Skip to content

Christopher Adam Posts

Feuilleton (6): A reading from Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair

The opening paragraphs of Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair likely resonate with anyone who has tried to tell or write a story. What’s the place where one starts, how much context does one give, how far does one look back? With Greene we get these haunting, memorable opening words: “A story has no beginning or end: arbitrarily one…

Feuilleton (5): A reading from Graham Greene’s The Power and the Glory

Standing out from his bibliography of 26 novels, The Power and the Glory is arguably Graham Greene’s masterpiece. I reviewed this 1940 novel here. In short, we’re presented with the story of a nameless and hunted priest, trying to evade his captors during early twentieth century anti-clerical purges in the Mexican state of Tabasco. (Greene wrote a journalistic account of…

Book Review: The End of the Affair by Graham Greene

Sarah Miles is a saint. She’s also an adulterer who labels herself “a bitch and a fake.” Graham Greene’s 1951 novel The End of the Affair, narrated in the first-person, tells the story of how Sarah’s embittered and fanatically envious ex-lover pursues her following the end of their romance. That plot provides the opening for Greene to explore the themes…

Book Review: The Relaxists by Alton Spencer

Oregon-based author Alton Spencer sent me a copy of his ruminative novel The Relaxists¬†in exchange for a book review on this site. I recall a time in the nineties, in my teenage years, when I was enlivened by the breadth of knowledge in the world — particularly the overwhelming richness of human civilization’s cultural and literary history. There was so…

Book Review: Loser Takes All by Graham Greene

Graham Greene referred to his 1955 novella Loser Takes All as a “frivolity.” Yet that shouldn’t lead any reader to think that this book is throwaway pulp fiction. The story of a couple vacationing in Monte Carlo may be light-hearted fare, but the writing includes Greene’s celebrated, signature style: sharp dialogue, economical and precise language that paints a vivid picture,…

Book Review: Making a Psychopath — My Journey into 7 Dangerous Minds by Mark Freestone

It might seem counterintuitive to describe Dr. Mark Freestone’s book exploring psychopathy as a breezy read, yet that’s exactly what it was. That’s also why I found it this summer amongst the modest selection of books for purchase at London’s overcrowded Stansted Airport, catering to travellers seeking something comfortable enough to read while crammed into the narrow, hard seats of…

Doors Open Ottawa 2023 — A Photo Journal

This past Sunday, I toured places in Ottawa I wouldn’t otherwise visit — thanks to Doors Open Ottawa. The event included free and open access to 89 different buildings and landmarks in the city. Ottawa’s staggering geographic footprint (2,800 square kilometres!) meant that I had to choose five locations. These ended up being the Jami Omar Mosque, the Dormition of…

Feuilleton (4): A reading from Margaret Laurence’s The Stone Angel

In this scene from Margaret Laurence’s novel The Stone Angel, the elderly Hagar Shipley has escaped from her son Marvin’s house, in order to avoid being placed in a nursing home. She finds refuge in an abandoned building in the forest, along the coast. She has nothing but rainwater to drink until a stranger appears — Murray Ferney Lees. Hagar…