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Im “Jim” and depends on him for any news about the world outside their door Raised in these odd yet touching circumstances Jim is never uite sure of Liza’s relationship to the Captain who is often away on mysterious er Graham Greene as everyone knows is my favourite writer I am yet to find even one book of his own that has let me down or disappointed me in even the slightest way I have revisited them all in turns in between reading books by other writers which have been of the same caliber and skill and also those which have seemed inferior to his novels And so the uestion here that would haunt and even surprise some is why did I choose to revisit this book his last and perhaps one of his least known novels and review it here on Goodreads all over again? Why was this book a lean crisply written melancholy almost surreal story about father figures surrogate mothers boyhood and manhood espionage and political intrigue and about love and death and even King Kong lingering in my memory even than his already established masterpieces and his entertainments? Why was I haunted the most by this book alone even as there were so many of his other stories that had left their indelible imprints on my soul?The answer to that is perhaps as difficult as finding out what does love or what does King Kong stand for in this book Many noted reviewers readers and even authors inspired by Greene have been puzzled by the strange almost alienating nature of this narrative the slippery grasp of its realism and even the cryptic message of the book running through its lean lithe fiber A certain Mr Theroux wondered what it was all about another Mr Rushdie could not uite fathom the second half of the book And yet as I read it now in a nicely old fashioned Penguin paperback for the second time after having loved it in my first time despite having read it digitally I found myself wondering what was it that missed these people The Captain And The Enemy is not only as lucid and concise as any other Greene novel; it is also him at the final and penultimate peak of his storytelling powers a finely woven tale of such exuisite sadness of such mystifying moral dilemma and of such cleanly sculpted suspense and political heft that it will surely haunt every other reader once they have finished it for the first time It begins with a boy being smuggled out of the overbearing atmosphere of his school to an alternate life treated to a lunch of smoked salmon and orangeade by a stranger who claims to have won this boy from his father in a game ofnever mind what it is And that is also all I am going to tell to the uninitiated for this is not merely a thriller to unravel or a portrait to unveil; this is an encapsulated slice of life that needs to be experienced in all its ups and downs in its strange rousing sense of adventure and illegitimate parentage and in its inescapable moral conundrums in its strange allegiances and its selfish betrayals It is as unpredictable as life as slippery as joy and love to be found in life and as treacherous and cold blooded as life when it delivers its biggest disappointments and destroys our expectations And like life it is also short always at a danger of coming to a tragic end to which it does It begins with a boy fascinated by the new experience and day dreaming about going to Valparaiso; it ends with that same boy now never to make it to Valparaiso Yes it is strange it is sad it is even in a flash of absurd comedy confusing at times and yet that is how life is Critics decried it fans ignored or overlooked it and everybody else did not care for it It is their loss The Captain And The Enemy is the most exuisitely moving book that Greene had ever written a book that in its own lean concise way without ever digressing into schmaltz speaks volumes about the meaninglessness of life and the strange puzzling nature of love And still at the end to uote the climax the vital uestion remains Who or what is King Kong? Dance Band on the Titanic grasp of its realism and even the cryptic message of the book running through its lean lithe fiber A certain Mr Theroux wondered what it was all about another Mr Rushdie could not uite fathom the second half of the book And yet as I read it now in a nicely old fashioned Penguin paperback for the second time after having loved it in my first time despite having read it digitally I found myself wondering what was it that missed these people The Captain And The Enemy is not only as lucid and concise as any other Greene novel; it is also him at the final and penultimate peak of his storytelling powers a finely woven tale of such exuisite sadness of such mystifying moral dilemma and of such cleanly sculpted suspense and political heft that it will surely haunt every other reader once they have finished it for the first time It begins with a boy being smuggled out of the overbearing atmosphere of his school to an alternate life treated to a lunch of smoked salmon and orangeade by a stranger who claims to have won this boy from his father in a Chroma: A Photographer's Guide to Lighting With Color game ofnever mind what it is And that is also all I am The Hokku or Epigram Versus of Basho going to tell to the uninitiated for this is not merely a thriller to unravel or a portrait to unveil; this is an encapsulated slice of life that needs to be experienced in all its ups and downs in its strange rousing sense of adventure and illegitimate parentage and in its inescapable moral conundrums in its strange allegiances and its selfish betrayals It is as unpredictable as life as slippery as joy and love to be found in life and as treacherous and cold blooded as life when it delivers its biggest disappointments and destroys our expectations And like life it is also short always at a danger of coming to a tragic end to which it does It begins with a boy fascinated by the new experience and day dreaming about Spank! going to Valparaiso; it ends with that same boy now never to make it to Valparaiso Yes it is strange it is sad it is even in a flash of absurd comedy confusing at times and yet that is how life is Critics decried it fans ignored or overlooked it and everybody else did not care for it It is their loss The Captain And The Enemy is the most exuisitely moving book that Greene had ever written a book that in its own lean concise way without ever digressing into schmaltz speaks volumes about the meaninglessness of life and the strange puzzling nature of love And still at the end to uote the climax the vital uestion remains Who or what is King Kong?

