Saturday 29 April 2017

The price of a fur coat or thereabouts

Stamboul Train "[-] chastity was worth more than rubies, but the truth was it was priced at a fur coat or thereabouts."

I'm reading and re-reading, in chronological order, books by Graham Greene, one of my favourite novelists. Stamboul Train is new to me, published in 1932. It focuses on the lives of several travelers on what is more commonly referred to as The Orient Express (Agatha Christie's crime novel came out a couple of years later). Social norms have changed somewhat in the past 80 years and perhaps this explains why I initially found many of the characters in the book unsympathetic; the bullying female journalist, the dancer who felt herself to be under a sexual obligation, the prejudices that were shown by many.

But as the players interact and the story develops, I started to enjoy it more. About half way through, the Greene that I love came out when the character Dr Czinner reflects on his life and his feelings about duty, religion, revolution and the working class.

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