These wide-ranging tales of menace, tragedy, and comedy offer ample proof that “in the short story, as well as the novel, Graham Greene is the master” (The New York Times).
Written between 1929 and 1954, here are twenty-one stories by a “master storyteller” (Newsweek). Whatever the crime, whatever the pursuit, whatever the mood—from the tragic and horrifying to the ribald and bittersweet, Graham Greene is “the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man’s consciousness and anxiety” (William Golding).
In “The End of the Party,” a game of hide-and-seek takes a terrifying turn in the dark. In “The Innocent,” a romantic gets a rude awakening when he finds a hidden keepsake from a childhood crush. A husband’s sexual indiscretion is revealed in a most public and embarrassing way in “The Blue Film.” A rebellious teen’s flight from her petit bourgeois life includes a bad boy, a gun, and a plan in “A Drive in the Country.” In “A Little Place off the Edgware Road,” a suicidal man’s encounter with a stranger in a grubby cinema seals his fate. A young boy is ushered into a dark world when he discovers the secrets adults hide in “The Basement Room.” And in “When Greek Meets Greek,” a clever con between two scoundrels carries an unexpected sting. In these and more than a dozen other stories, Greene confronts his usual themes of betrayal and vengeance, love and hate, faith and doubt, guilt and grief, and pity and pursuit.