READ & DOWNLOAD The Captain and the Enemy

The Captain and the Enemy

Victor Baxter is a young boy when a secretive stranger known simply as “the Captain” takes him from his boarding school to live in London Victor becomes the surrogate son and companion of a woman named Liza who renames h This is a short novel one of the last written by Greene when he was in his 80’s It has a fairly low rating for Greene although it’s a decent if a bit implausible storyDuring WW II a mysterious man the Captain ‘wins’ a boy in a backgammon game The boy is an orphan sent to boarding school by an aunt The boy hates both the school and his aunt so he’s happy to go off with the Captain to be raised by the Captain’s woman friend who desperately wants a child lost one and can’t have another So the boy of 10 or 12 years old or so adapts to his new lifeThe mysterious Captain come and goes for weeks months and sometimes years at a time Often he has a new name when he returns He’s obviously a thief and a con man Fast forward to the 1970’s The boy is a young man with a job as a journalist He hasn’t had contact with the Captain for years but his ‘mother’ gets a letter from the Captain and the young man flies to Panama to join the Captain mainly because he has been hounded all his life by the mystery of this strange man Now we enter into a new level of intrigue The Captain is somehow involved in the rebellion in neighboring Nicaragua between the dictator Somoza and the Sandinista rebels He solves the mystery of what the Captain is up to but let’s just say that the young man and the Captain both get much than they bargained forA decent story but not one of Greene’s best Photo of Sandinista rebels from wiki commons The author 1904 1991 from theguardiancomuk Chroma: A Photographer's Guide to Lighting With Color game The boy is an orphan sent to boarding school by an aunt The boy hates both the school and his aunt so he’s happy to The Hokku or Epigram Versus of Basho go off with the Captain to be raised by the Captain’s woman friend who desperately wants a child lost one and can’t have another So the boy of 10 or 12 years old or so adapts to his new lifeThe mysterious Captain come and Spank! goes for weeks months and sometimes years at a time Often he has a new name when he returns He’s obviously a thief and a con man Fast forward to the 1970’s The boy is a young man with a job as a journalist He hasn’t had contact with the Captain for years but his ‘mother’ Prison Ramen gets a letter from the Captain and the young man flies to Panama to join the Captain mainly because he has been hounded all his life by the mystery of this strange man Now we enter into a new level of intrigue The Captain is somehow involved in the rebellion in neighboring Nicaragua between the dictator Somoza and the Sandinista rebels He solves the mystery of what the Captain is up to but let’s just say that the young man and the Captain both Saints and Misfits get much than they bargained forA decent story but not one of Greene’s best Photo of Sandinista rebels from wiki commons The author 1904 1991 from theguardiancomuk

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Rands It is not until Jim reaches manhood that he confronts the Captain and learns the shocking truth about the man his allegiances and the nature of love This Penguin Classics edition features an introduction by John Auchar view spoiler Bettie's Books hide spoiler


10 thoughts on “The Captain and the Enemy

  1. says:

