Title: The Ministry of Fear
Author: Graham Greene
Page Count/Review Word Count: 221
The Ministry of Fear is one of Graham Greene’s earlier novels, and put simply it follows the events that happen to a young man called Arthur Rowe, who wins a cake from a fête without realising that it contains a secret message. Rowe ends up embroiled in a bomb plot from Nazi Germany, which is unfortunate to say the least – he could do without it, seeing as how he’s got a past to try to forget.
I’ll be honest, there’s nothing to mark The Ministry of Fear apart from much of Greene’s other work, especially because it has a fairly typical story-line, but it’s still a delightful little read and a decent novel by a wonderful writer. It’s the sort of book that I’d never re-read, purely because Greene has such excellent material to choose from, but that I also wouldn’t hesitate to recommend, especially if you’re the type of person who likes novels about espionage and intrigue.
In many ways, it’s the novel that The Secret Agent by Joseph Conrad would have been if Conrad wasn’t a bore, and although Greene’s effort came out 36 years later, it feels like the superior novel and not a cheap imitation.