- Publication Date:
- 07 October 2004
- Modern & Contemporary
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I hadn't read anything by Greene for years and then this, what he describes as an entertainment. Well, I certainly found it un-put-downable:talk about 'noir' - it was more noir than many a Hollywood film of the 30s and 40s. Right and wrong have no meaning for Pinkie nor even for the 'good' Rose although the starker and stronger Good and Evil are supposed to leave some imprint (because of being Catholics?). Murder apparently for Pinkie does not have any connection with evil as compared to sex: until he almost forces himself to lose his virginity on his wedding night, it's the sexual act that arouses the most horror and distaste in his very disturbed psyche.Greene didn't write this as a moral tract and it works well as a story. Who will survive, who won't, will Ida succeed in her pursuit for justice for Fred's killers, and Pinkie? What of him. Indeed, what of him. Words fail me.For me, excellent pacy writing, plus descriptive details that reinforce the seediness of the 'other' Brighton: even the beach is mucky. The blue skies and the invigorating atmosphere of the Bank Holiday crowd in the opening paragraph are but a tease.
I loved this book - its a must read
Pinkie, a seventeen year old sociopath and murderer, uses Rose, a naive waitress in Brighton, to cover his tracks. Relentlessly pursued by Ada, the pair marry and agree to a murder-suicide pact. Heavily imbued with Roman Catholic themes of sin and grace, the novel is pure poetry in the beauty of its imagery. Pinkie's disgust for humanity and his amoral pride damn him. His character is fascinating and he bears a marked resemblance to Alex of "A Clockwork Orange".
Reread after the excellent recent film, for the first time since school. An excellent example of how a novel can be religious & psychologically & morally complex – and thrilling at the same time. The world of Brighton spivs stays in the forefront of the mind, whilst questions of damnation & grace bubble beneath the surface.
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