The End of the Affair: (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)

( 31 )

Overview

"A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses a moment of experience from which to look ahead..."
 
"This is a record of hate far more than of love," writes Maurice Bendrix in the opening passages of The End of the Affair, and it is a strange hate indeed that compels him to set down the retrospective account of his adulterous affair with Sarah Miles.
 
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Overview

"A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one chooses a moment of experience from which to look ahead..."
 
"This is a record of hate far more than of love," writes Maurice Bendrix in the opening passages of The End of the Affair, and it is a strange hate indeed that compels him to set down the retrospective account of his adulterous affair with Sarah Miles.
 
Now, a year after Sarah's death, Bendrix seeks to exorcise the persistence of his passion by retracing its course from obsessive love to love-hate. At first, he believes he hates Sarah and her husband, Henry. Yet as he delves further into his emotional outlook, Bendrix's hatred shifts to the God he feels has broken his life, but whose existence at last comes to recognize.
 
Originally published in 1951, The End of the Affair was acclaimed by William Faulkner as "for me one of the best, most true and moving novels of my time, in anybody's language." This Penguin Deluxe Edition features an introduction by Michael Gorra.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
To honor Greene's centennial, Penguin is reissuing these six titles in deluxe editions featuring new cover art, French flaps, and ragged paper at an affordable price. Very nice if you need some new copies. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780142437988
  • Publisher: Penguin Group (USA)
  • Publication date: 8/31/2004
  • Series: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition Series
  • Edition description: Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition
  • Pages: 192
  • Sales rank: 72,305
  • Product dimensions: 5.67 (w) x 8.42 (h) x 0.57 (d)

Meet the Author

Graham Greene (1904-1991), whose long life nearly spanned the length of the twentieth century, was one of its greatest novelists. Educated at Berkhamsted School and Balliol College, Oxford, he started his career as a sub-editor of the London TimesHe began to attract notice as a novelist with his fourth book, Orient Expressin 1932. In 1935, he trekked across northern Liberia, his first experience in Africa, told in A Journey Without Maps (1936). He converted to Catholicism in 1926, an edifying decision, and reported on religious persecution in Mexico in 1938 in The Lawless Roadswhich served as a background for his famous The Power and the Glory, one of several “Catholic” novels (Brighton RockThe Heart of the MatterThe End of the Affair). During the war he worked for the British secret service in Sierra Leone; afterward, he began wide-ranging travels as a journalist, which were reflected in novels such as The Quiet AmericanOur Man in HavanaThe ComediansTravels with My AuntThe Honorary ConsulThe Human FactorMonsignor Quixoteand The Captain and the EnemyAs well as his many novels, Graham Greene wrote several collections of short stories, four travel books, six plays, two books of autobiography, A Sort of Life and Ways of Escape, two biographies, and four books for children. He also contributed hundreds of essays and film and book reviews to The Spectator and other journals, many of which appear in the late collection ReflectionsMost of his novels have been filmed, including The Third Man, which the author first wrote as a film treatment. Graham Greene was named Companion of Honour and received the Order of Merit among numerous other awards.

Michael Gorra is a professor of English at Smith College. His books include The Bells in Their Silence: Travels Through Germany and After Empire: Scott, Naipaul, Rushdie.

Biography

Known for his espionage thrillers set in exotic locales, Graham Greene is the writer who launched a thousand travel journalists. But although Greene produced some unabashedly commercial works -- he called them "entertainments," to distinguish them from his novels -- even his escapist fiction is rooted in the gritty realities he encountered around the globe. "Greeneland" is a place of seedy bars and strained loyalties, of moral dissolution and physical decay.

Greene spent his university years at Oxford "drunk and debt-ridden," and claimed to have played Russian roulette as an antidote to boredom. At age 21 he converted to Roman Catholicism, later saying, "I had to find a religion...to measure my evil against." His first published novel, The Man Within, did well enough to earn him an advance from his publishers, but though Greene quit his job as a Times subeditor to write full-time, his next two novels were unsuccessful. Finally, pressed for money, he set out to write a work of popular fiction. Stamboul Train (also published as The Orient Express) was the first of many commercial successes.

Throughout the 1930s, Greene wrote novels, reviewed books and movies for the Spectator, and traveled through eastern Europe, Liberia, and Mexico. One of his best-known works, Brighton Rock, was published during this time; The Power and the Glory, generally considered Greene's masterpiece, appeared in 1940. Along with The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair, they cemented Greene's reputation as a serious novelist -- though George Orwell complained about Greene's idea "that there is something rather distingué in being damned; Hell is a sort of high-class nightclub, entry to which is reserved for Catholics only."

