Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Seven of the best books on envy

At The Barnes & Noble Book Blog Sara Jonsson tagged seven of the best literary treatments of envy, including:
The Quiet American, by Graham Greene

Another novel that takes place during a war, this time Vietnam, that leaves people empty, lost, and envious of anyone who remembers their purpose. Thomas Fowler, a British journalist, meets Alden Pyle, an American CIA agent who is intellectual, quiet, and extremely idealistic. Pyle is well liked by everyone except Fowler, who, cynical and experienced, thinks Pyle’s ideas are naive, and his confidence misplaced. When Fowler’s lover leaves him for Pyle, his hatred is no longer unfounded. In the end, Fowler’s envy and mistrust uncovers something dangerous about Pyle that no one else was able to see.
Read about the other works on the list.

The Quiet American is among Rhodri Jeffreys-Jones's top ten classic spy novels, Tom Rachman's top ten journalist's tales, John Mullan's ten best journalists in literature, Charles Glass's five best books on Americans abroad, Robert McCrum's books to inspire busy public figures, Malcolm Pryce's top ten expatriate tales, Catherine Sampson's top ten Asian crime fiction, and Pauline Melville's top 10 revolutionary tales.

--Marshal Zeringue