Saturday, 4 February 2012

Book #12 The End Of The Affair by Graham Greene

The End Of The Affair

The End Of The Affair is a post-war novel by hugely respected 20th Century writer Graham Greene.

The novel's protagonist Maurice Bendrix is a semi-successful writer looking back upon his affair with Sarah Miles, a civil servant's wife.

Bendrix recieves a hint from Henry, his ex lover's husband that he is afraid she is unfaithful, though their relationship has passed, the jealous passion that then consumes Bendrix sees him engage a private detective to monitor Sarah's movements.

The End Of The Affair is a love story I suppose but succeeds far much more as a story of jealousy. The sections where Bendrix reflects angrily on the loss of Sarah and his hatred for anyone who has ever had her before or since are by far the best written, the most achingly human, the most identifiable.

Personally , I felt that the reflections upon faith and religion, perhaps controversial in their day, somewhat missed the mark. It could be that they have merely dated and therefore should be viewed within their historical context. I'm sure that they provided a lot of debate in the papers of the day.

I have to say that the relationship between Bendrix and Henry, though at times poignant really did push the realms of plausibility and realism on occasion.

Additionally for a book which at 160 pages is not really a book I would expect to spend more than an afternoon on, I read it with several pauses in between, it wasn't terrible compelling, even though the writing itself was very sophisticated, as one would expect.

Funny, I kept imagining Ralph Fiennes as Bendrix as that's who played him in the movie which I haven't seen. He makes a perfect imaginary Bendrix though, so I think I may try and catch the movie sometime. 8.5/10

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