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Orient Express (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition) Paperback – Deckle Edge, September 28, 2004


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Far from the Madding Crowd
Far from the Madding Crowd
The strong-minded Bathsheba Everdene—and the devoted shepherd, obsessed farmer and dashing soldier who vie for her favor—move through a beautifully realized late 19th-century countryside, still almost untouched by the encroachment of modern life. Fox Searchlight Pictures will release a movie version of Far from the Madding Crowd May 1st. See Thomas Hardy's oeuvre
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Penguin Classics (August 31, 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0142437913
  • ISBN-13: 978-0142437919
  • Product Dimensions: 5.6 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #445,925 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

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 TimesHe began to attract notice as a novelist with his fourth book, Orient Expressin 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 Roadswhich served as a background for his famous The Power and the Glory, one of several “Catholic” novels (Brighton RockThe Heart of the MatterThe 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 AmericanOur Man in HavanaThe ComediansTravels with My AuntThe Honorary ConsulThe Human FactorMonsignor Quixoteand The Captain and the EnemyAs 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 ReflectionsMost 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 is a widely published polemicist and frequent radio and TV commentator.  He is the author of many books, including Why Orwell Matters, Letters to a Young Contrarian, The Trial of Henry Kissinger, as well as books on Cyprus, Kurdistan and Palestine, including Blaming the Victims coedited with Edward Said.  He is a contributing editor to Vanity Fair and writes for, among others, Slate, The Atlantic Monthly, The New York Times Book Review, and The Washington Post.  He lives with his family in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

Not much suspense, not much intrigue.
John H. Wilson
The interaction between the characters creates an increasing tension which is only resolved, for good or evil, when each one of them meets his or her particular fate.
Guillermo Maynez
The plot sounded interesting, but I just couldn't get drawn in by this book.
Black Plum

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By D. Cloyce Smith on May 17, 2009
Format: Paperback
Although "Orient Express" (originally published as "Stamboul Train") anticipates the moral and social issues, as well as the concern with faith and faithfulness, apparent in Greene's later work, this early novel is more of a crowd-pleaser--intentionally so, since the author needed the money. But it's one of the greater of Greene's lesser novels; and not the least of his achievements is to take stock characters and immerse them in unusual situations.

Most of the train's passengers are heading East for career opportunities--mercantile dealing, travel writing, theatrical performance, muckraking journalism, and even inciting a revolution. Safely aboard the train, however, they form temporary alliances and shrug off back-stabbing schemers, while the real worldly perils lie in wait off the train, in the towns and the countryside, in the station stops, where the passengers are threatened by thieves and killers, merciless soldiers and dark prisons, and inhabitants who can't speak their language. ("She was afraid at being left alone when the train was in a station," reflects one character moments before her inadvertent arrest by people she can't understand.)

As is usual in Greene's fiction, each of the "good" characters faces a test that, in this novel, approaches martyrdom: Will Myatt risk life and limb to rescue Coral? Will Coral abandon Dr. Czinner in his hour of need? Other characters--the gruff reporter Mabel Warren, the conflicted frontier guard Ninitch, the beautiful socialite Janet Pardoe, the absurd writer Q. C. Savory--hobble through life without ever confronting their own morally ambivalent prejudices and desires. Only Josef Grunlich, the murdering burglar, seems to be beyond redemption.
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13 of 15 people found the following review helpful By Guillermo Maynez on August 8, 2006
Format: Paperback
Of course far from his masterworks, this novel is still better than most which plague the bestsellers lists today. It is one of the first novels written by Greene, on of which he calls "entertainments", to distinguish them from his more serious novels. Nevertheless, here in an early work his recurrent subjects loom already: hope and regret; the moral loneliness of each individual; the inevitability of fate; the consciousness, or lack of it, of good and evil.

A group of people are travelling from Ostende (Belgium) to Istanbul, each one with their fears or illusions. During the long way they meet and interact, love and forget each other. Carleton Myatt, a young Jewish merchant, is on his way to solve a problematic business situation with his employees in Turkey. During the trip he meets and seduces (through kindness and sacrifice) a young starlet of nightclubs who only dreams of love and welfare. Dr. Czinner (sinner?) a socialist revolutionary from Yugoslavia, is on the same train bound for Belgrade, but he is discovered and harassed by Mabel Warren, a British, alcoholic and lesbian journalist. The interaction between the characters creates an increasing tension which is only resolved, for good or evil, when each one of them meets his or her particular fate. Foremost is the heartbreaking story of the young dancer, who loses love in the middle of a snowstorm and political intrigue of which she understands nothing. In this book, Greene lets us see the great qualities that would later lead him to write his great novels.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By J Martin Jellinek on October 27, 2007
Format: Paperback
Orient Express is a time capsule. It was written in the early 1930s and, as such, captures the world of the inter-war period in continental Europe. The book's strengths and weaknesses spring from this perspective. The strength are that Greene shows us a world that was rather bleak and yet vibrant. The downside is that anti-Semitism and class-based prejudices are evident both in the character's and in Greene's attitudes. However, as a time capsule of a lost era, this book is worth reading.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By C. M Mills on September 3, 2008
Format: Paperback
Graham Greene the eminent British novelist published this minor, suspensful and entertaining work in 1932. In Great Britain the novel is entitled "Stamboul Train". The novel is short but has a murder and interesting characters to keep your attention. The characters are well sketched and the novel has deeper depth than the typical spy thriller.
Among the players are:
Coral Musker-a beautiful but poor chorus girl traveling from England to appear in a musical in Istanbul. She falls in love on the train and becomes involved in the pursuit of a Yugolslavian Communist leader Dr.
Czinner. Coral is the most human andsympathetic character in the whole business. She is touching, pathetic and deserving of a better fate than the one she receives.
Carelton Myatt is a young businessman from London. He is on the way to Turkey to cement a business deal. He is also a womanizer who initiates Coral into sex. Later he sets his cap for Janet Pardoe a half-Jewish niece of Mr. Steiner a wealthy businessman. Myatt is a despicable character who seeks his own ego satisfactions not trifling with such things as true love. As the novel ends his future looks bright but we the readers do not like him. Greene chose to make him Jewish opening himself up for charges of Antisemetic caricatures. Much of British society in the 1930s was adverse to persons of the Jewish faith. The novel was written shortly before Hitler became German Chancellor. It should be stated that Greene served bravely in World War II as a spy for the British Government. I do not think he was overtly antisemetic.
Mabel Warren is a lesbian and obnoxious journalist who is eager to interview Czinner and Savery who is a popular novelist. She travels with Janet Pardoe but when dumped sets her sights on Coral.
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Orient Express (Penguin Classics Deluxe Edition)
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