Simon Heffer

The End of the Affair

The Life of Graham Greene, Volume III: 1955-1991


Jonathan Cape 706pp £25 order from our bookshop

This is the third, and last, volume of Norman Sherry’s authorised life of a man reputed to have been England’s finest novelist of the twentieth century. The first volume appeared in 1989; the second in 1994. The similarities of tone and approach between this long-awaited conclusion and its forerunners are as striking as the differences. Sherry is still thorough and perceptive, and has a deep rapport with his subject. He is also frequently emotional, censorious (notably over Greene’s admittedly often absurd political posturing) and solipsistic, sometimes to the point of indiscipline. Yet this volume completes one of the great modern works of literary biography, a life to compete, in its way, with George Painter’s breath-taking work on Marcel Proust, or Michael Holroyd’s Bernard Shaw.

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