Dr. Dennis R. LaJeunesse

Associate Professor

Our Man In Havana by Graham Greene

"I found it a challenge to pick a book to mark the event of my tenure that would bear my name for the rest of eternity in UNCG's Walter Clinton Jackson Library. Of all the books that I have read, which one would I choose to bear this distinction? What exactly was this book supposed to represent? Was it supposed to be a book that pertained to my field of endeavor, one that shaped my intellectual slant? I thought about choosing Darwin's interesting book about the fertilization contrivances of orchids or Mendel's revolutionary treatise on pea plant hybridization. And while I am thoroughly excited by the universe of knowledge that these books have created, I couldn't pick them. Inexplicably these books didn't seem right for me. So, I began to think deeply about other favorites. I've been a fan of Graham Greene since college and one of his books in particular - Our Man in Havana - holds a special place with me. It's a satire about Jim Wormold, a vacuum cleaner salesman in Cuba who has been recruited to the British Secret service to spy on Cuba. He's not an exactly willing spy (or even good) but is forced by circumstance to take the job - he needs more money to keep his daughter happy. I don't want to ruin the book for anyone so I won't elaborate, but it is dark and funny and I completely recommend it. "