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The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene

The Power and the Glory (1940)

by Graham Greene

Other authors: See the other authors section.

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5,38171811 (3.95)1 / 284
  1. 10
    The Lawless Roads by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)
    John_Vaughan: In 1938 Greene traveled throughout the south of Mexico and experienced first-hand the terror and corruption, The travel Book Lawless Roads is the basis for the novel Power and Glory.
  2. 00
    Silence by Shūsaku Endō (Anonymous user)
  3. 00
    Getting to Know the General by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)

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English (63)  Dutch (2)  Swedish (2)  Spanish (1)  Hebrew (1)  French (1)  All (70)
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
This is beautiful book. It is set in Mexico in the 1920's (?) during a period of intense religious persecution. Its protagonist is a drunk, 'whiskey priest' who is running from the law but is tethered to the land by his duty to God and the people. It is an amazing story of a flawed man who inspires hatred as much as love. I enjoyed this one a lot. ( )
  Jamichuk | May 22, 2017 |
This is my first Graham Greene novel and I must admit that I had expected more of it, as he is such a famous writer. I did like the language though, and it was interesting to read a novel set in Mexico, as I was travelling there when I read this. Didn't feel familiar though:-) Most of all because this novel is set in the past,in a period when religion was banned from Mexico (whereas religion is very present in Mexico now).
In the novel we follow a priest who is on the run from the government. He is supposed to be killed but manages to keep ahead of his prosecutors for years, secretly performing religious services in the villages he visits. This may sound fanatic, but the priest is full of self-doubt. He is an alcoholic (also problematic, as alcohol was prohibited by the government too), and has a daughter. He feels he is not worthy of priesthood, and instead of escaping the area, for which possibilities arise several times, he always returns to the dangerzone, where eventually, of course, he is caught. It is as if he wants to be caught.
During his wanderings, the priest meets several persons, who are being described as if they were main characters in the novel, after which they may (almost) completely disappear from the story. This seemed a bit strange at times. But I guess my main problem was that I couldn't really identify or at least sympatize with the priest. The endless guilt and addiction, it was a bit too much for me. ( )
  Tinwara | Apr 12, 2017 |
A classic Graham Greene- a tale of a whisky priest in Mexico at time when certain states had outlawed the church. Sharply observed descriptions of Mexico and poverty & quite engrossing tale. ( )
1 vote sianpr | Sep 24, 2016 |
"The wall of the burial-ground had fallen in: one or two crosses had been smashed by enthusiasts: an angel had lost one of its stone wings, and what gravestones were left undamaged leant at an acute angle in the long marshy grass. One image of the Mother of God had lost ears and arms and stood like a pagan Venus over the grave of some rich forgotten timber merchant. It was odd – this fury to deface, because, of course, you could never deface enough. If God had been like a toad, you could have rid the globe of toads, but when God was like yourself, it was no good being content with stone figures – you had to kill yourself among the graves."

It may have been the subject matter but this book was hard to follow and such a relief to finish.

Saying that, it is not a book I would have abandoned.

The Power and the Glory - as remote as it may have been to anything I can relate to - was strangely compelling because the story of a secular regime oppressing people by outlawing religion (or anything else that posed as an opposition) - seemed to reflect much of the time it was written in.

And of course, I am glad to see that Greene has by this time (1940) moved on from writing insipid thrillers.

(Review first posted on BookLikes.) ( )
  BrokenTune | Aug 21, 2016 |
I loved this tale of a ravaged whiskey priest. I love Graham Greene. His approach to morality is one I can understand. ( )
  deckla | Apr 5, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
This is the story Greene was born to tell. With this novel, Greene brings all his considerable talent, craft, and gift for suspense to bear on a story that penetrates the heart of one tortured man’s mystery. For all its darkness and intensity, it’s a thrilling, page-turning read: the story is structured essentially as an extended chase across the barren landscape of Mexico—mirroring the even vaster desert spaces in the heart of the pursued Priest. Greene evokes the heat and dust and sweat of the country and its inhabitants with cinematic immediacy. The atmosphere is stifling, almost unbearably intense, and Greene’s capacity for storytelling invention never flags.


» Add other authors (47 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Žantovská, HanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grandfield, GeoffIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, R. W. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, R. W. B.Introductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindegren, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap. H.W.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Updike, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Th' inclosure narrow'd; the sagacious power
Of hounds and death drew nearer every hour.
For Gervase
To Vivien with dearest love
First words
Mr Tench went out to look for his ether cylinder, into the blazing Mexican sun and the bleaching dust.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Book description
During a vicious persecution of the clergy in Mexico, a worldly priest, the 'whisky priest', is on the run. With the police closing in, his routes of escape are being shut off, his chances getting fewer. But compassion and humanity force him along the road to his destiny, reluctant to abandon those who need him, and those he cares for.
Haiku summary

Amazon.com Amazon.com Review (ISBN 0142437301, Paperback)

How does good spoil, and how can bad be redeemed? In his penetrating novel The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene explores corruption and atonement through a priest and the people he encounters. In the 1930s one Mexican state has outlawed the Church, naming it a source of greed and debauchery. The priests have been rounded up and shot by firing squad--save one, the whisky priest. On the run, and in a blur of alcohol and fear, this outlaw meets a dentist, a banana farmer, and a village woman he knew six years earlier. For a while, he is accompanied by a toothless man--whom he refers to as his Judas and does his best to ditch. Always, an adamant lieutenant is only a few hours behind, determined to liberate his country from the evils of the church.

On the verge of reaching a safer region, the whisky priest is repeatedly held back by his vocation, even though he no longer feels fit to perform his rites: "When he was gone it would be as if God in all this space between the sea and the mountains ceased to exist. Wasn't it his duty to stay, even if they despised him, even if they were murdered for his sake? even if they were corrupted by his example?"

As his sins and dangers increase, the broken priest comes to confront the nature of piety and love. Still, when he is granted a reprieve, he feels himself sliding into the old arrogance, slipping it on like the black gloves he used to wear. Greene has drawn this man--and all he encounters--vividly and viscerally. He may have said The Power and the Glory was "written to a thesis," but this brilliant theological thriller has far more mysteries--and troubling ideals--than certainties. --Joannie Kervran Stangeland

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:24:50 -0400)

(see all 4 descriptions)

The last priest in a poor section of North Mexico where the Red Shirts have outlawed God finds himself a hero despite himself.

» see all 8 descriptions

Legacy Library: Graham Greene

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