The Captain and the Enemy

Graham Greene, Author Viking Books $17.95 (192p) ISBN 978-0-670-82405-2
Exquisitely understated, moving and graced by humorous touches, Greene's new novel draws the reader into intriguing events related by narrator Victor Baxter. Now age 28, he tells of his 12th birthday when a stranger, ``The Captain,'' takes him from school on an outing from which he never returns. The man says he won Victor from ``the Devil, your father,'' and brings him to live in a drab London flat with Liza, who has lost a child. It's all right with the boy; his mother is dead and Baxter Sr. doesn't want him. He obeys the Captain's wishes to change his name to Jim and become Liza's son. Life with substitute parents is interrupted by the Captain's frequent absences on ``jobs'' that bring detectives to question the little family about money the Captain has sent them, but he remains free to pursue his suspicious enterprises. After many years, during a time when the adventurer has been on a secret operation in Panama, a letter arrives asking Liza to join him. Jim goes instead, however, for reasons he doesn't explain to the Captain, now known as Smith. A sly American called Quigly and others are dangerously interested in father and son. There is a shocking end to the story, whose core, revealed gradually through layers of mystery, speculates on the nature of love and the omnipotence of ``the enemy,'' and has an unexpected connection to contemporary events. 40,000 first printing; $25,000 ad/promo; BOMC alternate. (October)
Reviewed on: 10/01/1988
Release date: 10/01/1988
Hardcover - 245 pages - 978-0-8161-4799-1
Hardcover - 978-0-14-011304-4
Paperback - 188 pages - 978-0-14-012418-7
Hardcover - 188 pages - 978-1-871061-05-5
Paperback - 245 pages - 978-0-8161-4932-2
Paperback - 192 pages - 978-0-14-018855-4
Analog Audio Cassette - 978-0-7451-6833-3
Paperback - 154 pages - 978-0-14-303929-7
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