Title: The Human Factor
Author: Graham Greene
Page Count/Review Word Count: 265
The Human Factor is one of Graham Greene’s later novels, first published in 1978 when the author was at the ripe old age of 74. Unfortunately, like most authors, Greene’s golden period occurred when he was younger, and by the time that he got round to writing this it feels as though he was running short of inspiration – there’s very little to set the plot apart from some of his earlier, better work, and it’s more like a second-grade spy novel than like the astonishing work that I’m used to him producing.
In fact, it’s not often that a book earns a 6/10 without being riddled with typos, and we can at least prove that Greene’s English was impeccable as usual here – it’s just substandard for such a stunning author, and it’s a shame. That said, there are a few elements that show potential, and it’s interesting to note that the decision to write a spy novel was based upon his earlier life in MI6, when Greene was an agent of sorts, himself.
But overall, I’d still recommend that you check out some of Greene’s other work – even if you’re a die-hard fan of the spy novel, I’d suggest going for something like The Quiet American or Our Man in Havana instead. They both have the same certain je ne sais quoi, that little spark of magic that Graham Greene brought to most, but not all, of his novels. This one, I’m afraid, is unfortunately a write-off.