Graham Greene

Greeneland exists

Beyond satire


Grahame Greene's Our Man in Havana tells the story of James Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman living in Batista's Cuba, who is recruited to work for the British Secret Service. He has no information so simply makes it up. He says he has a network of informants and sends a circuit diagram of a vacuum cleaner claiming that this is the plan of a secret military site. The service sends extra staff to Cuba to help Wormold. When the deception is finally revealed, rather than admit they were taken in by his invented sketch, and afraid that their agency would lose all credibility with others if the affair were exposed, the top officers of the service assign Wormold to headquarters and decorate him with an OBE.

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