During World War II, Greene was stationed in Sierra Leone, where he worked in an intelligence capacity for the British Foreign Office under Kim Philby, who later defected to the Soviet Union. After the war, Greene continued to write stories, plays, and novels, including The Quiet American, Travels with My Aunt, The Honorary Consul, and The Captain and the Enemy. For a time, he worked as a screenwriter for MGM, producing both original screenplays and scripts adapted from his fiction.

He also continued to travel, reporting from Vietnam, Haiti, and Panama, among other places, and he became a vocal critic of U.S. foreign policy in Central America. Some biographers have suggested that his friendships with Communist leaders were a ploy, and that he was secretly gathering intelligence for the British government. The more common view is that Greene's leftist leanings were part of his lifelong sympathy with the world's underdogs -- what John Updike called his "will to compassion, an ideal communism even more Christian than Communist. Its unit is the individual, not any class."

But if Greene's politics were sometimes difficult to decipher, his stature as a novelist has seldom been in doubt, in spite of the light fiction he produced. Kingsley Amis, Evelyn Waugh, and R. K. Narayan paid tribute to his work, and William Golding prophesied: "He will be read and remembered as the ultimate chronicler of twentieth-century man's consciousness and anxiety."

Good To Know

Greene's philandering ways were legendary; he frequently visited prostitutes and had several mistresses, including Catherine Walston, who converted to Catholicism after reading The Power and the Glory and wrote to Greene asking him to be her godfather. After a brief period of correspondence, the two met, and their relationship inspired Greene's novel The End of the Affair.

Greene was a film critic, screenwriter, and avid moviegoer, and critics have sometimes praised the cinematic quality of his style. His most famous screenplay was The Third Man, which he cowrote with director Carol Reed. Recently, new film adaptations have been made of Greene's novels The End of the Affair and The Quiet American. Greene's work has also formed the basis for an opera: Our Man in Havana, composed by Malcolm Williamson.

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    1. Also Known As:
      Henry Graham Greene (birth name)
    1. Date of Birth:
      October 2, 1904
    2. Place of Birth:
      Berkhamsted, England
    1. Date of Death:
      April 3, 1991
    2. Place of Death:
      Vevey, Switzerland

Table of Contents

Introduction vii
Suggestions for Further Reading xxv
The End of the Affair 1
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
Rating Distribution

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    The End of the Affair Review

    I enjoyed the majority of this novel. The opening was slow, however, and Greene did not capture the reader's attention from the start. Some parts were very hard to follow, with new characters suddenly introduced without much of a background on them. On the other hand, there was great depth throughout the novel, with the contrasting views of religion and love versus hate. Bendrix and Sarah, the two lovers, had opposite views on God, Bendrix did not believe in God at all, and Sarah believed in him, and prayed to him frequently. There was also their love affair which was ruined by Bendrix's jealous behavior which eventually turned into a strong hate. Although parts of the novel were very slow and confusing, it is beautifully written (especially within Sarah's diary entries) and kept the reader entertained and wanting to find out more. Greene also gives new life to the world of love and the parallel of hate associated with it. I would recommend this novel to anyone who enjoys reading British Literature.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    The End of The Affair Review

    I enjoyed Graham Greene's The End of The Affair becuase it was not simply a novel about an affiar and the split. Instead, it is a novel with a lot of depth, exploring the passions of love and hate, romantically and with God.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 23, 2004

    Magical and mysterious romance

    Although to say so has become a cliche in book criticism, I was entranced by Graham Greene's 'The End of the Affair' from the first page. The voice of Maurice Bendrix is one of the more memorable in twentieth-century British fiction - erudite, poetic, horribly juvenile at times. This is the story of a doomed romance which Greene deftly steers away from Shakespearean melodrama and near-Dickensian tragedy. The story is richly, eloquently told, and this is a ferociously compact novel from one of England's greatest writers.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 25, 2009

    Don't recommend this to your book club!

    The characters were totally unsympethetic. There was utterly nothing to relate to in the plot. It was very dated. It was too wordy. And, I'm afraid the author's own immorality made me wonder how he could possibly write the heroine's diary entries with anything approaching understanding. It was pretty terrible. I wanted to toss it into my garbage dispenser.

