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Graham Greene: Our Man in Havana

This is definitely one of Greene’s entertainments, a witty and enjoyable satire on spies and spying. Jim Wormold is a divorced vacuum cleaner salesman in Havana, living with his seventeen-year old daughter, Milly. Her needs are becoming more expensive as she gets older and when a MI6 man offers him money to spy on the Cuban government, Wormold willingly accepts. He soon creates an army of fellow spies (all thoroughly fictitious but with names taken from the country club list) and myriad plots. Problems start when London starts to believe him and some of what he makes up turns out to be true. It’s all hilarious fun and allows Greene to make fun of the spy community and gives us a very enjoyable story.

Publishing history

First published 1958 by Heinemann