Twenty-One Stories (Paperback)
Penguin Books, 9780140185348, 208pp.
Publication Date: June 1, 1993
In 'The Basement Room' a small boy witnesses an event that blights his whole life. Like the other stories in this book (written between 1929 and 1954), it hinges on the themes that dominate Graham Greene's novels--fear, pity and violence, pursuit, betrayal and man's restless search for salvation. Some of the stories are comic--poor Mr Maling's stomach mysteriously broadcasts all sorts of sounds; others are wryly sad--a youthful indiscretion catches up with Mr Carter in 'The Blue Film'. They can be deeply shocking: in 'The Destructors' a gang of children systematically destroys a man's house. Yet others are hauntingly tragic--a strange relationship between twins that reaches its climax at a children's party. Whatever the mood, each one is a compelling entertainment and unmistakably the work of one of the finest storytellers of the century. For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About 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 Times of London. He began to attract notice as a novelist with his fourth book, Orient Express, in 1932. In 1935, he trekked across northern Liberia, his first experience in Africa, recounted 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 Roads, which served as a background for his famous The Power and the Glory, one of several "Catholic" novels (Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The 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 American, Our Man in Havana, The Comedians, Travels with My Aunt, The Honorary Consul, The Human Factor, Monsignor Quixote, and The Captain and the Enemy. In addition to 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 Reflections. Most 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.