Our Man in Havana — Graham Greene

This massively exceeded my expectations. ‘Cold War spy comedy’ just does not do it justice. I loved it.

I’d only read The End of the Affair before, about five years ago, so in the same vein as my recent reading of Philip Roth — namely the dearth of men on my reading list from the the past year — it felt like as good a time as any to give it a try.

Despite the promises on the back cover, I just wasn’t expecting to be so funny. I laughed out loud throughout. It’s quiet, understated British satire done to perfection — farce, essentially. (There are too many moments of perfect comedy to recall, but the scene at the traders’ annual lunch was a favourite.)

I see shades of Wormold in characters like Hilary Mantel’s Colin Sidney in Every Day is Mother’s Day and Vacant Possession, which will give anyone who’s stuck with my reviews over the past few years an insight into how much and why I loved this.

It’s a real joy that I know I’ll come back to time and again when in need of a laugh.

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