    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    Moving Novel

    The End of the Affair is a moving novel about love, loss, and the jealousy which every person undergoes.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 6, 2006

    A good love story

    This book was a bit confusing at the beginning, and was a slow read. It was also hard to understand at times becuase he kept switching from current to past. It is about Maurice Bendrix and Sarah Miles who fall in love, despite her husband Henry. Bendrix is writing a novel about their love affair, and the struggles he went through. Over all I thought that it was a good love story, and had a good theme of love vs. hate.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 8, 2006

    Ugh...

    I only read this book because it was required summer reading for all incoming 11th graders in my school. It looked like an okay book at first, but when I started reading it, it couldn't keep my attention. All I got from it was that Bendrix hated Henry and Sarah, but then he loved Sarah too. B-O-R-I-N-G! I don't get why so many people were raving about this book. Even Shakespeare writes better than Graham Greene! There are definitely better books than this. You just have to look a bit.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 15, 2004

    Why the rave reviews?

    While I certainly appreciated the contemporary exploration of faith and its attendant crises, to be perfectly frank I found this novel downright boring. I trudged apathetically through the thing, hardly able to bring myself to care about the plot or any of the characters (this from someone who has waded through the first 4 books of 'À la recherche du temps perdu'). I know perfectly brilliant folks who love Greene, but this book has caused me to have my own crisis of faith - in their literary taste. Well, at least Greene's novels are short.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 21, 2004

    Not great- but hey, I got through it.

    After reading all these glowing comments, I recommended this book to my book club. I felt really bad about that because compared to the wonderful books we have been reading, this one really dragged on and on and I just wanted it to be over with! It was readable, but not one of my favorites.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2003

    amazing

    Euripides once said 'Never say that marriage has more of joy than pain.' This is true for The End of the Affair. Sarah Miles is married to Henry, a man she thinks she loves but at the same time isn't sure. When she meets Maurice Bendrix, she is drawn to him and so begins their affair. I read The End of the Affair in about three and a half hours. Now it wasn't a very long book, but I simply couldn't put it down. It's wonderful and I strongly reccomend it

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2001

    Restless Heart

    Augustine of Hippo once remarked, speaking of God, that 'My heart is restless until it rests in thee.' The 'desert' that Sarah inhabits is a desert of longing, for Bendrix, or for something else? I first read this book in 1972, on my way to England, and I have read it twice since. It is thoughtful and disturbing. Thoughtful, which is why many who read it today find it boring; disturbing, because it takes you deeply into the heart, where love and lust are often confused, and then deposits you somewhere you didn't expect to be at all: smack in the presence of the divine. This is truly one of the finest books of the century.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 7, 2001

    a profound and meaningful novel

    this is one of the best books i have ever read. it portrays longing and faith wonderfully. it is a work of art. i loved it so much i had to go out and buy it so i could read it again and again. though i found it beneficial to see the 1999 movie of the same name to get an even deeper understanding.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 18, 2000

    A rivalry for the heart of one woman...

    Bendrix, a novelist, falls in love with his friends wife, Sarah, and an affair begins. Suddenly, Sarah breaks off contact and refuses to see Bendrix, believing there is a rival of some sort, he struggles to find the truth. An excellent novel of an adulterous love affair and the rivalry between man and religion for the heart of one woman...

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 8, 2000

    Poor Reading

    Very boring and dull but funnily I could not abandon the book without fully reading it. Though the prose is slow, one should recognize the pessimism of the characters and find similarity of the situation with our lives.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 16, 2000

    A great, great book

    Mark Twain once noted that the definition of a 'classic' is a book that everyone praises and no one reads. If so, I hope this book never gets lumped into that category. It's a wonderful book, full of intriguing characters and thought-provoking ideas. Highly recommended for anyone who enjoys good literature. Sidenote to reviewer below: You criticize THE END OF THE AFFAIR because of 'too much bickering about religion,' yet you recommend Dostoyevsky. Hmmm... (?)

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 17, 2000

    Rather Depressing and Really Quite Dull

    I just finished reading 'The End of the Affair' and found that it just completely dragged! It jumps around between the past and present and the section of journal entries was just dreadful. Too much bickering about religion. There were also no interesting character at all.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 18, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted May 28, 2012

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted April 19, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

  • Anonymous

    Posted August 5, 2009

    No text was provided for this review.

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