The Quiet American

By Graham Greene, Robert Stone

3.95 - ratings 54,069

Graham Greene's classic exploration of love, innocence, and morality in Vietnam"I never knew a man who had better motives for all the trouble he caused," Graham Greene's narrator Fowler remarks of Alden Pyle, the eponymous "Quiet American" of what is perhaps the most controversial novel of his career. Pyle is the brash young idealist sent out by Washington on a mysterious Graham Greene's...

Book details

August 31st 2004 by Penguin Classics Deluxe Editions

(first published December 1955)

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Quotes From "The Quiet American"

"Innocence is a kind of insanity"
"Time has its revenges, but revenge seems so often sour. Wouldn’t we all do better not trying to understand, accepting the fact that no human being will ever understand another, not a wife with a husband, nor a parent a child? Perhaps that’s why men have invented God – a being capable of understanding."
"Sooner or has to take sides. If one is to remain human."
"So it always is: when you escape to a desert the silence shouts in your ear."
"I wish sometimes you had a few bad motives, you might understand a little more about human beings."
"That was my first instinct -- to protect him. It never occurred to me that there was a greater need to protect myself. Innocence always calls mutely for protection when we would be so much wiser to guard ourselves against it: innocence is like a dumb leper who has lost his bell, wandering the world, meaning no harm."
"Thought's a luxury. Do you think the peasant sits and thinks of God and Democracy when he gets inside his mud hut at night?"
"From childhood I had never believed in permanence, and yet I had longed for it. Always I was afraid of losing happiness. This month, next year...death was the only absolute value in my world. Lose life and one would lose nothing again forever."

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