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The Enemy of the Good
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The Enemy of the Good

3.77 of 5 stars 3.77  ·  rating details  ·  53 ratings  ·  13 reviews
Members of an extraordinary family endure the bitter clash of liberalism and fundamentalism in this absorbing novel. The Glanville clan includes Edwin, a retired bishop who has lost his faith; his wife Marta, a controversial anthropologist and child of the Warsaw Ghetto; their son, Clement, a celebrated gay painter traumatized by the death of his twin; and their daughter, ...more
Paperback, 352 pages
Published June 1st 2009 by ARCADIA BOOKS (first published April 30th 2009)
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John Cadaver
' "The concept of Hell was devised by men to excuse their cruelty ... The greater the punishments they could ascribe to God, the greater the justification they could find for their own." '

A marvelous assessment of the similarities and differences between the liberal and fundamentalist mindsets. I especially enjoyed Arditti's relentless juxtaposition of multiple religious beliefs, making each one's pitfalls and redeeming qualities apparent to the reader without driving a fixed perception of any
...more
Tom
Whilst executed with a clear literary talent as far as the construction of prose, this is one of the most conceited novels I have ever read. Its entirely implausible plot, dripping with any excuse to layer some further religious meaning rendering it a shallow gallimaufry of insincerity and ridiculousness. The characters are a wooden shell upon which the author has pinned a profusion of afflictions and religious beliefs in an attempt to depict the modern condition of theology and society. In this ...more
Leander
Before I picked up this book in the library, I had never heard of Michael Arditti, but I found this story fascinating. Following various members of the Granville family, it explores the difficulties that people feel when trying to reconcile their faith and the modern world - or perhaps, more accurately, how faith can still provide a necessary haven of peace and purpose in a world that can otherwise seem heartbreakingly cruel. Edwin Granville is a bishop who no longer believes in God, but who bel ...more
Rebecca
I laughed. I cried. I fell completely in love with this book, and the characters portrayed.
Michael Arditti skillfully describes many of the complications, but also joys, of faith in our time. This story, amongst other things, tackles a bunch of ethical problems with arguments from different sides; thus not forcing any beliefs on the reader. Instead, this is more of an exploration and an attempt to increase the understanding of different outlooks at life.

The characters are all very well-develope
...more
Jo
Nicely structured, and interesting.

On the other hand, too full of issues to be a plausible novel. HIV, prison conditions, the euthanasia debate, illegal immigration, child abuse, religious fundamentalism, appropriation of Eastern religion... I was a bit overwhelmed by all the demands on my liberal conscience.

The other problem I had with it was use of unlikely coincidence, which I remember being struck by in another of this author's novels. Particularly with regard to the stories of Desmond and
...more
Hil Sloan
I had read rave reviews about this latest Arditti book, so I started it, thinking I would get stuck right in and love it! Well the beginning left me stone cold - it seemed to rake in all the possible cliches of the modern world and it was just a bit cringey! But its thought-provoking subjects started me thinking... and then I was hooked! Some parts were so realistic that I felt as though I was actually living the events with the Glanville family. I'd like to say more but that would give the plot ...more
Julia
A very good book but it does feel like different stories at times. As other reviewers have said, several major issues are brought to your attention, and it can seem like too much was crammed into the book, almost (to me anyway) the point of it being a tad far fetched.
I know it's a novel and plausibility can be allowed to be stretched at times but still, it seems the family faces every single moral issue the world has to offer in the space of few years and it is exhausting at times.
But it requi
...more
Magda
too many different levels, too many different issues, all wind up togehter. Religion, faith, moral values, family and everyday problems under the microscope but with a good appreciation on the detail and detached accurate narrators. And what is that you get at the end? A perplexed family story, the air of the past on contemporary problems, many twists and a good old happy end: the enemy of the good is the better.
Jacqueline  Whyte
A deeply intriguing book, with so many different subjects all intertwined into a really great read! Was sad that it ended.
Cmbrooks
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Anita
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Sandie
I read it - but it was a difficult read. I was not engaged by the characters or the story line. I can't leave a story unread though...so I finished it.
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“But you must still know to respect other people's faith.'
'Why? We don't respect any other delusion. We lock up people who believe they're Christ, yet we're supposed to humour those who believe in him.'
'By definition, faith is irrational: a belief you hold against the normal rules of evidence.'
'In which case I believe in Jedi”
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“All religions are beautiful in the story, as you say. It's when they're put into practice that they grow ugly.” 7 likes
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