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The Conduct of Saints

3.26  ·  Rating Details  ·  23 Ratings  ·  9 Reviews
The Conduct of Saints is a battleground on which power, God, sex, and the Devil collide in the impoverished city of Rome during May and June of 1945. The German occupation of the Eternal City has ended, the war in Europe is over, the Bomb has yet to fall on Japan, and Rome is under the jurisdiction of the victors - the American, British, and French Allied Control Commissio ...more
Hardcover, 264 pages
Published May 2013 by The Permanent Press
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Sheila
Redemption is hard to achieve and sometimes even harder to understand, as Christopher Davis makes clear in this novel of post-world-war-II Italy and Vatican promise. Can a murderer be redeemed by seeing a vision of his victim forgiving him? Is there hope for a man who’s caused the deaths of too many to remember their faces? Can faith redeem, and can it be rushed into existence before a court condemns? And finally, will a drunken priest redeem himself by saving a prisoner’s life, or by condemning ...more
Chris
May 16, 2016 Chris rated it did not like it
At first, I was really impressed with this novel—it is atmospheric, well researched and has vivid characters that make the reader very uncomfortable. However, by about a third of the way in, I couldn’t help but noticing it was the same few tricks performed over and over. The characters were all vivid and uncomfortable in much the same way. We got every ache, every awkward moment, every drink, every lurid sexual encounter in detail (and it was basically those four things repeated ad nauseam). But ...more
Betty
Apr 24, 2013 Betty rated it really liked it
Shelves: rated-reviewed
Unsettling...Excellent

"He had done his duty and been correct in doing so, but he had been wrong in taking on the duty."

This comment, from one character's self-examination, fully sums up this book. It is the one line most memorable to me. Well before I reached the mid-point of this book, I had the uneasy feeling that I had when I watched Burt Lancaster's character of Dr. Ernst Janning in the movie "Judgement At Nuremberg" - that between black and white there can be many shades of gray.

Brendan Doh
...more
Richard
Aug 07, 2013 Richard rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
There are so many books floating around out there that the odds of catching a good one off a quick browse of the library's shelves are not all that great. Having a range of interests helps, casting your line over and over again helps, but luck is still involved. Once in a while a great one might jump into your hand. And thus end the fishing metaphors, except to say The Conduct of Saints was a real catch.

This is Vatican skullduggery, but unlike Andrew Greeley's potboilers, Morris West's attempts
...more
Jean
Jun 07, 2013 Jean rated it it was ok
Christopher Davis created a memorable character in Rev. Brendan Doherty, a man so flawed and conflicted he wasn't all that likeable. It takes talent to create a character like that! Brendan Doherty's "conduct", decidedly un-priestly, was punctuated with drinking, smoking, more drinking, eating poorly, looking slovenly, sick, and overweight, riding a bicycle around Rome, and drinking, all the while conducting investigations and interrogations on behalf of The Vatican, even holding personal audien ...more
Nigel
May 01, 2014 Nigel rated it really liked it
A well researched novel that provides a fascinating insight into maelstrom of liberated Rome in May/June 1945. Mixing actual and fictional characters the main focus is on troubled, disillusioned Vatican prelate Father Brendan who flounders in seeking redemption for his ineffectiveness during the German occupation. He is a flawed but likeable character in a duplicitious and cynical world. An intelligent and engrossing work of historical fiction.
Cherei
Nov 20, 2014 Cherei rated it liked it
A historical thriller! This one is a fantastic read for those who like to delve into the intricacies of what occurred in WWII. Auschwitz can NEVER be forgotten. This novel takes the reader back in time.. to fully explore the life of one man.. who now must deal with what he did.. and did NOT do. So many do not realize.. tyrants gain major power.. when the public does NOT speak up. Ultimately, it is up to each and every one of us.. to make sure that this NEVER happens again. A good read that I'd h ...more
Susan
Apr 04, 2013 Susan rated it liked it
Takes place at the end of World War II in Rome. The German occupation of the city has ended and war is still going on with Japan. A historical fiction mixed along with real historical people and facts. The main character Brendan Doherty, an American priest, is a complex character fighting his own inner demons. At the same time he has taken on two causes, one he believes in and one he feels he just needs to do in order to bring out the truth. A good balance between a war time story and the inner ...more
vega480
Mar 20, 2013 vega480 rated it liked it
Shelves: on-shelf, first-reads
Being set in a time that is just after the end of World War II is what drew me to the book. There was a good mix between the war time story and catholic church parts. Overall I enjoyed the book and would recommend it to those who like to read stories about WWII or the inner workings of the catholic church that has a level of reality to it that makes it closer to the truth than not.
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Christopher Davis was born in Philadelphia, PA, in 1928 and raised there. He was educated at public schools; at the Colorado Springs Fine Arts Institute; at the Art Students League in New York; at the Barnes Art Foundation in Philadelphia; at the Academy of Fine Arts in Rome; and at the University of Pennsylvania (junior year Phi Beta Kappa, BA degree).

His father was the Philadelphia labor lawyer
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