Wednesday, December 01, 2010


Loser Takes All, Graham Greene, The Viking Press, 1957, 126 pp

 Even Graham Greene takes a shot at the soulless despair of the late 1950s in this silly love story about a lowly middle-aged accountant in a London firm. Mr Bertram is about to be married, for the second time, to a young lighthearted girl he met in a restaurant. He gets summoned to the big boss' office and invited to honeymoon on the man's yacht in the Mediterranean. 

 Of course it all goes wrong and Bertram winds up in the casinos of Monte Carlo trying to use his mathematical powers to beat the house and losing his new bride in the process. The happy ending reads like a Doris Day romantic comedy of the day. (In fact there was a movie in 1956 with Greene writing the screenplay.)

 I know that Greene wrote what he called "entertainments" next to his literary novels to pay the bills and usually they are almost as good but this one was too light for me.

(Loser Takes All is available in paperback by order from Once Upon A Time Bookstore.)


  1. I've never read any of Graham Green's "entertainments," although I have heard that they are very good.

    I should read more by this author. What would you recommend?

  2. My dad introduced me to Graham Greene. Both of them had trouble with doubt vs faith. I like his "serious' novels because they always revolve around some kind of dichotomy, something that intrigues me about life. Greene started publishing novels in 1929. I started reading him with his 1940 novel, The Power and the Glory, which is still my favorite. It is so powerful. My second favorite is The Quiet American. The Heart of the Matter and The End of the Affair are about love and fidelity.
    I have read two of his "entertainments:" The Ministry of Fear, which is weird but great, and Loser Takes All.