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Book Review: A Burnt-Out-Case by Graham Greene

January 19, 2018

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Graham Greene, I believe, was a writer who put more of himself – his thoughts and feelings, his inner conflicts, his desires and defeats – than most into his fiction, in such a way that the end work is not only painful to read, such is the vulnerability and reality of the emotions expressed, but impossible not to read. That said, A Burnt-Out-Case, a fast, compact book, feels more confessional than story. But what a story – a renowned architect, Querry, drained dry and numbed by society and success, tries to lose himself in Africa, ending up at a Leperosie where he falls in with an atheist doctor and a group of missionary priests who are working to heal and give dignity to these afflicted souls. To his astonishment, Querry also finds himself “recovering” as he helps to build a new hospital for the lepers. His reawakening, however, comes at a cost, reminding us all that happiness, in any shape or form, is fickle and fleeting and altogether precious.

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