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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.

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
6,296901,073 (3.92)1 / 334
In a poor, remote section of southern Mexico, the Red Shirts have taken control, God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest strives to overcome physical and moral cowardice in order to find redemption. 240 pp.
  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. 10
    Silence by Shūsaku Endō (longway)
  3. 00
    Getting to Know the General by Graham Greene (John_Vaughan)

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English (79)  Spanish (4)  Dutch (2)  French (2)  Swedish (2)  Hebrew (1)  All languages (90)
Showing 1-5 of 79 (next | show all)
As an aetheist I don't have much access to the forces that moved the whiskey priest, but I liked how he seemed to be at his best when he was closest to losing everything. The contrast between his confused, unhappy end and the grandiose story martyrdom that accompanied it was striking. I guess the reader is left to wonder whether all Catholic martyrs were afraid and worried when they died, rather than serene.

I read Graham Greene because I heard he does dialog well, and that seems to have been true here. ( )
  DerekCaelin | May 5, 2020 |
First of all, I had no idea that Catholicism was banned in parts of Mexico at one point in time. Wow!
When I finished reading this book, I had to go online to make sure I understood what was going on. I did, and after awhile I processed it a bit more, but I never could quite figure out why he didn't just leave. ( )
  spounds | Apr 3, 2020 |
Other's reviews have got it pretty right; read those.

About this book's "masterpiece" status. I think it's a matter of how quickly it's read, as in how little clock time elapses between the first page and the last:
* Read quickly : "Masterpiece!";
* Read slowly, intermittently "Oh, it's ok, not a masterpiece. Why are people saying that?"

This book is about atmosphere: the weak willed whiskey priest stumbling, being abandoned, failing. The jungle, the authorities, the hopeless-christ, the human failings. If you immerse yourself in this book's world, it will seem to be a masterpiece that has communed directly with your own, treasured, inner pathetic-ness. Otherwise it's just a rather sad road story with some vivid scenes here and there, to the soundtrack of 'why did he do *that*?", "oh, no!", "for heaven's sake" ... etc. ( )
  GirlMeetsTractor | Mar 22, 2020 |
Masterfully written. This is a book I think just about anyone would enjoy and get a lot out of. Greene is superb at combining suspense with unique literary detail, and his dialogue is unlike any other writer's in his ability to portray two people having a conversation while not being on the same page as to what they're really talking about. The only part where I felt let down was Part Four, where he lets loose his personal opinions and wraps up the story in a way I simply didn't buy. But his characters are deep and difficult, and he doesn't give himself the easy way out by making anyone too sympathetic or unlikable. As a huge fan of The Third Man, this was more than I'd hoped for, and I would recommend it to anyone. ( )
  greggmaxwellparker | Feb 19, 2020 |
this was pretty good. it has similarities with Noli Me Tangere in its commentary about corruption, self-serving and hypocrisy of the catholic church. but its a gloomier story with less farce and more desperation. i hadn't known about the persecution of the catholic church in mexico, it prompted me to do some reading on the topic. the last chapter didn't fit will with the rest of the story and writing. ( )
  reg_lt | Feb 7, 2020 |
Showing 1-5 of 79 (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 (32 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Greene, Grahamprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Alexander, Carolsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Žantovská, HanaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Conn, Peter J.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Grandfield, GeoffIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Gross, GeorgeCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Heuvelmans, TonAfterwordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lewis, R. W. B.Editorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lindegren, ErikTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Lyall, DennisIllustratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Mauriac, FrançoisForewordsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Santamaría, JuanTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Schaap. H.W.J.Translatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Springer, KätheÜbersetzersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Svendsen, ClaraTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Updike, JohnIntroductionsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vargas Llosa, Mariosecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Vittorini, ElioTranslatorsecondary 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.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
original title of the power & the glory
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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.
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Legacy Library: Graham Greene

Graham Greene has a Legacy Library. Legacy libraries are the personal libraries of famous readers, entered by LibraryThing members from the Legacy Libraries group.

See Graham Greene's legacy profile.

See Graham Greene's author page.

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Average: (3.92)
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