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Conclave: A novel by Robert Harris
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Conclave: A novel (edition 2016)

by Robert Harris (Author)

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2631943,310 (3.97)16
Member:TheCriticalTimes
Title:Conclave: A novel
Authors:Robert Harris (Author)
Info:Knopf (2016), Edition: First American edition., 304 pages
Collections:Loaned from Library
Rating:****
Tags:None

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Conclave by Robert Harris

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Showing 1-5 of 18 (next | show all)
Interesting but simple story line. Fast read. Nothing really special ( )
  cmaese | Feb 23, 2017 |
Even though I am not Roman Catholic, I thought that it was extremely interesting to be made aware of the process and protocol associated with the election of a pope. The plot was rather simplistic. The conclusion of the election was very much a surprise. ( )
  66usma | Feb 19, 2017 |
A very credible look at the hidden workings of a modern papal conclave. Unlike so many authors of novels about the Catholic Church (cf. Anthony Burgess' Earthly Powers), Harris eschews cynicism, yet he doesn't fall into the corresponding trap of naïvety. His protagonist, an elderly cardinal with a long career in the Vatican hierarchy, is an honestly devout man dealing with an ongoing spiritual emptiness and an all too vivid awareness of the ways that prelates fall short of their ideals—himself not excepted. As Dean of the College of Cardinals, he is in charge of running the conclave to select a new pope—a task not made easier by what he learns about the cardinal in the room next to his in the sequestered Casa Santa Marta next to St Peter's, or by the efforts of a loyal minority to make he himself the new pope, a conclusion he both wishes for and deeply dreads.

Politics in the church, the crisis of gender imbalance, the abuse scandal, corruption in the Vatican Bank, they're all touched on here with the same amount of attention you'd expect the characters to give them. Prominent figures in the real church, past and present, are prominent figures in the book under other names (an introduction claiming that similarities are coincidental should be dismissed with a chuckle). What drives the plot, though, isn't intrigue, although there's plenty of it: it's the question of which of all these fallible candidates should be entrusted with the crushing responsibility of shaping the church for the next generation? If you believe, with so many of our contemporaries, that none of the red-robed men of the Vatican are interested in anything but power, you may not like this book. But if you'd prefer to believe that the celibates at the highest levels of the global church are free of the common human failings of lust and greed, you may not like it either. Most of these cardinals really do want what they think is best for all. But it's continually surprising how well what each of us thinks is best for all fits with what we think is best for us. ( )
  john.cooper | Feb 8, 2017 |
Conclave was a fun read and maybe the best fiction book I read in 2016. The story had scandals, violence, deception, villains and keep in mind it was about the election of a new pope for the Catholic Church. The twists and turns in this story to elect a new Pope made the Trump – Clinton election look like a contest for president of the high school chess club. Four Cardinals are vying to be Pope and their "campaign tactics" involved hushing up a youthful indiscretion, buying the votes of other Cardinals and plotting to undermine the other candidates through rumor and innuendo. Plot surprises are found liberally throughout the book, even to the last page. I found the ending of the book to be a little bit of an imaginative and intellectual stretch but then again that's what I thought when Trump got elected president.

You don't have to be Catholic to enjoy this book but it helps. ( )
  writemoves | Jan 30, 2017 |
Interesting read on the Vatican process to elect a Pope. Not as textured, in depth as his other novels. Plot was very simplistic ( )
  starkravingmad | Jan 29, 2017 |
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Even voor tweeën in de ochtend verliet kardinaal Lomeli zijn appartement in het Paleis van het Heilig Officie en liep haastig door de donkere kloostergangen van het Vaticaan naar het slaapvertrek van de paus.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0451493443, Hardcover)

The best-selling author of Enigma and Fatherland turns to today's Vatican in a ripped-from-the-headlines novel, and gives us his most ambitious, page-turning thriller yet--where the power of God is nearly equaled by the ambition of men.

The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on Earth.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 05 Sep 2016 03:29:34 -0400)

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