Radar is committed to all forms of art and entertainment and as such, will pick one book as a reading recommendation every week. This week, Radar’s “Lit” pick is “The Quiet American” by Graham Greene
The past few “Lit” picks of the week have been motivated by external, political events. While this is not normal for the section, I think there is an added depth to using the larger political landscape to motivate and tune what one reads. Given that, this week’s pick is another English classic novel, “The Quiet American” by Graham Green. Subtle, nuanced and riven with tension, this novel narrates a tale of idealism and politics — specifically, a uniquely American form of idealism.
When a CIA agent in Vietnam, Alden Pyle, is found dead, the authorities begin investigating the background of his murder, leading to British journalist Thomas Fowler, an old friend of Pyle whose mistress left him for the deceased CIA agent. The novel subsequently examines the complex relationship between Pyle and Fowler, hinging on larger questions about the Vietnam war, ideology and politics to ultimately become a scathing indictment of hegemonic idealism.