This complex tale of political intrigue and machinations takes place in Haiti at a time when the country was ruled by the oppressive regime of real-life president Francois “Papa Doc” Duvalier and his secret police. The “comedians” referred to in the title are three men - Brown, Smith and Jones, who meet on board a ship bound for the Caribbean nation. The events that unfold, however, are not nearly as comedic as the titular sobriquet might suggest, and when Mr Brown returns to the hotel he owns he finds that an important player in the Haitian government has committed suicide in his pool.
The three men, all with very different agendas, find themselves increasingly entangled in a web of corruption, illicit affairs and sinister goings on amid a backdrop of fear and rebellion in the country. Ultimately during the course of events, the “comedians” are revealed for the men they really are.
The Comedians is known as one of Greene’s most successful works, and contains all the hallmarks of his classic novels. Read by Tim Piggott-Smith and available to buy as a 10 CD audiobook, this tale is a powerful story that conveys the brutality, and terror of the Duvalier regime.