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William C. Altreuter
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Thursday, July 22, 2004


A couple of weeks ago, looking for something to read on the plane I grabbed an old copy of "The Spy Who Came In From The Cold" on my way out the door. There is a cascade effect associated with reading some books, or listening to some music: it is perilously easy to fall into a Dylan thing, or a Miles thing, and LeCarre is the same way for me. At some point there will be a fork in the road, and I will find myself re-reading "Smiley's People" or "The Honorable Schoolboy"-- or I will take the different path, and spend some time with Graham Greene. I prefer Greene, a better, more interesting writer, and if I play my cards right this may launch me back into the works of Joseph Conrad, where there remains quite a bit to be read, but for right now I am in the middle of "The Third Man", and having a fine time with it. Naturally then, I was pleased to see Harry Lime invoked in this article about Afghanistan. There is quite a lot that Greene teaches us about the way it is out in the world, and one thing that hasn't changed is that greed and opportunism find fertile ground where corruption is lightly controlled. I cannot imagine what it must be like to wander the streets of Kabul. Posted by Hello

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