The Quiet American
by Graham Greene
I was watching a “No Reservations” episode on Vietnam to prepare for my pending trip,when Anthony Bourdain mentioned that he reads this book every time he visits the country. I take what this man says very seriously, and as such jumped online to order myself a copy, so that I, too, could read it on my travels.
It’s a quick but intricate read, about the experiences of two men (an English journalist and an American undercover CIA agent) who fall in love with the same woman in the throes of the Vietnam War. When one of the men are killed, an investigation ensues, and the book jumps back and forth between that investigation and the events leading up to it.
I enjoyed this book; it was easy to read, but the concepts were a little more thought provoking. It was also interesting to read about some of the places I was travelling through, and really incredible (and quite difficult) to imagine them as war zones.
If you are travelling through Vietnam, if you have travelled there in the past, or even if you haven’t, it’s still a great, short read – pick up your own copy here.