The Man Within was Graham Greene’s first published novel, and shows signs of the literary greatness he would go on to achieve throughout his career. The story focusses on Francis Andrews, a smuggler who is fleeing from his fellow ne’er-do-wells after an operation goes fatally wrong. To make matters worse, the incident means that he is also on the run from the law, and in attempting to evade both the authorities and the people he has betrayed he finds himself acquainted with Elizabeth, a local farm girl. Whilst considering himself to be a character of questionable morals throughout, Andrews ends up performing heroic deeds to help Elizabeth, and over the course of the story they develop a love for each other upon which the final twist ultimately hinges.
Dealing with the themes of morality and betrayal that would come to characterise Greene’s writing, as well as a masterful grasp of character development, this early work is indicative of his great talent and shows signs of what was later to come from him. If you’re new to the work of Graham Greene then The Man Within represents an excellent starting point, and if you’re a fan of his then this CD audiobook read by James Wilby is a perfect addition to your CD and MP3 audiobooks collection.