The Priest
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The Priest (Supernatural Minnesota #3)

3.61 of 5 stars 3.61  ·  rating details  ·  132 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Since his work first began to appear in the early 1960s, Thomas Disch has proven himself, again and again, to be one of the most prodigiously talented novelist/playwright/poets of our time. In Newsweek he was saluted by Walter Clemons as "the most formidably gifted unfamous American writer." But in 1991, with the publication of The M.D., Disch's remarkably various gifts co...more
Hardcover, 303 pages
Published March 21st 1995 by Knopf (first published 1994)
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I find it interesting how 2 stars can mean different things to different books. In the case of The Priest, 2 stars is my way of saying - Hey! I finished you! You weren't completely horrible! But man, oh man, did you miss the mark!

Here- we have a book that is just trying waaaay to hard to be something it's not. Something it just wasn't meant to be. Something that is (perhaps) a little more complicated than the author can handle.

We are tossed back and forth between numerous character storyl...more
Randolph Carter
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jul 28, 2007 R. rated it 5 of 5 stars
Shelves: 2007
1. Disch wrote some sci-fi during the New Wave 60s; also a collaboration or two with John Sladek (see review of "Tik-Tok").

According to the Library of Congress data, this book contains...the catholic church, clergy, extortion, minnesota, minneapolis, child molesters, rehabilitation, minneapolis (again), and time travel.

This...this dude also wrote, "The Brave Little Toaster" and "The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars".

And dude has a livejournal.

2. Half-way thru as of July 23rd. I suppose some o...more
Tom Mueller
Disch slams the Catholic Church like no other author I've read. This has not gone unnoticed by the Church; another of his works, "The Cardinal Detoxes", a one act play "has been vigorously protested by the Catholic Church".
The sub title of "The Priest" is "a Gothic Romance", but that is far from all it is. Facets of Medieval Historical Fiction of early Catholicism are intertwined with later day happenings in the Church. They are connected by the protagonist(s?), who may have a split personality...more
Continuing in the quiet, slow-burning vein of The Businessman and The M.D., this time Disch tells the tale of a blackmailed priest. He's originally presented as a good enough guy, but very soon it's revealed that he's had relations with boys in their tweens. The blackmail isn't for money though, it's for his soul, and the story winds a very strange course as it progresses.

Our hero(?) blacks out and wakes in Europe during the Inquisition. He's apparently switched bodies with a Bishop from that ti...more
The Supernatural Minnesota books are just so damned good. The MD will remain one of the greatest literary horror novels of all time, but the other three are in no way to be sneezed at.

The Priest seems like an appropriate read at the moment. When it came out the various scandals that were rocking the Catholic Church were pretty bad, but few could have imagined the deluge to come. Well, Disch did, in a kind of murderous, tragic, apocalyptic way. Now there's a new pope and he taint of scandal has...more
Reading through the Supernatural Minnesota series again, I was struck by how well they go together in spite of their different premises and contradictory events... and also by how incredibly much better this one book is than I remembered. Maybe it's that it feels less detached; Disch's irony is always ten feet deep, and so it is here too, but he's writing about the Catholic Church and he clearly had some very, very strong and complicated feelings about it, so there's a little more sweat visible....more
Jessica Donohoe
Aug 04, 2008 Jessica Donohoe rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: young male Catholic-high-school-drop-outs
Better than imitators, more [disjointedly, dream-disruptingly] populous than predecessors. This is the first Disch book I've put down before finishing, then half-heartedly picked back up to see how it all ended. Fundamental to the story is a visceral iconic trope, but the visceral bits are horribly misrepresented: it reads like sexist* shallow teenaged [tattoo] fantasy. Most Disch characters are wrought such that you might feel grateful or dirty for having tiptoed around in their shoes for a whi...more
This was weird. I usually like weird. This was OK, not great, and the constantly shifting perspectives, while important to the plot, made the novel hard to follow, probably especially because I was only mildly interested. The author does manage to make a pedophile priest (no spoiler there) a fairly sympathetic character, but only in a very odd sense. I can see that it might have a cult following of some sort, but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid.
Disch is a master of highlighting the foibles (and much worse) of humanity. Here his target is the catholic church, with some swipes at Whitley Streiber along the way. His prose is top notch as usual. The ending is a bit odd, maybe too clever or not as well executed as the rest, as he reframes, twice, the events of the novel.

I would say a lot of bad things happen to good people in this book, but it's hard to find anyone truly good here.
Thomas M. Disch was a great SF writer, excellent theatre critic and all around intriguing individual. This novel, an account of a pedophile priest living life simultaneously as a perverse 13th century bishop is both surreal and an intriguing commentary on the unfolding sexual scandal amoung priests in the United States in the 1990s.
Michelle E. Kobus
So tired of seeing Catholic priests being portrayed as kiddie-abusing villians. No.
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Poet and cynic, Thomas M. Disch brought to the sf of the New Wave a camp sensibility and a sardonicism that too much sf had lacked. His sf novels include Camp Concentration, with its colony of prisoners mutated into super-intelligence by the bacteria that will in due course kill them horribly, and On Wings of Song, in which many of the brightest and best have left their bodies for what may be genu...more
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