Review: Brighton Rock – Graham Greene

Brighton RockThis was a good book but I didn’t like it. That seems a bit daft, I will agree but I think you can appreciate a book and not like it all that much.

My problem with this book is it was very narrative heavy, I like descriptive books and there was a lot of talking in this which really puts me off. I can handle up to a 50/50 split of plot/conversation but when it’s conversation heavy I tend to switch off a little! The prose though, oh the prose was so beautifully written and if there were a smidge more I would have been very happy.

I really quite liked the adaptation with Richard Attenborough in – the reason I picked this book up is only because the poor man died and the movie looked good. I didn’t realise until I’d seen the movie that it was actually a book. So I thought I’d give the book a go because, actually, while the movie was out of my comfort zone I did enjoy it.

The characters in the book were not likeable, I think I was meant to empathise with them but I didn’t. They were very one-dimensional and put in to ‘boxes’ based on stereotypical roles. Take Ida for instance, while she gets more time in the novel than in the movie, she essentially a puppet, a stereotypical working woman of the 1930s and nothing really more. She has her role and she plays it, no more, no less. Rose was very, very one dimensional – her naive, innocent act was really overplayed.

This book was good, I keep saying it, I just didn’t like it as much as I had hoped. I hate to give books low ratings, but sometimes it’s inevitable. Ultimately, this is a 2/5 book – while it was good, I don’t think it’s one I would recommend to a friend. I’ve not been put of Greene’s writing, I think I would like to try one or two more books before I put him off for life – I don’t think one book is enough to judge an author! Any suggestions would be welcomed!

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