|Plot Summary of The Quiet American|
|"The Quiet American by Graham Greene is a bleak and sorrowful novel set in French colonial Vietnam in the 1950's. On assignment in Vietnam, Fowler is a British foreign correspondent reporting the progress of the fighting between several warring factions trying to take control of the government and throw out the French. Fowler's life is a mess as he is a middle aged, opium addicted atheist in love with a young and beautiful Vietnamese orphan girl named Phuong.
She is not quite a prostitute; she is more of an escort looking for love. Her elder sister seeks to find her a suitable husband but in the process she has become a fallen woman. Joe Pyle is a young, idealistic, "quiet" American working for an economic development organization. He steals Phuong away from Fowler but winds up dead in the river. Fowler is suspected of the murder. He recalls memories of his "friend" Pyle whom he never really knew, reliving past events involving himself, Phuong and Pyle.
As a reporter Fowler is not allowed to report anything but military victories as he endures gruesome and disturbing facets of life during wartime in a third world country. French colonialism in Vietnam is a paradoxical and surreal world of formalities, proper manners, and class elitism in stark contrast to the daily grim realities of opium addiction, brothels, death, and destruction."
David Fletcher, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Quiet American|
Our unique search engine provides a wealth of detail about books by breaking them down into many different literary elements, all of which are searchable (click here).
Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Tone of book?
Time/era of story
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
War/Revolt/Disaster on civilians
Main char. serviced by prostitute?
- War, Vietnam
- of a different race (interracial loving!)
Is this an ordinary person caught up in events?
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- druggie/wino disease
How much descriptions of surroundings?
- 9 ()
- Southeast Asia
- fort/military installation
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- explicit references to deaths
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- vague references
- a lot of flashback and forwards
Amount of dialog
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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