Reviews

A Gun for Sale, by Samuel Hynes, Graham Greene

late_stranger's review

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3.0

A little free library read - quick, and pretty fun. The ending was a little weird. 3.5 stars.

unicazurnfanpage's review against another edition

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

3.75

I enjoyed it it was a quick and fast read. 

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lostinabookbrb's review against another edition

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3.0

This book is about a guy named Raven who murders a very important man without knowing how important he was for money. The guy who pays Raven betrays him by giving him stolen money. War is about to break out because of the very important man being dead. That's the general plot and I'm missing details but I figure people can read the summary already provided.

The book was decent. It dealt with a lot of things that I didn't know about, I'm not really keen on politics anyway but the story was generally okay. I liked Anne and the feelings she had towards Raven, they were constantly shifting.

bendrix's review against another edition

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4.0

fast paced thriller with some comic vignettes interspersed in the proceedings; great characterizations

nihilisk's review against another edition

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3.0

Not nearly as illuminating as the two other Greenes I have read, but as I understand this was one of several books he wrote as entertainment for his mainstream audience. The prose of the last two chapters are much stronger and more poetic than the rest of the book.

chalicotherex's review against another edition

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2.0

The part of the book that takes place during an air raid rehearsal was creepy, with everyone wearing gas masks. Otherwise it wasn't great.

janita's review against another edition

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2.0

2,5/5 because I feel like I'm gonna forget about this book before I even begin to read the next one. I do regret reading the Finnish translation, though, as I feel like Greene's original writing might have made a difference. Enjoyable but easily forgettable.

peterseanesq's review

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5.0

Please give my Amazon review a helpful vote - https://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R1EEDKFO1FMA2B?ref=pf_ov_at_pdctrvw_srp

I came to Grahame Greene's "A Gun for Sale" after watching the Veronica Lake/Alan Ladd movie "This Gun for Hire." I was surprised how closely the book followed the movie, albeit with some substantial details.

The book's plot involves Raven, an assassin who was hired to kill the "Minister of War" in some foreign country, being set up and betrayed by his employer. The employer's lackey pays Raven off with money reported stolen from a payroll heist, which puts the police on Raven's trail for the payroll heist he didn't do the moment he spends a tiny amount of the cash. Raven is a psychopath, a psychopathy caused by his deformity, a harelip. He immediately forms the intent to obtain vengeance on the unknown employer. His paths cross with that of Anne Crowder, the girlfriend of the police detective on his trail, on a train to Nottwich, where she has been hird to be a showgirl in a show produced by the lackey. Raven's intent is to kill Anne as a loose end, but ultimately she becomes an ally who helps him figure out who his treacherous employer was.

The movie follows the plot, except for moving the story to America and putting the action after the outbreak of World War II. One of the interesting points is that Greene wrote the book in 1936 and he foresees the result of the assassination of the Minister of War as the trigger for the next major war, sort of a view that the next Great War would start in the same way as the Great War of 1914 began. Of course, when the movie was made in 1942, everyone knew that isn't what happened, but it is an interesting insight into the anxiety that existed in the pre-war period.

The story moves at a good clip. The plot details hold together. Raven is an interesting but not sympathetic character. I'd say that the book's Raven is far more interesting than the version that Alan Ladd offered on screen. The book offers an intriguing look at the period prior to World War II.

I recommend it.

vraper's review

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3.0

A Gun for Sale boasts probably the best opening to a crime/thriller novel in the world ever. A cold-hearted assassin stalks through a colder street and assassinates a Government minister. Within thirty pages, a world war is in the offing. Absolutely brilliant, stark, noir and atmospheric.

The rest of the book isn't as much cop (pun intended). The many coincidental meetings between the cop's girlfriend Anne, assassin Raven, his employer Chomunpronounable, and the cop Mather strain believability. The characters' motivations aren't clear or believable either, especially Anne and Raven, and the middle of the book descends into a chase through the not-especially-interesting setting of the small northern town of Nottwich.

lostinabookbrb's review

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3.0

This book is about a guy named Raven who murders a very important man without knowing how important he was for money. The guy who pays Raven betrays him by giving him stolen money. War is about to break out because of the very important man being dead. That's the general plot and I'm missing details but I figure people can read the summary already provided.

The book was decent. It dealt with a lot of things that I didn't know about, I'm not really keen on politics anyway but the story was generally okay. I liked Anne and the feelings she had towards Raven, they were constantly shifting.

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