I just finished reading Brighton Rock by Graham Greene (1904–1991), which I bought at a library sale before Christmas for fifty cents. It confirmed that I'm in awe of Greene and how he tells a story all the while showing broken people in whom a religious sensibility exists at once as a weight and a saving grace. The first book I read by Greene was The Honorary Consul, read years ago, and I was an immediate fan. A couple days ago I offered his name to a friend who was asking for book suggestions.
"I saw that movie, The End of the Affair," she said. "He wrote that, right?" The look on her face told me that she was not impressed. I reassured her that the movie was different than the book.
It's unfortunate that Greene's books may remain unopened by so many who would otherwise gobble up his pages because a movie, made in 1999, betrayed a book, written in 1951. Brighton Rock has now been made into a movie for the second time, the first being in 1947, and stars Helen Mirren and Pete Postlethwaite. I've not seen the original but hope that the new movie does the book justice. Perhaps if you're considering seeing the movie, read the book first just so you'll know if it was handled right or not.
I told my friend that my favorite Greene novel – and one of my all-time favorite novels ever – is The Heart of the Matter. Other Greene novels I commended to her were The Power and the Glory, The Honorary Consul, Our Man in Havana, and of course The End of the Affair and now Brighton Rock. She wrote the titles down, and I hope she reads one or more.