1955 – the quiet american ~ graham greene

So – my first review for the year. It’s been a while. I feel a little like a boxer stepping back into the ring after a long absence.

(Albeit a rather timid boxer with messy hair and big glasses and a book tucked beneath one arm…)

Anyway. The longer I leave this review, the more nervous I’ll get. It’s time.

Cue review-writing montage…

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1938 – brighton rock ~ graham greene

Isn’t it funny, the way many modern writers seem to believe a violent story can’t be told without showing us the violence?

I’m not denying that writing convincingly about violence is a skill. But, in my opinion, there’s an equal amount of dexterity that’s required to deal with violence indirectly, too. The modern trend might be for gritty realism, for brutal detail – but after spending so long reading books from the early twentieth century, I’ve come to really appreciate the seemingly lost art of subtlety. I’m not saying it’s necessarily a better way of doing things: it’s just different.

A novel can still be effective without subjecting us to every sordid detail of the violence that takes place between its pages.

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