Friday, January 13, 2012

Four essential novels by Graham Greene

Pico Iyer's new memoir is The Man Within My Head.

He named his four favorite Graham Greene novels for The Daily Beast. One title on the list:
Our Man in Havana

Greene could be wickedly funny, and part of the power of his work comes from a sense of P.G. Wodehouse bumping into Kafka. This story of a mild-mannered English vacuum-cleaner salesman in louche, 1950s Havana who is somehow chosen to be an agent for British intelligence sets the scene for John le CarrĂ©’s The Tailor of Panama and innumerable other bittersweet thrillers about innocents caught in larger designs. It also gets Cuba, even as it is today, to perfection.
Read about the other novels on Iyer's list.

Our Man in Havana also made Alan Furst's five best list of spy books; it is one of Stella Rimington's six favorite secret agent novels.

--Marshal Zeringue