The Human Factor

The Human Factor Graham Greene s passion for moral complexity and his stylistic aplomb were perfectly suited to the cat and mouse game of the spy novel a genre he practically invented and to which he periodically ret

  • Title: The Human Factor
  • Author: Graham Greene
  • ISBN: 9780380414918
  • Page: 287
  • Format: Paperback
  • Graham Greene s passion for moral complexity and his stylistic aplomb were perfectly suited to the cat and mouse game of the spy novel, a genre he practically invented and to which he periodically returned while fashioning one of the twentieth century s longest, most triumphant literary careers Written late in his life, The Human Factor displays his gift for suspense at iGraham Greene s passion for moral complexity and his stylistic aplomb were perfectly suited to the cat and mouse game of the spy novel, a genre he practically invented and to which he periodically returned while fashioning one of the twentieth century s longest, most triumphant literary careers Written late in his life, The Human Factor displays his gift for suspense at its most refined level, and his understanding of the physical and spiritual vulnerability of the individual at its deepest.

    One thought on “The Human Factor”

    1. More than his superior novels, THE HUMAN FACTOR demonstrates Greene's confounding ability to compel readers to turn pages. Though nothing much was going on and the plot was nearly entirely predictable, I flew through. It shares more with John Le Carre than other Greenes that I've read, save for a few flourishes at the edges (when our lead, Castle, enters a Catholic Church toward the end of the novel it was a bit like McCartney playing the opening of Hey Jude).What we have: a spycraft novel with [...]

    2. LA VALUTAZIONE DEL RISCHIO Credo che per me si tratti della quinta rilettura, tra lingua originale e traduzione: è palese che questo libro di Greene mi piace, che lo prendo e riprendo per la certezza che mi farà passare qualche ora di buona sana lettura, che mi confermerà la sua qualità.Il film diretto da Otto Preminger è del 1979. Nel cast anche tre Sir (titolo onorifico assegnato dalla Corona), i primi due ormai defunti: Richard Attenborough, John Gielgud, Derek Jacobi.Una spy story ambie [...]

    3. It took me about 80 pages to realize I was right to continue to read this. If I wasn't already familiar with Greene, I probably would've put it down at some point before those 80 pages, thinking this book was not my kind of thing. But it deserves patience, as Greene is setting you up (necessary for the story) and by the time you're set up, you're hooked.This novel is a mastery of dialogue. I can't remember the last time a book told me so much, and did it so well, with dialogue, not just in advan [...]

    4. a novel of spies and of pawns and of the interchangeability of those roles. the tale is deceptively simple and straightforward; the mixed loyalties of the protagonist and the portrait of his relationship with his african wife are sweetly affecting and pleasingly non-dramatic.but all of this is, in a way, a cover for the bleakly mordant commentary on betrayal that lies at the novel's heart. reading Human Factor made me understand how the works of le carre will always be superior to the works of f [...]

    5. Ora lo so dopo avere letto tre libri di Greene (mi sembra un numero sufficiente) posso affermare con certezza che è diventato uno dei miei autori preferiti, lo amo.Amo soprattutto i suoi personaggi quelli maschili, perché le donne rimangono sempre un po’ più sullo sfondo delle sue storie.I suoi personaggi sono uomini virili, non nel senso sessuale, ma virili perché fermi nei loro propositi, inflessibili, rocce ma con un cuore di burro dolcissimo che nasconde il loro tormento interiore, che [...]

    6. Surprisingly this espionage fiction set presumably amid the Cold War has proved itself as one of Mr Greene's enjoyable works, it was my misunderstanding with insufficient motive and information that kept me stay put for years till a few months ago when I decided to resume reading his "The Confidential Agent" as well as "Our Man in Havana" in which his writing style, tragedy episodes, sense of humor, etc. have since served me as some essential backgrounds before premature decidedly plunging in to [...]

    7. When writing this novel, Graham Greene wanted to write an espionage story free from the violence, and unreality, of the spy stories of the time. Indeed, this is not a James Bond adventure, but is espionage set very much in an unromantic and realistic world of desk jobs and paperwork – but with a threatening undercurrent of danger. Notably, Greene once worked with Philby and, although he insisted that Castle was not based on him, there is an attempt to explain why someone would be tempted into [...]

