Sixty years ago, Graham Greene was widely regarded as an important novelist, perhaps even a great one, both in England and in America. His critical admirers included V. S. Pritchett, John Updike, and his close friend Evelyn Waugh, who called him a writer of “the highest imaginative power.” He was also very popular, in part because several of his books, most notably Brighton Rock (1938), The Third Man (1949), and Our Man in Havana (1958), were turned into successful films, often with his direct involvement (he was one of the first writers of stature to take a close interest in the screen). Moreover, the fact …
This article appears as “The Middlebrow Genius” in the March 22, 2021, print edition of National Review.
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