This is my second Greene book and so far, my favourite. Greene is an awesome author - he has the balance of an interesting story and an elegant style of writing that is neither simple or complicated.
The Quiet American is set Vietnam during the war. The main protagonist and narrator is the aging Thomas Fowler, an English journalist who has lived in Vietnam and has a lover, Phuong. Enter Alden Pyle, an idealist young American with big ideas and good intentions who also falls for Phuong.
The book itself is obviously a criticism of the Vietnamese war. Greene often compares Vietnam to being somewhat medieval and Pyle, who represents the Americans, as a young, naive person with little to no experience of war. Fowler also being old, and from the Old Country perhaps represents a country older and wiser. Or at least that was my interpretation.
When it was published, it was criticised in the USA for being anti-American. I don't necessarily agree with this. It is obviously critical of the Vietnam war so it will of course be critical of America's involvement... but I do not think that makes the book itself anti-American. Fowler himself was portrayed as a rather weak, selfish individual.