The Human Factor (Penguin Classics)
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Maurice Castle is a high-level operative in the British secret service during the Cold War. He is deeply in love with his African wife, who escaped apartheid South Africa with the help of his communist friend. Despite his misgivings, Castle decides to act as a double agent, passing information to the Soviets to help his in-laws in South Africa. In order to evade detection, he allows his assistant to be wrongly identified as the source of the leaks. But when suspicions remain, Castle is forced to make an even more excruciating sacrifice to save himself. Originally published in 1978, The Human Factor is an exciting novel of espionage drawn from Greene’s own experiences in MI6 during World War II, and ultimately a deeply humanistic examination of the very nature of loyalty. This edition features a new introduction by Colm Tóibín.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
but they both knew well that in the particular sub-division of their department nothing was ever really urgent. The difference in time between England and the various parts of Eastern and Southern Africa, with which the two of them were concerned, was usually large enough—even when in the case of Johannesburg it was little more than an hour for no one outside the department to worry about the delay in the delivery of a message: the fate of the world, Davis used to declare, would never be decided
interested in Hell's Parlour and then report direct to him.' 'Why did he speak to you and not to me?' 'Oh, I suppose he would have spoken to you, but you were late.' 'Daintry kept me. Percival could have come to the office if he wanted to talk.' 'What's troubling you?' 'I'm just wondering if he was telling you the truth.' 'What earthly reason...?' 'He might want to plant a false rumour.' 'Not with us. We aren't exactly gossips, you and I and Watson.' 'Has he spoken to Watson?' 'No as a
confusion: one of them pressing the right button too soon and then going back to normal transmission just when the other scrambled. When their voices were at last sorted out, Watson said, 'Can you fetch him hack? He's wanted at a conference.' 'I can't very well drag him out of a dentist's chair. Anyway I don't know who his dentist is. It's not on the files.' 'No?' Watson said with disapproval. 'Then he ought to have left a note with the address.' Watson had tried once to be a barrister and
much longer. The Zaire hag is in.' Davis laid down his glass. 'I'm damned if whisky tastes the same, since Percival put ideas in my head. Do you think I've got cirrhosis?' 'No. Just go easy for a while.' 'Easier said than done. When I'm bored, I drink. You're lucky to have Sarah. How's Sam?' 'He asks after you a lot. He says nobody plays hide-and-seek like you do.' 'A friendly little bastard. I wish I could have a little bastard too—but only with Cynthia. What a hope!' 'The climate of
with the police. 'I'm a more important man than you think: if this little affair can be arranged, I can show you things... let me talk to someone from the Special Branch.' Castle could well imagine the kind of conversation which might he going on at that moment: the sceptical local police, Halliday exposing the first page of Muller's notes as an inducement. Castle opened the door of the bedroom: Sarah was still asleep. He told himself that now the moment had arrived which he had always expected,