forty.

the Honorary Consul by Graham Greene (1973)
Charley Fortnum is the Honorary Consul in a small northern Argentinian town. He is old enough to entire, a heavy drinker and an embarrassment to the British Foreign Office. The small town has only two more Englishmen, Dr. Humphries, an English teacher, and Dr. Eduardo Parr, a real doctor. Dr Parr is half English and half Paraguayan, his father was too involved with politics in Paraguay and sent Eduardo and his mother across the border to Argentina. Eduardo hasn’t seen his father since then, and has no idea if he is dead or alive, or a political prisoner. 
It is the politics which will cause problems for both the Consul and Eduardo. A group of revolutionists makes an error and kidnaps the Honorary Consul instead of the American Ambassador. And as the kidnappers manage to hurt the Consul in the affair, Dr Parr must get involved.
Another great book by Graham Greene. I enjoyed it more than Our Man in Havana, mainly because this book has more developed characters. I felt that I really got to know them. Greene is also an expert on painting the perfect picture of expat-life in South-America. The progress of the story is also very good, and the ending was not what I expected. I’m glad I have more Graham Greene to explore!
 

thirty-nine.

Our Man in Havana by Graham Greene (1958)
James Wormold is an Englishman selling vacuum cleaners in Havana. He lives a quiet life with his 17 year old daughter after his wife left them, and he has a few friends which he sees for drinks regularly. Then one day he is contacted by one of his fellow countrymen and is persuaded to become a spy.
James says yes because he thinks the money will give his daughter, Milly, a better education and future. He is expected to get his own agents and write reports, but instead he invents them. Trouble finds him when the agency is so interested in his findings that they ship him a secretary, Beatrice, and an accountant. And then his invented agents become very real.
This was my first meeting with Mr Greene and I enjoyed it from the first sentence until the last. It is entertaining and a satirical take on the Cold War. But most of all, it is the characters that makes this book, from the devoted Catholic Milly, to the Cuban police chief who is in love with her and goes under the name the Red Vulture, and I mustn’t forget Beatrice.  In fact, I liked it so much that I started on the Honorary Consul right after.