The Ministry of Fear

Graham Greene


The Ministry of Fear

The Ministry of Fear

  • Title: The Ministry of Fear
  • Author: Graham Greene
  • ISBN: 9780451005304
  • Page: 422
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback



For Arthur Rowe, the trip to the charity fete was a joyful step back into adolescence, a chance to forget the nightmare of the blitzand the aching guilt of having mercifully murdered his sick wife He was surviving alone, aside from the war, until he happened to guess both the true and the false weight of the cake From that moment, he finds himself ruthlessly hunted, theFor Arthur Rowe, the trip to the charity fete was a joyful step back into adolescence, a chance to forget the nightmare of the blitz and the aching guilt of having mercifully murdered his sick wife He was surviving alone, aside from the war, until he happened to guess both the true and the false weight of the cake From that moment, he finds himself ruthlessly hunted, the quarry of malign and shadowy forces, from which he endeavors to escape with a mind that remains obstinately out of focus.


Recent Comments "The Ministry of Fear"

”Ah, he thought, Tolstoy should have lived in a small country--not in Russia, which was a continent rather than a country. And why does he write as if the worst thing we can do to our fellowman is kill him? Everybody has to die and everybody fears death, but when we kill a man we save him from his fear which would otherwise grow year by yearOne doesn’t necessarily kill because one hates: one may kill because one lovesd again the old dizziness came back as though he had been struck over the h [...]

This is wonderful. Elements of Brighton-boardinghouse, noir, absurdist, amnesiac, crime and spy genres, leavened with (pre) echoes of The Prisoner and 1984 and even Kafka's The Trial. This book is written with Orwell's general satirical edge, even if only a slight one, is definitely the most entertaining book I've read in ages. I'm so enjoying it.I really love good writing for it's own sake and when that's married to plot and characterisation, it becomes a book you can't put down. And at the spe [...]

First thing to say is that I thought the quality of the writing deserved a more sophisticated plot. The plot seemed overegged to me and kept changing key as if Greene couldn’t quite decide if he was writing a psychological thriller or a comic farce. The novel opens with a preposterous premise – a cell of Nazi spies hide a vital roll of film inside a cake which is the prize at a fete. That they choose this wholly irrational method of passing on vital information makes you feel you’re enteri [...]

This story takes us to London during World War II. The air raids have reduced neighbourhoods to rubles; people seek refuge in the shelters – there is destruction and desolation everywhere. The author did not go overboard in depicting the destruction yet it was so effectively portrayed.We get introduced to our protagonist, Arthur Rowe, at the very beginning of the story when he attends a fete. Rowe is man who clings to his happy childhood memories – he gets drawn to fetes with a childlike inn [...]

InMinistry of FearGraham Greene, in disguise of noir thriller, delves favorite and crucial to his work themes. Responsibility for own actions, blame, sin, sense of guilt, duty, morality. Who is abad man, condemned and pilloried by society merciful murderer of choice or maybe out of necessity ? Or maybe rather people acting in the name so called good of humanity and by the way not respecting an individual human life ? Is it wrong to relieve the suffering of terminally ill person ? Does a man have [...]

This novel has one of the best opening chapters of any novel I have ever read. Arthur Rowe is a repressed and guilt ridden man, living out the war in a London boarding house with little companionship. So, when he comes across a rather sad little wartime fete, he is eager to recall the memories of childhood it evokes. During the fete, a misunderstanding means that he wins a cake. However, the cake was never meant for him and his sudden lucky prize has consequences he could never have anticipated. [...]

It all starts with a visit to the local charity fete – held to raise money ‘all for a good cause’ and the unfortunate unfolding subsequent events concerning our main protagonist Arthur Rowe and a cake.As always with Graham Greene novels there is much to like here and the opening chapters concerning the fete and confusion concerning said cake are great. Arthur Rowe is a very interesting creation – a very well thought out complex character, with a life defining back story. Events unfold an [...]

