Orient Express: An Entertainment (Paperback)
Penguin Books, 9780142437919, 197pp.
Publication Date: August 31, 2004
"The purser took the last landing-card in his hand and watched the passengers cross the wet quay, over a wilderness of rails and points, round the corners of abandoned trucks." As the Orient Express hurtles across Europe on its three-day journey from Ostend to Constantinople, its voyage binds together the lives of several of its passengers in a fateful interlock. The menagerie of characters includes Coral Musker, a beautiful chorus girl; Carleton Myatt, a rich Jewish businessman; Richard John, a mysterious and kind doctor returning to his native Belgrade; the spiteful journalist Mabel Warren; and Josef Grunlich, a cunning, murderous burglar. What happens to these strangers as they put on and take off their masks of identity and passion, all the while confessing, prevaricating, and reaching out to one another in the "veracious air" of the onrushing train, makes for one of Graham Greene's most exciting and suspenseful stories. Originally published in 1933, Orient Express was Greene's first major success. This Penguin Deluxe Edition features an introduction by Christopher Hitchens. 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 London Times. 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, told 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. As well as 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.Christopher Hitchens was a contributing editor to Vanity Fair, Slate, and The Atlantic, and the author of numerous books, including works on Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine, and George Orwell. He also wrote the international bestsellersgod Is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything, Hitch-22: A Memoir, and Arguably. He died in 2011.