The Last Word and Other Stories

The Last Word and Other Stories

by Graham Greene
     
 

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These twelve stories, dating from 1923 to 1989, represent the quintessential Graham Greene. Rich in gallows humor, they have the power both to move and to entertain. Included here are such famous stories as "The Last Word", "The News in English", "The Lieutenant Died Last", and "The Lottery Ticket", as well as his masterly detective story "Murder for the Wrong Reason"

Overview

These twelve stories, dating from 1923 to 1989, represent the quintessential Graham Greene. Rich in gallows humor, they have the power both to move and to entertain. Included here are such famous stories as "The Last Word", "The News in English", "The Lieutenant Died Last", and "The Lottery Ticket", as well as his masterly detective story "Murder for the Wrong Reason".

Editorial Reviews

Herbert Mitgang
Here in microcosm are echoes of his major novels, but all the stories stand on their own....Mr. Greene is willing to venture, possibly to lecture and offend, and yet to reveal himself as an author who hasn't quite given up on the remote chance for a more humane world. -- New York Times
Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
In his latest collection of short stories, spanning some 60 years of a prolific writing life, the range and development of Greene's ( The Heart of the Matter ) gifts are abundantly evident. In ``The Lottery Ticket'' (1947), Mr. Thriplow, a bachelor caught in the throes of ``timidity,'' vacations in a desolate Mexican town and becomes embroiled in his own guilt (and the town's corrupt government) after winning a local lottery. In ``Work Not in Progress'' a bishop of Melbourne falls in love with a female thug masquerading as the archbishop of Canterbury. These are but a few in the array of vintage Greene characters, many leaping from the page. Of the dozen stories offered, only four have previously appeared in books; one (``A Branch of the Service'') sees print here for the first time. The growth of Greene's technique is readily observable, from the realistic (``The New House,'' 1929) to the carefully ironic (``An Appointment with the General,'' 1982). The order of the stories is also pleasing, beginning with fiction that calls on memory, moving on to the detective genre and even including a piece constructed as a musical comedy. In all, the volume serves admirably well as a microcosmic view of Greene's entire body of work to date. (Feb.)
Library Journal
This modest volume gathers uncollected stories from the entire range of Greene's career. The earliest dates from 1923 (!) and the latest from 1989. One of the best, ``A Branch of the Service,'' concerning a spy unequal to the gastronomical rigors of shadowing suspects over dinner, has never been printed before. The other standout is the title story, in which an old man with amnesia learns on the day of his death that he is not only the last Christian but the last Pope as well. The rest of these dozen stories display Greene's characteristic mixture of farce and melancholy (``Grim Grin'' is a common pun on his name) but will add little to his considerable reputation. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 10/1/90.-- Grove Koger, Boise P.L., Id.
School Library Journal
YA-- This collection of 12 stories spans 66 years of creativity by this prolific writer who passed away in April, 1991. Its publication is not without a certain irony because unless unpublished works are yet to appear in print, it may indeed be Greene's ``last word.'' It begins with a brief preface in which the author explains the reason for the inclusion of these particular stories. ``A Branch of the Service'' is published here for the first time. Several of the other selections appeared years ago in various literary magazines. All in some way bare the human soul. Characteristic themes of Greene's other works prevail--isolation, misunderstood love, spiritual hunger, and a certain painful ennui. There is one tongue-in-cheek piece titled ``The Man Who Stole the Eiffel Tower.'' --Cynthia J. Rieben, W. T. Woodson High School, Fairfax, VA

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9780141181578
Publisher:
Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
03/28/1999
Series:
Penguin Twentieth-Century Classics Series
Pages:
160
Product dimensions:
5.14(w) x 7.60(h) x 0.44(d)

Meet the Author

Graham Greene (1904-1991) was a prolific novelist, short story writer, travel writer and children's book writer. Many of his novels and short stories have been successfully adapted to the movie screen, including The Third Man (directed by Orson Welles), The End of The Affair, and The Quiet American

Brief Biography

Date of Birth:
October 2, 1904
Date of Death:
April 3, 1991
Place of Birth:
Berkhamsted, England
Place of Death:
Vevey, Switzerland
Education:
Balliol College, Oxford

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