    8. When Graham Greene wrote this book he was 74 years old and had published his first novel 49 years earlier. These are two facts that show how extraordinarily long-lived the literary career of this man has been. But those who may look for decay or incipient senility in "The Human Factor" will be disappointed. Among the 6 novels of Mr Greene I read so far, this is among the best ones even considering the usual high-quality standards of this author."The Human Factor" is a novel of apparent stillness [...]

    9. I read this for a book club discussion, and was completely blown away. The story deals with MI5 and MI6 intelligence officials during the Cold War, and is more of a realistic look at life in secret intelligence than the action-packed spy books and movies we're used to. It's slow in starting, but really takes off halfway through. There is so much subtly building up as the story moves along. Once I saw where it was going, I really appreciated the pacing of the beginning and the way information was [...]

    10. Castle is approaching retirement from MI6 where he has been an officer in the Africa section for a number of years following active service in the continent. He is married to a black South African lady who he helped escape from the apartheid regime. He is enjoying his quiet and uneventful life, when him and his assistant, Davis, are interviewed following the discovery of a leak in the service that has been traced back to his department. The investigation concludes that Davis is the source of the [...]

    11. Love the way Graham Greene talks about human frailties without being preachy or overbearing His writing tugs at your heart just that wee bit, but leaves you thinking long after you've finished reading

    12. Castle is only a pawnI'm not a fan of spy novels. "Our Man in Havana" and a couple by Le Carré and you're already at the bottom of the list. Still, as a tersely-written thriller read on an interminable airplane flight, THE HUMAN FACTOR stands out. The characters Castle, Davis, Daintry, Percival, Hargreaves, and `Boris' are very well-drawn, their all-too-human motives revealed one by one as are their reactions to events. Sarah, the African wife of double agent Castle, remains something of a stic [...]

    13. Review first posted on BookLikes:brokentuneoklikes/post/‘It’s possible, of course, just possible,’ C said, ‘that the leak came from abroad and that the evidence has been planted here. They would like to disrupt us, damage morale and hurt us with the Americans. The knowledge that there was a leak, if it became public, could be more damaging than the leak itself.’ ‘That’s what I was thinking,’ Percival said. ‘Questions in Parliament. All the old names thrown up – Vassall, the P [...]

    14. I've read two other Greene novels besides this one, The End of the Affair and The Captain and the Enemy, and I'm still not entirely sure what I'm going to get when I pick up one of his books, but I know I love his writing. This is one of his later novels in an incredible career that began in the 20s and lasted until the late 80s. I always think of him as a classic author, but it seems odd to include anything written in my lifetime, so I tend to fall back on the arbitrary 'fifty year' rule with h [...]

    15. Some years ago I read the Tenth Man, and I enjoyed it for its irony. The plot was remarkable to me because it diverged from the other British Spy novels I have read. Though I admit I've not read too many. It has been my impression the Brit spy novel was always centered around a mole embedded in a British intelligence agency. I happened to read somewhere about what a great spy novelist Graham Green was, and I decided I would give this one a try. The Human Factor does concern a mole, but I decided [...]

    16. Greene started writing this novel some time in the late 1960s, and unfortunately took too long. He was pipped at the post by someone who wrote a much better traitorous espionage novel – namely Le Carre’s Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy. It’s a shame because this is a great Greeneland novel with all the usual themes splashed around: fidelity, temptation, redemption, betrayal and more.It is interesting to see that Greene’s experiences in the secret service mirrors those of LeCarre in the grey [...]

    17. If a chain is as strong as its weakest link, is a novel as strong as its tackiest passages?This is my clueless (and somewhat arrogant) rant. As I always heard Greene being pictured as respected, I was very disapointed at this novel. More specifically, at its style.This is what first raised my ears:A couple discuss in bed. She asks him if he doesn't want a kid of his own, since he is raising Sam, her son with another man.And he responds something like this:“() I love Sam because he isn't mine. [...]

