Summary: A post WWII mystery set in Vienna.
In general I like to know almost nothing about fiction books going into them. I picked up the audiobook during an Audible sale almost two years ago because of the comparisons between Graham Green and Shusaku Endo. Prior to picking this up I had listened to the excellent End of the Affair only because it was narrated by Colin Firth. (After picking this up original I also listened to the Comedians, which was good, but not as good.)
The Third Man is a mystery set soon after the end of the Second World War. A novelist specializing in pulp westerns is invited to Vienna to visit a old school friend and arrives just in time to attend his funeral. What appears to be an accidental death (hit by a car while crossing the street) eventually grows into something bigger.
The Third Man was originally written as a screen play and only turned into novella after the movie was completed. I have not seen the movie (or either of the movies of the End of the Affair). This feels like a screen play and I think may have been a better screen play than novel. The jumping narration was not enhanced in audiobook (although the narrator was fine, it was difficult to figure out who was narrating the story for much of the early parts of the book.) The narration alternates between the novelist and an British military detective working in Vienna.
Like my experience with the two prior Greene books, there are no perfect characters. The dreariness of the post war cynicism comes through well.
My next fiction book once I finished reading what I am working on now will be Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory. Open Road Media has picked up the ebook rights for a number of Greene’s books. I picked up both Power and Glory and The Quiet American during brief ebooks sales. I anticipate that Open Road will likely published new audiobooks for some of Greene’s books as well. I have really appreciated Open Road’s work at getting both good ebook editions for older 20th century books and bringing many of these books to audiobook for the first time. In the past couple months a number of Madeleine L’Engle’s books have been released as audiobooks for the first time and I anticipate that a similar treatment will happen with Greene’s books.