    This is a short novel one of the last written by Greene when he was in his 80’s It has a fairly low rating for Greene although it’s a decent if a bit implausible storyDuring WW II a mysterious man the Captain ‘wins’ a boy in a backgammon game The boy is an orphan sent to boarding school by an aunt The boy hates both the school and his aunt so he’s happy to go off with the Captain to be raised by the Captain’s woman friend who desperately wants a child lost one and can’t have another So the boy of 10 or 12 years old or so adapts to his new lifeThe mysterious Captain come and goes for weeks months and sometimes years at a time Often he has a new name when he returns He’s obviously a thief and a con man Fast forward to the 1970’s The boy is a young man with a job as a journalist He hasn’t had contact with the Captain for years but his ‘mother’ gets a letter from the Captain and the young man flies to Panama to join the Captain mainly because he has been hounded all his life by the mystery of this strange man Now we enter into a new level of intrigue The Captain is somehow involved in the rebellion in neighboring Nicaragua between the dictator Somoza and the Sandinista rebels He solves the mystery of what the Captain is up to but let’s just say that the young man and the Captain both get much than they bargained forA decent story but not one of Greene’s best Photo of Sandinista rebels from wiki commons The author 1904 1991 from theguardiancomuk


  2. says:

    I know this book is bad ass because weeks after reading it I stopped in the middle of the sidewalk and realized what Greene was doing He does it very effectively too by using the way in which he tells the story to tell a part of the storyMy current theory is that this is book is actually a brilliant exposition on the scaffolding we all create in our attempts to architect meaning Nothing means anything Greene seems to argue but we try and infuse meaning to literal scraps in order to weave some semblance of order andor sense into our basement apartment existencesThe story itself is well just okay but the craft? Yowza If I describe in too much detail I'll ruin it for you so I'll just say Although the techniue of interweaving text from various parts of a narrator's life has been poorly photocopied many times since Greene did it decades ago and holy crap let that last short chapter sink in for a while and sneak up on you while you trudge back to your apartment from the subwayMy favorite part about this book is that I found it on the steps of a public library in the free book box and I had my AHA moment approximately twenty feet away but many weeks later


  3. says:

    The Captain and the Enemy Graham Greene The Captain and the Enemy is the last novel published by the English author Graham Greene The Captain and the Enemy tells the story of a young boy named Victor Baxter taken away from his boarding school by a stranger to live in London This stranger is simply known as the Captain and he appears mysterious to Victor In London Victor companions a woman named Liza and tells her any news that happens in the outside world When Victor reaches manhood he finally learns the secrets and intelligence of the Captainتاریخ نخستین خوانش دهم ماه آگوست سال 2000 میلادیعنوان باخت پنهان؛ نویسنده گراهام گرین؛ مترجم عباس پژمان؛ تهران، نشر مرکز، 1378؛ در نه و 203 ص؛ شابک 9643054306؛ موضوع داستانهای نویسندگان انگلیسی قرن 20 مراوی داستان مادرش مرده و او دانش آموز یک مدرسه شبانه روزی ست پدرش در یک بازی پدر میگوید نرد، کاپیتان میگوید شطرنج به کاپیتان باخته و با همین بازی، سرنوشت او رقم خورده فغان که با همه کس غایبانه باخت فلک؛ کسی نبود که دستی ازین دغا ببرد حافظ؛ ا شربیانی


  4. says:

