Reviews

Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene

heidip22's review against another edition

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4.0

A smart and cleverly written book that I enjoyed more than I was expecting. Although parts of it are written in a more old fashioned way that at times are hard to completely understand, the majority is written with depth and wit and I felt hooked into the story and it’s characters.

lilalovestoread's review against another edition

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adventurous challenging dark emotional tense slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? Character
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

3.75

m_delaney's review against another edition

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

3.75

the_reviewer's review against another edition

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

2.5

linguisticali's review against another edition

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dark tense slow-paced

3.5

This was a bit of a grim, slow, Crime-and-Punishmenty slog but the ending was great. I loved Ida and would have liked to spend more time in her POV than in the kid's. The narrator did a great job. 

merinnmg's review against another edition

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adventurous informative mysterious reflective tense medium-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? It's complicated
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.75

libbyruddfathers's review against another edition

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dark sad tense

4.75

rubyak's review against another edition

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dark slow-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? No
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? It's complicated

3.0

megan92smith's review against another edition

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challenging dark mysterious fast-paced
  • Plot- or character-driven? A mix
  • Strong character development? No
  • Loveable characters? It's complicated
  • Diverse cast of characters? No
  • Flaws of characters a main focus? Yes

4.0

bibliomaniac2021's review against another edition

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

4.25

Finished the re-read of "Brighton Rock," which I must have read decades ago. More acute study of a childish psychopath than a thriller, or "entertainment" to use GG's category. Didn't impress me as much as the first time I read it. One of the problems is that I know the story through the film (probably more famous than the book) whose resolution is different. Also, claims of BR being a masterpiece don't seem so justified, since it's a crime novel elevated into a literary novel, an experiment that I think failed. Some fine writing in passages like the attack at the racecourse, and Greene is very adept at creating the turgid, murky, seedy atmosphere of inter-war Brighton (Kemptown pubs etc), but sometimes it's difficult to keep the pages turning. Amusing in parts like the attack on crematoriums - early on in the novel- which Greene sees as symbols of surburbia and the encroaching middle- class- Greene would be snobbish of this since he was a product of the English upper-middle. Perhaps the major reason for my disaffection is the permeation of the book with Catholic ideology which threatens to turn the book into a long lecture on hell and damnation. Still, for all that, good, delineation of character  from the odious young gangster Pinkie to the doxy Ida, stern symbol of impending justice. I would be inclined to award this novel 4 stars, just short of a masterpiece, no matter what the critics might say.