William Golding’s 1954 The Lord of the Flies is about a group of boys stranded on an island who revert to a primitive state as they govern themselves to survive. The book explores themes of innocence, human nature, and the human capacity for cruelty. This book was published the same year as ‘‘The Destructors’’ and is also written by a British author.
Greene’s The Heart of the Matter (1948) is the story of Major Scobie, a high-ranking Catholic police officer whose conscience leads him to marital troubles, religious struggles, and career problems. Based on Greene’s experiences while working for the British government during World War II this novel was very popular with American readers at the time of publication.
Edited by Philip Stratford, The Portable Graham Greene (1994) is a valuable resource for both new readers and long-standing admirers of Greene’s work. It includes two complete novels, excerpts from ten others, short stories, essays, travel writing selections, and memoir excerpts, in addition to a thorough introduction and bibliography.