    Graham Greene as everyone knows is my favourite writer I am yet to find even one book of his own that has let me down or disappointed me in even the slightest way I have revisited them all in turns in between reading books by other writers which have been of the same caliber and skill and also those which have seemed inferior to his novels And so the uestion here that would haunt and even surprise some is why did I choose to revisit this book his last and perhaps one of his least known novels and review it here on Goodreads all over again? Why was this book a lean crisply written melancholy almost surreal story about father figures surrogate mothers boyhood and manhood espionage and political intrigue and about love and death and even King Kong lingering in my memory even than his already established masterpieces and his entertainments? Why was I haunted the most by this book alone even as there were so many of his other stories that had left their indelible imprints on my soul?The answer to that is perhaps as difficult as finding out what does love or what does King Kong stand for in this book Many noted reviewers readers and even authors inspired by Greene have been puzzled by the strange almost alienating nature of this narrative the slippery grasp of its realism and even the cryptic message of the book running through its lean lithe fiber A certain Mr Theroux wondered what it was all about another Mr Rushdie could not uite fathom the second half of the book And yet as I read it now in a nicely old fashioned Penguin paperback for the second time after having loved it in my first time despite having read it digitally I found myself wondering what was it that missed these people The Captain And The Enemy is not only as lucid and concise as any other Greene novel; it is also him at the final and penultimate peak of his storytelling powers a finely woven tale of such exuisite sadness of such mystifying moral dilemma and of such cleanly sculpted suspense and political heft that it will surely haunt every other reader once they have finished it for the first time It begins with a boy being smuggled out of the overbearing atmosphere of his school to an alternate life treated to a lunch of smoked salmon and orangeade by a stranger who claims to have won this boy from his father in a game ofnever mind what it is And that is also all I am going to tell to the uninitiated for this is not merely a thriller to unravel or a portrait to unveil; this is an encapsulated slice of life that needs to be experienced in all its ups and downs in its strange rousing sense of adventure and illegitimate parentage and in its inescapable moral conundrums in its strange allegiances and its selfish betrayals It is as unpredictable as life as slippery as joy and love to be found in life and as treacherous and cold blooded as life when it delivers its biggest disappointments and destroys our expectations And like life it is also short always at a danger of coming to a tragic end to which it does It begins with a boy fascinated by the new experience and day dreaming about going to Valparaiso; it ends with that same boy now never to make it to Valparaiso Yes it is strange it is sad it is even in a flash of absurd comedy confusing at times and yet that is how life is Critics decried it fans ignored or overlooked it and everybody else did not care for it It is their loss The Captain And The Enemy is the most exuisitely moving book that Greene had ever written a book that in its own lean concise way without ever digressing into schmaltz speaks volumes about the meaninglessness of life and the strange puzzling nature of love And still at the end to uote the climax the vital uestion remains Who or what is King Kong?


  5. says:

    An enjoyable and absorbing story of Victor the schoolboy and the mysterious captain told in four partsCircumstances bring them into contact with each other one day when Victor is called to the headmaster's office of his boarding school With Victor's father's permission the Captain has come to take the boy out for the afternoon and so begins the adventureGraham Greene's last novel is one of complexity but also a subtle simplicity that brings just a few characters together The events and scenes we see Victor the captain and others experience are life in suburban London where not much happens but neighbours the police and family take an interest in themViewed through the eyes and words of Victor the schoolboy we see hints of crime love despair and uncertainty along with hope and opportunity As the plot develops we learn about Victor and his new life living in London with Liza We learn about the captain but is he who he says he is and are his adventures true fabricated or just a little exaggerated? After all he travels and comes back and then goes again; but where does he go? What does he do? The final part and chapters of the book provide the explanation through Victor's eyes as a young man of twenty two The stage changes from England to other lands and we see life's complexity through his own circumstances as he is challenged to tell the truth or to change events to make things better by postponing news for a while


  6. says:

    ‘I get the impression that neither of you trusts the other Why are you friends?’ ‘I told you – not friends It’s a game A serious game – like chess or backgammon We swap pieces – unimportant pieces – though of course everything in a sense can lead to something important For his friends or mine This is the last novel published during Greene's lifetime I don't know whether it is the last he wrote but this is one of the absurd stories he has concocted From here on there be SPOILERSview spoiler The story begins with the main character Victor Baxter being taken from his boarding school by a stranger The stranger persuades Victor with little effort to stay with a women named Liza in London Later Victor's father discovers his son's whereabouts but does not appear to care too much about the strange abduction Anyway Victor grows up being cared for by the woman in London and the stranger who abducted him from boarding school when he was twelve years old He refers to the stranger as the Captain The Captain teaches Victor at home as sending Victor to school would expose the strange setup of Victor's home life to the authorities Over time the Captain is absent from the family but it remains unclear what keeps the Captain away all that is known is that he is involved in some criminal and some shady business which eventually takes him to South America Victor follows him And from this point on The Captain and the Enemy reads almost like a re writing of Our Man in Havana except that this story is bleaker and Greene does not use comedy to veil the sad and contemptuous effects of the espionage business Instead he uses absurdity in the form of a movie monster this time to show the love and closeness between the main characters We have both been a burden to him And then King Kong came back into my mind and the words he had used to me then when I watched the King with his burden – a burden which kicked him so hard that I wondered why he didn’t drop her into the street below ‘He loves her boy can’t you understand that?’ Perhaps I have never understood the nature of love Perhaps I wish I had seen him once or that I hadn’t lied to him at the beginning And true to Greene's style he uses this private joke the trust the knowledge of the familiar between Victor Liza and the Captain as the Achilles' heel that will seal their fate He touched the papers piled on his desk as though the mere feel of them might convey some answer to his uestion and then he spoke his thoughts aloud ‘King Kong It haunts me that name King Kong King Kong is the only clue we have Could he be a name in some elementary book code which is all they would have trusted to an amateur like that? A character in Shakespeare perhaps Some famous line that even the gringos would recognize Well the boy’s gone He can do no harm to us All the same how I would like to break that code of his King Kong’ hide spoiler


