Russian Roulette: The Life and Times of Graham Greene


Graham Greene (1904-91) wrote of Pinkie the mobster, Harry Lime, and the whisky priest, but his own life was the strangest of all his stories. Surviving a tortured adolescence, he sought distraction in Russian Roulette, women, espionage, jungle treks, war reporting, and opium. A Catholic convert, he refused to separate sin and holiness, belief and disbelief. A victim of bipolar illness, he repeatedly came to the point of suicide, and yet survived. Immensely funny, he conducted a lifelong war against boredom and despair by wisecracks and practical jokes. By the end of his life he was commonly regarded as the greatest novelist in the English language and had become an indispensable advocate for human rights throughout the world. This new biography tells the story one of the most remarkable lives of modern times.