G is for Greene


Henry Graham Greene was born in 1904 in Hertfordshire, England. Born into an affluent and well-respected Brewery family, he was diagnosed with depression at just 16 years old. He produced his first work, a collection of poems at the age of 21 and after graduating from Oxford turned to journalism.

His first novel was published when he was 25 but it wasn’t until 3 years later when he published “Stamboul Train” (which was adapted into the film The Orient Express) that he began to receive mass recognition.

During WWII he worked for MI6 and many of the characters and situations he encountered ended up in his novels, but he was also fascinated with religion and the battle of good against evil, which is a reoccurring theme running through many of his novels. He kept a journal by the side of his bed where he wrote down his dreams.

Throughout his lifetime he suffered from Bipolar but produced 27 novels, some collections of short stories, autobiographies and travel writing. In his later years he moved to Switzerland, where he died at the age of 86 from Leukaemia

My favourite Graham Greene quotes:

“Writing is a form of therapy; sometimes I wonder how all those who do not write, compose or paint, can manage to escape the madness, melancholia, the panic and fear which is inherent in a human situation.”

“The great advantage of being a writer is that you can spy on people. You’re there, listening to every word, but part of you is observing. Everything is useful to a writer, you see every scrap, even the most longest and boring of luncheon parties.”

“My two fingers on a typewriter have never connected with my brain. My hand on a pen does. A fountain pen, of course. Ball point pens are only good for filling out forms on planes.”

“A petty reason perhaps why novelists more and more try to keep a distance from journalists is that novelists are trying to write the truth and journalists are trying to write fiction.”

And if you haven’t seen this version of Brighton Rock….you really should!

I’m really showing myself up here aren’t I? Again, I haven’t read any Greene, but again, because I feel that I know his work so well from the film and TV adaptations. I know the story of Brighton Rock, The Ministry of Fear, The Third Man, The End Of The Affair, The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Comedians. I have at least 2 of his other novels on my “Mount Toobie” and even one of his travel biographies *blush*

There are just so many books, and not enough days in my life 😦 I can see The Hubster rolling his eyes and thinking “Oh no, she’s not gunna buy more books!” Lol. I think my A-Z subject matter was a bad choice *snigger*

I love the fact that Greene preferred writing with a fountain pen. It’s definitely my preference as a writing implement, and so far away from Capote, who used to write in pencil. Shakespeare must of written with a Quill, so I’m glad we’ve moved on a bit lol.

What’s your favourite writing tool?

29 thoughts on “G is for Greene

  1. I think The End of The Affair may be one of the most perfect novels I’ve ever read, and re-read. It is a thin volume, but it contains SO MUCH. It is, in one word, brilliant. There may be a lot of novels and not enough days in your life, but there aren’t enough novels of a superior quality to justify not reading The End of the Affair.


  2. What an incredibly interesting character. I love all his quotes and also the fact that he was interested in the battle of good against evil (something that intruiges me as well) 😀


  3. Another interesting author! I have to admit to not having read any Greene either, so you’re not alone! My chosen tool for writing is definitely the laptop because I can definitely type faster than I can write – and actually faster than I can think… Second choice, pencil, but it’s a pain sharpening it and I can’t write with those pen-type pencils with the lead you pop up. 🙂


    • He is, and probably, out of all the authors ive looked at so far, the one i want to read the most Bel 😉

      Ahhhhhh, sounds like you should take a leaf out of Capotes book honey….he would always have 500 pencils all sharpened when he sat down to write, apparently 😉

      Thanks honey xx


  4. I’ve only read The Quiet American and the End of the Affair but I will be checking out Brighton Rock after reading this post. I must admit that although I grew up in a world before the internet, I now feel most comfortable typing. I find it easier as it corresponds to my thinking speed… not that that is particularly fast (or even accurate!).


    • I hope you enjoy it honey 🙂

      Really? Good for you! Im a big believer in making sure that everything around us is just right for writing. Finding what works for you is the key isn’t it 🙂



  5. My to-read list is growing by leaps and bounds with these posts! Definitely loving my MacBook Air that hubby bought me last year for my writing!! I can type fast enough to keep up with my brain.


    • Thanks Cheryl 🙂

      Oh I KNOW!!!!! Shall i stop posting about all these great books now? lol 😉

      SNAP! I love my MacBook Air too! But, give me a fountain pen and a moleskin notebook and i’ll be happy for hours lol 😉



  6. I’m going to check out Greene now. It sounds great! I love to hear how writer’s create their craft. I find that I use whatever I have on hand when the muse strikes. Also, liked the post about Capote. He’s always been a favorite of mine. Thanks for visiting my site! Happy A to Z.


    • Good for you Bethie 🙂

      Oh, so do i, and its why i chose this theme for my challenge….to pick up tips 🙂

      Awwwww, you’re welcome honey! Im trying to visit a few blogs every day, there are so many aren’t there!



  7. The End of the Affair is wonderful! Your theme for the A to Z challenge is, too. As far as writing goes (I write poetry), I most often use a cheap school notebook and a pen or pencil. I really enjoyed this post. Following. 🙂


  8. This was so interesting! I need to read more classic books.
    I like to write using Scrivener software on my laptop. I’ve found my handwriting has gotten worse over the years. I did some hand written notes for some recent edits and sometimes I could barely read them! I can type fast but writing by hand, my hand can’t keepup with my thoughts.
    Stopping by for A to Z! Here’s mine: A Girl and her Diary


    • Thanks honey, so do i….im feeling so uneducated! 😦

      Oooooo, another Scrivener fan…ive recently downloaded it, but not had time to tinker yet.

      Thanks for stopping by honey 🙂 Im making my way through the huge list too!



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