The Ministry of Fear
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The book - my first by Graham Greene - was enjoyable and moved along with a interesting story that kept me reading. I particularly liked the descriptions that Greene provides of the atmosphere and circumstances Arthur and other characters find themselves in and a part of. These were no better coloured for me than the sights and sounds of bombed out London during an air-raid and the day after (as this story takes place during the nightly Blitz that hit London and England in the days on 1941/42) as the story weaves around London and the wider countryside.
The Ministry of Fear by Graham Greene - Pan Macmillan
In wartime England during the Blitz, Stephen Neale is released from Lembridge Asylum. While waiting for a train to London, Neale visits a village fête hosted by the Mothers of Free Nations charity. He is urged to go to the palm reader's tent to have his fortune told by Mrs. Bellane, an older woman. He asks her to ignore the past and tell the future, which startles her. She cryptically tells him to enter a contest and guess the weight of a cake as 4 pounds 15½ ounces. Neale does so and wins the cake. Then a young blond man hurries to see Mrs. Bellane. People try to persuade Neale to give the cake to the blond man, but Neale refuses.
Also by Nicolas Tredell - the London Fictions article on Graham Greene's The End of the Affair (1951) Ministry of Fear, written by Graham Greene and published in 1943, is one of only two novels he published during World War Two, when he was working for MI6. Ministry of Fear: Title Orwell named Room 101 after a conference room at Broadcasting House where he used to sit through tedious meetings.   Ministry of Plenty [ edit ] British Second World War rationing poster
Ministry Fear - AbeBooks Ministry Fear - AbeBooks
Neale awakens in the hospital, the prisoner of Scotland Yard Inspector Prentice. Neale persuades Prentice to search the bombed-out cottage for evidence. Neale finds a microfilm of military secrets inside a piece of cake in a bird's nest. Officials insist that the documents have only been taken out of a safe twice, the second time when Forrester's tailor, Travers, was present. Neale recalls that the empty flat was leased in Travers' name. I felt Ministry of Fear fell a little between two stools. It seemed unsure whether it wanted to be. Was it a literary novel about identity and how guilt and the past make happiness in the present impossible? Or was it a spy thriller? As such, it’s very uneven. The Germans are wonderfully thorough […] Card-indexed all the so-called leaders, Socialites, diplomats, politicians, labour leaders, priests – and then presented the ultimatum. Everything forgiven and forgotten, or the Public Prosecutor. It wouldn’t surprise me if they’d done the same thing over here. They formed, you know, a kind of Ministry of Fear – with the most efficient under-secretaries. It isn’t only that they get a hold on certain people. It’s the general atmosphere they spread, so you can’t depend on a soul.
The Ministry of Fear begins at a fete. A nostalgic man, Arthur Rowe roams aimlessly 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 steal the cake from him. After he hires a detective, things really begin to unravel. The plot is outlandish and unpredictable but Greene never goes into completely indecipherable Anthony Burgess territory ( Tremor of Intent, M/F). The psychological plot is more interesting and is the core of an excellent novel, but the two plots just don’t quite pull together into a coherent whole. The trouble is, the dark tone of the psychological plot does not sit well with the much lighter spy plot. Ministry of Fear: My Verdict
The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment (Penguin Classics) The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment (Penguin Classics)
It is significant that the novel opens in Bloomsbury, a place associated, through the Bloomsbury Group, with pacifism (at least in World War One), with élite art and attitudes and with the Modernist writing of Virginia Woolf, all of which, especially the last, Greene’s work, here as elsewhere, challenges. In a way that might seem to measure the Bloomsbury Group’s limits, the area now bears the scars of bombing, with an interior that might have figured in a Vanessa Bell painting ignominiously exposed to public view: Forgotten the title or the author of a book? Our BookSleuth is specially designed for you. Visit BookSleuth
In the Michael Radford film adaptation, the ministry is renamed the Ministry of Production, or MiniProd. In Ministry of Fear Graham 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.