Critic and columnist Simon Heffer has written an essay assessing Graham Greene’s work in the Telegraph. He admits to having had a problem with some of Greene’s work, especially the Roman Catholic bits, but after setting out to read though the complete works and the 3-volume biography by Norman Sherry, he became convinced of Greene’s entitlement to a high literary standing:
…once I had reached the end of his canon, and digested the biography – and Greene himself intrudes so often into his work that biographical context is more important with him than it is with other writers – I realised two positive things above all about him. First, he was a magisterial short story writer; and second, that he unquestionably wrote novels, thrillers and, as he called them, entertainments of the highest quality and originality. His exact contemporary Evelyn Waugh had a different sort of genius; but in English novelists of their era they stand alone for the consistent excellence of their work over many years.
The essay will be of special interest to Waugh readers because of Heffer’s description of how he came to reconcile himself (a non-Catholic) to the religious passages.