Meandering Em's

Passion is books, photography, running and traveling. Also passionate about environmental issues.

Our Man in Havana - Graham Greene I have read only one other Graham Greene novel which covered a serious topic seriously. So I was surprised to find this book to be a comedic look at spying and spy organizations. However, after reading it, I'm curious to know if these types of shenanigans actually occur. Mr. Wormold, a seller of vacuum cleaners in Havana, Cuba in the 1950's, is recruited to be a spy for the British government. He has no training and has to learn what is expected by the London officials by trial or error or perhaps by make-believe. He finds himself very successful as a spy, at least according to the top officials. However, the reader knows how he gets his information and why he does it. Will the bosses in Europe discover his secrets and, if so, what will they do? This is how some of the suspense is created amidst the laughs. I'm not surprised at Greene's depiction of spies. I'm sure many officials in spy organizations make up their own 'secrets,' either because they are not well trained or because they want promotions or attention. The lack of sharing information between different departments and organizations is hinted at. This refusal to share information led to the 9/11 debacle. I'm sure there are officials who create their own explanations for puzzling information and then believe their scenario is correct. I really loved how Mr. Wormold said there were strange contraptions being built in Cuba and made a drawing of a large vacuum cleaner! Even though there were suspicions by a few agents, nobody really questioned or examined the drawings closely. The agency just jumped to conclusions! Loved it!

Currently reading

The Waiting Years
Fumiko Enchi
Progress: 94/208 pages
Project Puffin: The Improbable Quest to Bring a Beloved Seabird Back to Egg Rock
Derrick Z. Jackson, Stephen W. Kress
Progress: 33/376 pages