(CCLaP is now selling rare and unusual books through the main website, shipped to customers through USPS Priority Mail and with full refunds always guaranteed. To see the latest full list of volumes for sale, please click here).
The End of the Affair (1951)
By Graham Greene
First American Edition, First Printing
DESCRIPTION: Even the mention of his name anymore -- "GraHHHmmm GrEEEEEnne" -- evokes the spirit of far-off adventure, world-weary cynicism, and the passionate romances that still take place under such circumstances; and it's no surprise that it does so, when you look at the life of this remarkable writer and sometimes British spy. A sufferer of bipolar disorder, who as a child spent an intense half-year in institutionalized psychotherapy right when the term was first being invented, Greene's natural love of intellectualism and world travel made him a perfect 20th-century recruit for MI-6 (by his sister of all people, who happened to be an employee herself), and it's no wonder that his most famous novels are all set within the shadowy world of Western intelligence agencies' covert ops within places where they're not supposed to be, including looks at a pre-revolution Cuba, a pre-war Vietnam, and a post-war Berlin still full of Nazis and other criminals, eventually turned into the respective popular movies Our Man in Havana, The Quiet American and The Third Man. (And this is to say nothing of the complicated, critical look he took in many of these novels at the Catholic Church [including reviving an obscure philosophy from the 1600s that says since it's impossible for humans to avoid sinning, they might as well not even try], so controversial at the time that no less than the pope himself [one of millions of Greene's fans] urged him during a private audience to essentially "not let the haters get him down".)
Today's 1951 book for sale is one of the most famous of his 26 novels, for a variety of reasons; his first project after the enormously successful The Third Man (which he adapted himself into the Orson-Welles-starring movie), and itself made into another hugely popular movie just a few years after publication, like the former it is set within a time and deals with themes that were particularly relevant for his contemporary readers at the time (namely, the morally ambiguous things we do in a time of war, and how to live with the repercussions when the peace comes again), boosted in its popularity by its leering semi-autobiographical elements. (Greene himself had an affair with a nobleman's wife in the years after World War Two, and he based this novel on the painful lessons he learned from it.) A great example of everything that made him so well-loved as an author, this is a must-have acquisition for any Greene fan (not to mention those building a collection of seminal Mid-Century Modernist novels), one of the more important books of his career which is what justifies its premium price today. A perfect holiday gift for the spy-thriller fan in your own life.
CONDITION: Text: Very Good Plus (VG+). In highly similar shape to how it appeared when first released, except for a few wrinkles on the spine edges and an ex-libris sticker on the inside front cover (no name filled in). Dust jacket: Very Good (VG). Still in fantastic shape for its 64-year age, and an unclipped price, with tears on both spine edges being the only major blemish.
PROVENANCE: Acquired by CCLaP at Bookworks, Chicago, September 2015.