    18. Uma narrativa tipica sobre espiões que escapa ao típico: é a perfeita antítese das encantadas e pouco realistas histórias do nosso amigo Bond. James Bond.

    19. Particolare: pur essendo ambientato all'interno del MI6 (agenzia di spionaggio inglese), è costruito in maniera molto diversa dai soliti thriller dai capitoli brevissimi e dai periodi lampo. La trama è tutta incernierata sui personaggi: GG (che è davvero un gran bravo scrittore - pulito, elegante, lineare) ne tratteggia e mostra le debolezze, l'imperfezione (il "fattore umano", appunto) su cui viene costruita la trama, nonchè gli immancabili, seppur pochi, colpi di scena. Libro piacevole, se [...]

    20. Un libro que te engancha, se van revelando giros e historias, ideal para vacacionesNo estoy muy inspirada para hacer review hoy.

    21. The Human Factor highlights a man, Maurice Castle, who is driven at times to make choices based on love and an often-misplaced sense of moral duty that have some pretty serious consequences for himself and others. Castle is an agent in MI6, and as the book opens, a leak has been discovered in his division. Suspicion falls on his partner, Davis, who seems to have a lot more money than an agent in his position should -- he bets,he drives a Jag -- and he's also a pretty heavy drinker. Castle is old [...]

    22. The Human Factor is a novel about a very ordinary, almost nondescript, man who makes his living in the shady world of espionage.  It's not your typical spy novel however. Clandestine meetings, secret messages and code names are not much in evidence; nor is the plot of the usual fiendishly complex kind and there's a distinct absence of high octave action scenes. What we get instead is a more thoughtful novel about loyalty and betrayal.In his 1980 autobiography Ways of Escape, Graham Greene sa [...]

    23. The Human Factor is a spy story on a very small canvas, more Men from the Ministry than Ian Fleming or John le Carré. There is the same well-meaning little man who does tremendous harm as in The Quiet American, but The Human Factor sees the situation through the eyes of the little man himself. Unlike most popular fiction, where all the right is on one side and all the evil on the other, Graham Greene presents a morally ambiguous situation. Here is a loving husband and father, a conscientious em [...]

    24. During the darkest days of Apartheid in South Africa, the protagonist, a British intelligence officer called Maurice Castle, received help from an anti-apartheid lawyer and a communist operative to have his black wife and child escape the secret police. Some years later, close to retirement, Castle has settled in England with his family and is working in White Hall analyzing intelligence from Africa. To pay back his debt of honor to the communists, he has been leaking classified information to t [...]

    25. A more realistic version of working for MI6 in the 1960s than Ian Flemming's James Bond stories, based on Graham Greene's own experiences working for the British foreign intelligence service. As always I love the way Graham Greene writes and the way he tells a story. His characters are especially complex and conflicted. And you can understand clearly why they act as they do and the difficulty of the decisions they have had to make. You also get a very strong sense of the pervasive loneliness tha [...]

    26. This might not be the best of the "spies-are-people-too" type of espionage thriller. But it's very convincing, and a really thought-provoking read. Maurice Castle is a spy, moved back to London from South Africa because he married a black woman and broke their apartheid rules. In London, he finds his spying agency full of questionable ethics, and there are still South Africans who are out to cause him trouble. But through it all he keeps his sense of humanity through the love of his wife, and th [...]

    27. This was an okay novel, but not up to Graham Greene's best, in my humble opinion. Honestly, I never really got fully engaged in the plot or its characters. It has been my experience that early Greene novels are such a deep psychological tour de force, and I never felt that this connected with me like that.

    28. This is not my cup of mystery tea.I think it is unfair to rate this book below 3-stars as this is a fairly decent book with a decent story. The mundane life of a desk spy and the eventual uncovering of the mystery is all well written. The story is character driven and lot of time is spent on giving certain degree of dimensions to the characters particularly Castle. Graham Greene is writing characters who are all "good" and devoid of morality and are completely blind to this hypocrisy except Cast [...]

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