Doctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb Party: Book Review

OK, lets see how I get on with this one?

Doctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb Party by Graham Greene
Published by Penguin
143 pages
First published by The Bodley Head Limited in 1980 (Penguin 1981)

Doctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb PartyDoctor Fischer of Geneva or the Bomb Party by Graham Greene

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

On completion I realised that just a couple of months ago I doubt if I could have finished this book. It is full of despair and depression yet is quite an enjoyable read non the less. The main story follow ‘Jones’ who works as an interpreter and marries the daughter of an uncaring millionaire. From that moment on the story follows the spiral of self destruction that follows ‘Jones’.

His father-in-law also has this morbid self destructive streak but alleviates this by holding ‘parties’ where he humiliates his acquaintances or ‘Toads’ by making them suffer ever increasing humiliations in return for expensive presents.

Then ‘Jones’ wife dies suddenly and he is drawn into ever deeper depths of depression and decides that he will attend his father-in-laws ‘Last Party’ or ‘The Bomb Party’ of the title. The presents include a bomb that will kill the recipient if opened, leaving the others a share of a massive fortune.
Jones sees a way to join his wife but will he take the bait or will he be further humiliated in his despair like the ‘Toads’ have been in the past.

I could associate myself with the character of ‘Jones’ at the beginning but as the story went on I found myself pitying him in an odd sort of way but I don’t think that was the authors main aim. An enjoyable read even though it is full of something I’m trying to escape.

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2 Comments

  1. like the addition of the star-rating system. sounds like an interesting read – bit of a odd premise what with the humiliation parties…

    • I’m not sure that is the theme the author chose as the reviews I’ve read since claim it’s more about greed and especially greed of the rich but that was my take on the book.
      The stars were a bit of a surprise as I wrote this at Goodreads first, then it gives you an option to add it to my blog, which I took and that was the result. One I think I will use again in the future 😉

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