You'll never look at a cake the same way again! Greene's repeated mentioning of this common noun sent a subliminal message- eat cake!, & so I went ahead and baked one. I guess this is how one gets to have one's cake & eat it too!The Ministry of Fear is a very mood-driven,atmospheric book,a slow burn. Don't expect it to thrill you with set action pieces; the thrill here comes mainly from seeing the plot unfold through the eyes of a protagonist driven almost paranoid with past guilt and pr [...]

Είναι σπάνια περίπτωση συγγραφέα ο Greene. Το 1943 όταν κυκλοφόρησε το συγκεκριμένο βιβλίο, είχε τη διαύγεια όχι μόνο να ζωντανέψει το Λονδίνο εν μέσω βομβαρδισμών αλλά να αποφύγει ταυτόχρονα κάθε καλούπι που θα χαρακτήριζε στη συνέχεια τα κατασκοπευτικά νουάρ. Ο κεντρικός ήρω [...]

Innocence, patriotism, self-delusion, psychology, memory, complexity, love, deceit and heroismA perfect book: accessible, clever, beautifully written, evocative, tense, and quietly profound. A palpable sense of dread and unease runs throughout the story set in the early years of World War 2 in England, primarily London.On one level the book is a simple story of espionage, fifth columnists, and a hapless man who gets caught up in things he does not understand however there is far more to it than [...]

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In that case,’ Rowe said, ‘I keep the cake because you see I guessed three pounds five the first time. Here is a pound for the cause. Good evening.’He’d really taken them by surprise this time; they were wordless, they didn’t even thank him for the note. He looked back from the pavement and saw the group from the cake-stall surge forward to join the rest, and he waved his hand. A poster on the railings said: ‘The Comforts for Mothers of the Free Nations Fund. A fête will be held . . [...]

گراهام گرین از بزرگترین نویسندگان انگلیسی زبان است که برخی آثارش در زمره آثار کلاسیک ادبی جای گرفته.وزارت ترس یکی از رمان های پلیسی گرین است که پر کشش ، جذاب و خواندنی ست. بسیاری وزارت ترس را از آثار مهم و زیبای گرین میدانند.این کتاب شامل ۴ بخش است :۱. کتاب اول : مرد بدبخت۲. کتاب د [...]

Alan Furst, intro, says this is fine reading on trains-planes.Who is this asshole?I piss on him.

***SPOILERS ALERT***It is amazing how much Greene packs into a 200 page novel. Every time I finish reading a Graham Greene novel, I feel like I have read a really large book, even though most of his books are only 150-300 pages long. The Ministry of Fear begins at a fete. A nostalgic man, Arthur Rowe aimlessly roams around the fete enjoying the sights and the sounds and then he wins a cake, after a fortune teller tells him its exact weight. But soon, Rowe begins to feel that people are out to st [...]

Since I posted about this book in tandem with another by Graham Greene, once again I'll link to my reading journal rather than try to split them up here. Don't worry -- no spoilers, no long plot details. I loved this book and if you are able to focus more on character more than on plot, you'll discover why. crimesegments/2017/03/

We're in London, it's World War II, and Arthur Rowe, the book's main character, is lured out of his apartment and across the street by a church carnival. He goes in the hope of recapturing a little happiness.Here's the thing; sad, gentle Arthur Rowe is a murderer. He has just been released from jail for the mercy killing of his wife, who was suffering from an agonizing, incurable disease.One of the attractions at the carnival is a prize cake, made with real eggs and butter, to be won by guessing [...]

Psychologically gutsy and cleverly brainy to a 5. And classy too as it is from the era when you actually didn't have to read long descriptions of or "see" guts or brain matter. I'd read it before, maybe more than 3 decades ago, as I have other Graham Greene. But did not remember most of this particular plot, which WOULD make and DID, an excellent movie. Bad guy or good guy? Friend or enemy? I cannot remember. And the blitz was, to me, the other main character. More than the girl. It is not an ea [...]

I really like this subgenre of thrillers - where an innocent bystander gets involved with espionage or criminals by mistake or accident. Graham Greene has created a masterpiece of this type including the romance with someone who might not be trustworthy or is she? Read it and find out!Even though Greene himself didn't take his thrillers as serious writing, his skill with words is evident throughout this novel. Just one example:"Her voice was dry like an old portrait: the social varnish was crack [...]

