Rumour at Nightfall

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First edition (publ. Heinemann)

Rumour at Nightfall is the third novel by Graham Greene, published in 1931. Like his second novel, The Name of Action, it failed to repeat the success of his first novel, The Man Within; Greene was to suppress both his second and third novels. In his second autobiography, Ways of Escape, Greene wrote:

My second and third novels, The Name of Action and Rumour at Nightfall, published in 1930 and 1931, can now be found, I am glad to think, only in secondhand bookshops at an exaggerated price, since some years after their publication I suppressed them. Both books are of a badness beyond the power of criticism properly to evoke—the prose flat and stilted and in the case of Rumour at Nightfall, pretentious (the young writer had obviously been reading again and alas! admiring Conrad's worst novel, The Arrow of Gold), the characterization nonexistent.[1]

According to the publishers' reports, William Heinemann (U.K. publisher) sold only 1,200 copies and Doubleday Doran (U.S. publisher) sold only 1,018 copies.[2]


  1. ^ Graham Greene, Ways of Escape: An Autobiography (New York: Simon and Schuster, 1980), 19.
  2. ^ Author Price Guides, Greene APG 015.4 (2004).