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The Good Men by Charmaine Craig
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The Good Men (edition 2003)

by Charmaine Craig (Author)

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207396,260 (3.37)8
In fourteenth-century France, a young woman from the mountain village of Montaillou was tried for heresy by the Catholic Inquisition. Her name was Grazida Lizier and, by her own confession, her "joy was shared" with the wrong man- the village rector. "The Roman Catholic Church kept transcripts of these inquisitional processes, providing an intimate, almost voyeuristic window into the affairs of men and women who lived seven centuries ago. These documents continue to fascinate . . . they provide inspiration for an ambitious first novel, The Good Men, by Charmaine Craig." - The New York Times Book Review… (more)
Member:Dydee
Title:The Good Men
Authors:Charmaine Craig (Author)
Info:Riverhead Books (2003), 470 pages
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The Good Men: A Novel of Heresy by Charmaine Craig

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This is a complicated review, as it was a complicated book.

I had to force myself through the first 3/4 of the book. The writing quality is good. The details are rich and fascinating. However, most of the characters are quite dislikable (it reminded me of One Hundred Years of Solitude in that regard, a book I despised despite how people squee over it). I expected the book to be about heresy - which it is, to a small degree - but I didn't expect it to be a cataloging of sexual "perversions" as well. And it really didn't need graphics descriptions of all the said perversions. It was like it went down a list - masturbation while watching horses mate, priest sex, fornication, extramarital sex, gay sex, pedophilia, unrequited lust, etc. I was left guessing - what kind of sex is next? The book was trying to show how earthly lusts can cause spiritual downfall, but it was overkill.

So why did I keep reading? I wanted to see where it was going. I wanted some sort of resolution, I suppose. The last 1/4 of the book was the most enjoyable because there were two excellent characters to follow. I could sympathize and cheer for them. Really, it would have been a stronger book if it didn't try to be a generational saga during the time of the Cathars. A book just on Arnaud and Echo (and the inquisitor) would have been fine. The Good Men is, at heart, about three generations of women and the horny village priest. Heresy is a minor theme, not the focus. ( )
1 vote ladycato | Aug 11, 2009 |
Not as good as I had hoped. The main character is too perverse. ( )
  amma | Oct 22, 2008 |
Great first novel - character-driven, well-written, and a perfect ending. So much of the fiction I've been reading lately has such awful
endings - falsely happy or wrapped up too neat. (Recommendation written in 2000). ( )
  avaland | Dec 4, 2006 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Charmaine Craigprimary authorall editionscalculated
Riva, TildeTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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In fourteenth-century France, a young woman from the mountain village of Montaillou was tried for heresy by the Catholic Inquisition. Her name was Grazida Lizier and, by her own confession, her "joy was shared" with the wrong man- the village rector. "The Roman Catholic Church kept transcripts of these inquisitional processes, providing an intimate, almost voyeuristic window into the affairs of men and women who lived seven centuries ago. These documents continue to fascinate . . . they provide inspiration for an ambitious first novel, The Good Men, by Charmaine Craig." - The New York Times Book Review

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