Reviews

Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene, J.M. Coetzee

traceymc's review

Go to review page

dark mysterious sad tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? It's complicated
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

msand3's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

4.5 stars. While I love the film adaptations of his work, this is the first novel I’ve read by Greene that I truly like. The atmosphere of despair framing the bleak, trapped characters, with Ida standing as the one beacon of virtue, casts a long, somber, reflective shadow in the reader's consciousness after putting the book down. Indeed, I think Ida is more memorable than Pinkie, for she represents the less stringent view of morality as being fluid (and is therefore a more refined, nuanced character), whereas Pinkie’s heaven/hell worldview paints him as being more symbolic than realistic. Unlike previous Greene novels I've read, Brighton Rock had me flipping pages faster and faster as the events unfolded, concluding with that unforgettable, stark ending: the realization that Rose never truly understood Pinkie’s vision of Hell -- but that she would soon discover it.

I wish I had started with this as my first Greene novel, but I’m glad after a few indifferent reads, I finally found one that I could enjoy as both entertaining and thought-provoking. I look forward to reading more of his novels in the hope that they are like Brighton Rock in that respect.

pumpkinpaperweight's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

Well that was depressing.

katyaaaaaaaaaaa's review against another edition

Go to review page

4.0

Brighton Rock is another Greene about the need to protect innocence from itself. Unlike some of his other works, there are clear winners and losers here: in a battle fought between the life-affirming and the damned, the former a left with the higher ground. But the character immersion is on the side of the damned, as the reader is compelled to see fully and emphasize with the cynical streetwise nature of the villains. Pinkie is a testament to the deprived. He is always just out of reach for love and joy, just a step away from redemption. May we, as a world, do better for such people. But until we do; we watch them set the world on fire, and lastly themselves, too.

grcbnntt's review

Go to review page

adventurous dark mysterious reflective tense fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.0

ladyslipper's review against another edition

Go to review page

dark emotional funny inspiring mysterious reflective fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? N/A
  • Loveable characters? Yes
  • Diverse cast of characters? N/A
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

5.0

bearunderthecypresses's review against another edition

Go to review page

2.0

"A long way out beyond the West Pier you could see the lights of Worthing -- a sign of bad weather, and the tide rolled regularly in, a gigantic white splash in the dark against the breakwaters nearer the shore. You could hear it pounding at the piles..." pg. 269

allseeinghelga's review against another edition

Go to review page

slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? N/A
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

2.75

One of the most boring books, I can see where they were trying to grow with the plot but it feels more like a women-written-by-men type of book. Mildly disappointed they put the focus on Pinkie when Ida was miles more interesting than him, that was mostly the turn off for me. The resolution is also drier than a scone.

bexisboring's review

Go to review page

dark mysterious tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? Yes
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

glace's review against another edition

Go to review page

3.0

It's a good casual read. There's a charm to the characters, but sometimes it doesn't click with me. Interesting tones of anxiety, cruelty and despair, and scattered bits of fun. I liked Ida. Not overly complex but a very fine and human presence. Pinkie was interesting in his strangeness, but he seemed hard to connect to despite the author's efforts, but that could just be myself.