America itself.
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