  7. says:

    Greeneland encompasses morality Catholicism foreignintrigue an inability to love and the raw nerves ofevil a constant force in the world I get vexed when he seems like a church publicist but his gifted storytelling always amused rueful ironic is beguiling Greeneonce said I wonder how those who do not write composeor paint can escape the madness and panic which is inherentin the human situation Greene reveals a masterly selection of detail and superb economy of language as he ponderssalvation damnation


  8. says:

    Being his last novel first published in 1988 this paperback is about a schoolboy named Victor Baxter whose adventure is interestingly narrated by himself From a brief Wikipedia synopsis the Goodreads one and the book itself his age is still a mystery and it's a bit difficult to tell exactly even from the context so I'd leave it at that till some Greene gurus kindly notify meHowever after one or two hours ago I came back to see this review and found that I made a mistake for a failure of verification and I am sorry In fact Victor's age has been told in the very first sentence in Chapter I Part i as followsI am now in my twenty second year and yet the only birthday which I can clearly distinguish among the rest is my twelfth for it was on that damp and misty day in September I met the Captain for the first time p 9Reading its first half with arguable enjoyability I have been thrilled with the appearance of Mr uigly what a name seemingly coined from uickugly for some reason for instance how he looked and found the narrator I had time as he approached to think that I had never seen a taller and a thinner man His trousers were like a second skin He was narrow as well narrow shoulders narrow hips even his eyes were too close together He was like a caricature in a newspaper serial When he reached me he asked 'Are you called Jim?''Yes' p 111When I came across this sentence I had grown accustomed to think of any bell which rang as a form of code p 70 I think there might have been a case of proofreading regarding the verb 'think' after 'accustomed to' which should have been 'thinking' However after verifying both 'accustomed' and 'accustom' in the Wiktionary I've found that each reveals its function and exemplary phraseclause as followsAdjectiveaccustomed 2 Inured to; adapted to existing conditions accustomed to walking long distancesVerbaccustom 1 intransitive To make familiar by use; to cause to accept; to habituate familiarize or inure to object 1915 Emerson Hough which men have been accustomed to arrogate to themselvesI wondered if the author intended to treat 'accustomed' in the uoted extract from his novel above as an adjective or a verb; your analysis and verdict are welcomeTo continue


  9. says:

    view spoiler Bettie's Books hide spoiler


  10. says:

    I hadn't heard of this book until a friend mentioned it recently comparing it with Travels With My Aunt; I'd say it's along the lines of Our Man in Havana myself especially the final part set in Latin AmericaKnowing Greene there was a moral in it but I missed out on that enjoying the story for its uirkiness The series of seemingly senseless random acts in Jim's life since The Captain appears is explained later in stages including how his father lost him in game of backgammon One point that I did not understand is that I recalled that Jim is one of three brothers at first but is later asserted to be an only child? Otherwise one can read along assuming All Will Be Revealed Somewhat sad ending didn't work well for me but it's Greene's story fitting the political message as far as I understood that anywayRecommended for Greene fans but if you haven't read any don't start here try Havana instead a much stronger story


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