Another low key spy thriller by Graham Greene. This time we meet Mr Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman, living in Havanna with his 17 year old daughter Milly. The wife/mother left several years ago with a lover and has not been heard of since. Mr Wormold is a very lonely man and does not let anyone into his life. He has his long time friend Dr Hasselbacher, but they only meet in bars or restaurants, and after all these years they still call each other by the surname. The other person in his life is a notorious police chief Captain Segura.
One day he is contacted by an MI6 agent who wants to recruit him to work for the agency. He is supposed, in his turn, to recruit other agents to help them getting more information on what is happening in Cuba. He is out of money and considering the cost of the horse that his daughter has bought, and the fee for the riding club, he is, against his better judgement, accepting the task. He has no idea how to get about the whole business, but is happy when the money is coming in, and his expenses are paid. To show that he is doing something, he is inventing his collaborators and is sending in fake reports.
Needless to say, these ’agents’ and his ’reports’ turns out to have a life of their own, and things are going terribly wrong. MI6 is sending more staff to help him cope with the intelligence he is collecting. They are impressed by the information they receive from him.
An interesting read on an ordinary man, stumbling into events which he can no longer control. Graham Greene’s talent of telling stories of how ordinary men, and women, manage to cope in a world which is shadowed by deceits, lies and the question: ”Who can you trust?” makes an interesting read.
I recently read The Human Factor and I still have Travels With my Aunt on my TBR shelves. Other books by him that I would like to read are classics like; The Third Man, The Quiet American and Brighton Rock. However, he has written lots of other, I am sure, interesting novels.