“Hale knew, before he had been in Brighton three hours, that they meant to murder him…”
Graham Greene’s chilling exposé of violence and gang warfare in the pre-war underworld is a classic of its kind. Pinkie, a teenage gangster on the rise, is devoid of compassion or human feeling, despising weakness of both the spirit and the flesh. Responsible for the razor slashes that killed mob boss Kite and also for the death of Hale, a reporter who threatened the livelihood of the mob, Pinkie is the embodiment of calculated evil. As a Catholic, however, Pinkie is convinced that his retribution does not lie in human hands. He is therefore not prepared for Ida Arnold, Hale’s avenging angel. Ida, whose allegiance is with life, the here and now, has her own ideas about the circumstances surrounding Hale’s death. For the sheer joy of it, she takes up the challenge of bringing the infernal Pinkie to an earthly kind of justice.
This Penguin Classics Deluxe edition features an introduction by J. M. Coetzee.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Graham Greene was born in 1904. While at Balliol College, Oxford, he published his first book of verse. He continues to write throughout his lifetime, and is the author of The Third Man, Our Man in Havana, The Quiet American,… More about Graham Greene
“Here the probing is carried further in a brilliant and uncompromising indictment of some of the worst aspects of modern civilization, showing us the hard-boiled criminal mind not as a return to savagery but as a horrible perversion of cerebration.”—The New York Times
“Why does this bleak, seething and anarchic novel still resonate? Its energy and power is that of the rebellious adolescent, foreshadowing the rise of the cult of youth in the latter part of the 20th century.”—The Guardian
“[Greene] believed his coldness vital for his art – ‘There is,’ he affirmed, ‘a splinter of ice in the heart of a writer’.”—John Carey