Our Man In Havana was published in 1959. As with so many of his writings, Greene’s novel is based on his own travels and experiences. In 1957 he had spent time in Cuba briefly helping the revolutionaries under Castro, a man he admired.
Our Man In Havana is the final one of Greene’s more light-hearted novels, which were classed by the author as ‘entertainments’, and is certainly one of his funniest. Wormold is a vacuum cleaner salesman in a city of power cuts. His adolescent daughter spends his money with a skill that amazes him, so when a mysterious Englishman offers him an extra income he’s tempted. In return all he has to do is carry out a little espionage and file a few reports.
Soon, Wormold begins to fabricate reports and to hire imaginary agents to support him in his growing spy network, but when his fake reports start coming true, things suddenly get more complicated and Havana becomes a threatening place.
As well as being a comic gem, Our Man in Havana is an atmospheric espionage thriller, and a political satire that still resonates to this day.
“As comical, satirical, atmospherical an “entertainment” as he has given us”
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