CENTENARY EDITION WITH A NEW INTRODUCTION BY GABRIEL GARCIA MARQUEZ
Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman, was short of money. His daughter had reached an expensive age - so he accepted Hawthorne's offer of $300-plus a month and became Agent 59200/5, M. I.6's man in Havana. To keep the job, Wormold pretends to recruit sub-agents and sends fake stories. Then the stories start coming disturbingly true...
About the Author
Graham Greene was born in Hertfordshire in 1904. While at Balliol College, Oxford he published his first book of verse. He continued to write throughout his lifetime, and served with the Secret Intelligence Service during the Second World War. He was a member of the Order of Merit and a Companion of Honour. Among the many people who paid tribute to him on his death was Kingsley Amis: 'He will be missed all over the world. Until today, he was our greatest living novelist.' He died in 1991.
Graham Greene's new "Entertainment" offers only a questionable diversion this time, substitutes a lightminded travesty of secret service operations (the intentions are not too clearly decipherable) for the surer suspense of the earlier books in this genre. Wormold, a vacuum cleaner representative in Havana, a middle-aged man whose daughter is his prime security interest, is tapped as secret agent number 59200 stroke five by the British Secret Service. With "no accomplice except the credulity of other men", Wormold turns in bogus reports and fabulous diagrams (vacuum cleaner parts), recruits an extensive payroll of imaginary sub-agents, and rigs an elaborate deception which backfires when one of his men materializes- only to be killed, his friend Hasselbacher is a second victim, and he is a potential third... For all the occasional overtones and undercuts, this is no more than a genial form of nonsense in which Greene is not at his best. This still may be good enough for a great many people to whom the name assumes more than is this time assured. (Kirkus Reviews)