Read Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party by Graham Greene Free Online
Book Title: Doctor Fischer of Geneva or The Bomb Party|
The author of the book: Graham Greene
Date of issue: 1981
ISBN 13: 9780140055887
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 448 KB
City - Country: No data
Loaded: 1670 times
Reader ratings: 7.8
Read full description of the books:
Any millionaire gets an obituary in Switzerland.
This lean, clean novella has a Swiss setting and, for that matter, a Swiss feel as well: the open play of ideas and the streamlined plot reminded of something by Dürrenmatt. Here, though, the themes of redemption and guilt are not related to Switzerland's role in the world, but attach themselves instead to Greene's enduring concern with ecclesiology and metaphysics.
When this came out in 1980, Graham Greene was living in the town of Vevey on Lake Geneva (just round the corner from Charlie Chaplin). And Vevey is also the home of the book's narrator, a humble clerk with the unlikely job of in-house translator for a local chocolate factory. This literary Oompa-Loompa meets and falls in love with the daughter of a fabulously wealthy local industrialist, the titular Dr Fischer, who turns out to be a monstrous arriviste, in love with the power that money has brought him and bent on humiliating his obsequious inner circle. At a series of ritually-staged dinners, Fischer tells cruel jokes at the expense of his hangers-on, forces them to eat cold porridge, and develops increasingly sinister ways to punish them for their cupidity.
All this is a little too OTT to be taken at face value. The dinner guests are grand-guignol caricatures – a wizened lawyer, a screeching American widow, a stiff Swiss major-general. Characters talk of Dr Fischer variously as God and Satan, while the narrator himself is compared to Christ: this, combined with much earnest discussion of forgiveness and the Matthew Principle (‘Unto every one that hath shall be given’, Matthew 25:29), leaves Greene's underlying interests looking a little naked, his exploration of them a little heavy-handed.
It certainly makes things easy for reviewers, the unwary among whom will be tempted into making grandiose disquisitions on the book's ‘themes’. Actually, I suspect that all this allegorical banter will leave most readers fairly cold. What does make a lasting impression is Greene's as it were incidental brilliance – the perfect evocation of the doomed romance with Fischer's daughter, the hyperaware banality that precedes a tragedy, the deft descriptions of daily life, the capturing of a certain cynical melancholy in the narrative voice. All of this makes him an enjoyable and instructive read even when his parables fail to connect.
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Read information about the authorHenry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.
Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a “Catholic novelist” rather than as a “novelist who happened to be Catholic,” Catholic religious themes are at the root of much of his writing, especially the four major Catholic novels: Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, The End of the Affair, and The Power and the Glory. Works such as The Quiet American, Our Man in Havana and The Human Factor also show an avid interest in the workings of international politics and espionage.
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