Sunday, 3 May 2009

Brighton Rocks

Finished Brighton Rock by Graham Greene yesterday.

Really, really enjoyed this one. A crime novel, thriller and morality tale all wrapped up in a strange love letter to Brighton.

I've only read one other Graham Greene novel, The End of the Affair, and I have a feeling that the other Greene novels on the list will have the similar theme of tortured Catholicism running through them.

Pinkie is one of the most soulless, evil, sociopathic characters I have ever encountered in a novel, which makes his ambivalence about his strong faith and repulsion when experiencing even the slightest twinge of desire fascinating.

Greene's portrayal of Ida as a strong female figure in 1930s England was also most refreshing. Here was a woman who had her own moral compass; who knew right from wrong and wanted justice above all else - and wasn't going to give up until she got it. Greene was ahead of his time, perhaps without knowing it.

And of course, the character of Brighton - my favourite British city after London. Greene vividly portrays the smell of the sea air, the grubbiness of the pubs and restaurants, the faded grandeur of the seafront hotels.

Looking forward to reading more of this very interesting author's work.

Up next: Have already started Dracula by Bram Stoker...a bit of late Gothic horror, anyone?


  1. Dracula is great!!

    I have heard a lot about Brighton lately--so you like it too?? I know nothing about it beyond Austen.

  2. I love's great. Dan went to the University of Sussex and lived in Brighton, so we still go down there quite a lot.

    You'd like it's definitely a college town - I think you'd like the seafront and the North Laines (lots of little streets with lots of little funky shops...great for browsing).