A review by msand3
Brighton Rock, by Graham Greene, Norman Sherry

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.