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Black Robe: A Novel by Brian Moore
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Black Robe: A Novel (1985)

by Brian Moore

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
453834,322 (3.69)44
  1. 10
    The Orenda by Joseph Boyden (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Similar settings and time period.
  2. 10
    Silence by Shūsaku Endō (cbl_tn)
    cbl_tn: Both novels are about 16th century Jesuit missionaries.
  3. 00
    The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell (amanda4242)
  4. 00
    Caleb's Crossing by Geraldine Brooks (Othemts)
Canada (17)
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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Interesting book. I read this as part of my research for a book I am writing which includes some indigenous peoples of Canada. It seems to go out of it's way to portray native peoples as "savages" a term that is used throughout. I believe it is based on memoirs of a 17th Century French missionary and that might account for some of what seems to be a biased viewpoint. Having said that I'm sure much of what is in the book is accurate. I understand the biased veiwpoint a Jesuit would journal. After all these missionaries had been sent to win over heathen souls. ( )
  paulhock | Oct 17, 2017 |
Father Laforgue, a Jesuit priest, is a recent arrival to New France. After two years of language study, he is sent to join a remote mission. A group of Algonkins have been paid to guide Laforgue and a young lay assistant, Daniel, to the mission. Daniel has his own reason for making the trip. He is secretly in love with one of the young Algonkin women. Although the Algonkins have agreed to take the Normans (as they call the French) to the mission, there is a deep mistrust between the cultures, and neither side is fully aware of their failure to understand the other. Not everyone who set out on the journey will arrive at the destination.

This novel is primarily a character study of Father Lafargue, although the perspective occasionally shifts to other characters. Lafargue experiences a crisis of faith during the journey. He isn't the same man at the end of the journey as he was at the beginning. His crisis of faith is similar to that of the Jesuit priest in Endo's Silence. This book covers the same themes as Joseph Boyden's The Orenda. Moore's preface cites the Jesuit Relations for source material, and Boyden seems to have drawn on the same source for his novel. Boyden's characters have much more depth. This is a good novel, but it suffers by comparison to both Endo and Boyden. Silence and The Orenda were both 5 star reads for me. ( )
1 vote cbl_tn | Jan 29, 2017 |
Black Robe is a fantastic novel. Father Lafourge is a French Jesuit in early 17th Century Canada who goes "up river" into the dark forests of Quebec. What he finds there tests his faith. According to Moore, what interested him is "the moment in which one's illusions are shattered and one has to live without the faith .. which originally sustained them." It has elements of Heart of Darkness or Werner Herzog's Aguirre, the Wrath of God. It is both realistic and historically accurate, but also dreamlike and transcendent. ( )
  Stbalbach | Jul 7, 2016 |
Brian Moore captures the emotional anguish of a priest in a crisis of faith surprisingly well for a journey narrative. It was well written, full of incredible metaphors and parallels that make you look past the culture clash and see, instead, the shared humanity of very different people. That being said, I read it for a class and really didn't anticipate how graphic some of the torture scenes were - it was pretty traumatizing. still a better way to spend my night than watching the grammy's, though. ( )
  suttonrl | Mar 31, 2016 |
Brian Moore captures the emotional anguish of a priest in a crisis of faith surprisingly well for a journey narrative. It was well written, full of incredible metaphors and parallels that make you look past the culture clash and see, instead, the shared humanity of very different people. That being said, I read it for a class and really didn't anticipate how graphic some of the torture scenes were - it was pretty traumatizing. still a better way to spend my night than watching the grammy's, though. ( )
  suttonrl | Mar 31, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
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