Graham Greene: The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment

(2932 words)
  • Christopher Gonzalez (Ohio State University)

Frequently excluded from lists of his major works, Graham Greene’s The Ministry of Fear is often classified as genre fiction, in this case as a spy novel. Such a classification held little literary significance in Greene’s time, despite the example of Joseph Conrad’s The Secret Agent (1907), John Buchan’s Greenmantle (1915) and Somerset Maugham’s Ashenden (1928). However, Greene’s “entertainments” — notably including the highly perceptive Vietnam-novel The Quiet American (1955) and the comic Our Man in Havana (1958) — raised the status of the spy novel through the blending of his fine storytelling prowess with astute commentary on the …

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Gonzalez, Christopher. "The Ministry of Fear: An Entertainment". The Literary Encyclopedia. First published 20 January 2009
[, accessed 26 May 2015.]