Graham Greene at his best.This book was a delight to re-read, and I think that I enjoyed it even more on this second reading. All of the typical Greene themes are present - guilt, intrigue, ones own responsibility, betrayal, oppression and more, all set against London in the blitz. This is a wonderfully intriguing and thought provoking story, which is difficult to put down. The characters are wonderful from the lead Arthur Rowe, the fortune teller, the nazi spies through to the mysterious doctor [...]

A man with a harrowing past buys a cake during the London blitz and it all goes horribly wrong for a while. While the book is super in many ways my favourite bit is highlighting the sinister undertones that I have long felt at any fete. In this case it is being run by nazi fifth columnists whose love for cake is only matched by their love for needless complexity.

I loved this book. Now to find the film. (No pun intended.)

A weird if flawed meditation on morality and sanity in times of acute distress. I should consult my Norman Sherry but this one appears penned with a screenplay in mind.Personally this conjures a blitz of memories. My good friend Steve once lived with a plucky poet by the name of Jennifer Priest. This all ended in an explosion of jealousy. I went over to comfort both of them in the aftermath. Jennifer was reading Ministry of Fear at the time. I wasn't overly familiar with Greene at the time. Igno [...]

From :Stephen Neale has just been released from an asylum during World War 2 in England when he stumbles on a deadly Nazi spy plot by accident, and tries to stop it.A movie was made based on this book and it's available at YouTube.

ministryoffearRead for the #GreeneforGran reading tribute, only my third Graham Greene novel ever and my second read for #GreenforGran. I read Stamboul Train earlier this month, which I also enjoyed. This novel is one of Graham Greene’s thriller style novels rather than one of the more literary offerings. I am now quite keen to read some of those novels which are considered among his best. I have certainly found that I enjoy his style of writing.The Ministry of Fear is a quick enthralling read [...]

The story starts with a mix-up over a Guess the Weight of a Cake competition at a small garden fete and we know immediately that this is one of Graham Greene's 'entertainments'. It rapidly becomes a tense thriller, with fifth columnists, people not being who they seem, a murder which isn't and some which are and a pretty girl who falls for the 'hero'. It is not a bad thriller, there are enough twists to keep reading and there are a few unlikely coincidences, which you could read quickly past and [...]

ministry of anxietyThis was my first (and possibly last) reading of a Graham Greene novel. I wanted to read one of Greene's novels to get a sense for the origin of the modern espionage genre. I chose his first "spy" novel (taking my cue from LeCarre) to avoid the overload of anti-americanism for which Greene is known. The novel met these two expectations, but did not rise to the level of significant literature.The Ministry of Fear is structured in four sections that trace the develop of the prot [...]

Again, a minor work of a great author--do you give it four stars for being not as good as his major work, or five because what it does it does phenomenally well? An early novel, set during the London Blitz, opening up the great Greene themes of the exotic--although it's London, it's a London that's made exotic--Pico Iyer says that Greene only liked England in wartime. Where buildings disappeared overnight, the ruins marked by signs indicating where bombed businesses relocated. Where you regularl [...]

Graham Greene's writing always strikes me as a force where comprehension is achieved through saturation rather than trough the reconstruction of grammatical elements. He writes in terms of feelings and emotions and he understands how these almost-spiritual elements of the human condition can change and coexist all within a moment. And he makes these complexities real by providing the reasons and justifications that his readers need to understand his constantly changing characters. The Ministry o [...]

I bought this on the strength of the back cover, which reads:For Arthur Rowe the charity fete was a trip back to childhood, to innocence, a welcome chance to escape the terror of the Blitz, to forget twenty years of his past and a murder. Then he guesses the weight of the cake, and from that moment on he's a hunted man, the target of shadowy killers, on the run and struggling to find the truth.Oh, Graham. So much promise, and yet you clearly wrote this on such an imminent deadline. Good holiday [...]


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    Posted by:Graham Greene
    Published :2018-09-17T23:55:14+00:00