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Cathedral

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3.82  ·  Rating Details  ·  6,486 Ratings  ·  276 Reviews
The festivity of St. Patrick's Day explodes into a nightmare of bloody violence when an extremist offshoot of the IRA takes New York City by siege.They've kidnapped four of the city's most prominent citizens and are threatening to end their lives - and demolish the beautiful St. Patrick's Cathedral - unless their fanatical demands are met.Now the hostages - and the world - ...more
Paperback, 581 pages
Published November 2nd 2000 by Sphere (first published 1981)
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Kemper
In the early ‘80s a group of Irish terrorists seize St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take hostages during New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s hard to believe that this never got adapted into a movie starring Bruce Willis.

Maybe it’s because this isn’t the story of a single action hero trapped with a group of bad guys. In fact, this is more like The Taking of Pelham One Two Three than Die Hard with its depiction of how political agendas and public relations creep into a hostage situation. It seem
...more
Andrea
Jun 21, 2011 Andrea rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action-adventure
Cathedral was one of DeMille's early books. It was first published in 1981. As I read the book, I continued to note how different the story is, pre-9-11, from more current writings.

I also compared this book to The Marching Season by Daniel Silva, another story about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

A former member of the Provisional IRA, turned reformer and member of Amnesty International Maureen is in New York to speak upon the occasion of St. Patrick's Day. On the day itself, she is standing i
...more
Malcolm
Aug 23, 2009 Malcolm rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: blech
I wanted to like this book -- because DeMille is my leading guilty pleasure these days.

But I couldn't finish it. The droning, consistently overwrought roll in the hay he has with being Irish and the Irish mentality ... I never want to read about the color green again.

Take your leprechauns, your "Saint Paddy's" day, and your IRA with guns ... and go home.

It was also very difficult to take to bed because the names all wash together in a great potato and beer sea of Irishness.

Jean O'Sullivan, Padd
...more
Steve
Sep 17, 2014 Steve rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book about an IRA terrorist group that takes over St. Patrick's Cathedral on at the end of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
I had read this book back when I was in high school at the recommendation of my good friend Andrew Cox. Aside from being a great book, it lends itself very well to answering HS English essay questions such as, 'Compare and contrast two characters' or 'If you were stuck on a deserted island with a character from a book you have read, who would it be?' because of the cast o
...more
David
Oct 21, 2009 David rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: completed
DeMille, as always, writes a thrilling story with some careful plotting, twists and turns. In this novel, I.R.A. Terrorists (or Freedom Fighters I guess, depending on your point of view) take control of St. Patrick's Cathedral on St. Patricks day. With military weapons and explosives we pretty much have "Die Hard" in a large church.

However, there is so much political wrangling and double wrangling. Are things really as they seem? Are these particular terrorists really backed by the I.R.A. or are
...more
Marcie
Jun 25, 2008 Marcie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Not as good as By the Rivers of Babylon (it's one of those compilation books). Actually Cathedral is not very good at all. It's a story that you know how it's going to end, but you think the ride there is going to be full of fun and Irish bullshit and typical DeMille biting wit. And it's just not. Wow, this man gets so much better as he gets older, thank God. I have a whole shelf of DeMilles to attest that.

Nobody writes male/female back-and-forth better than DeMille...later in his career. But I
...more
Bonnie Faust
May 01, 2016 Bonnie Faust rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was my least favorite Nelson DeMille book. It started out well; DeMille was able to romanticize the IRA and their cause to hook the reader before it moved to "present day" NYC. From here, things started to unravel.

First, the names. Way too many characters. And they all have Irish names...Fitzgerald, Finnegan, Flynn...it was near impossible to keep up with them and try to remember which one was the IRA terrorist and which was the NYC investigator. Top that off with a few of the characters al
...more
Online Critic
May 14, 2014 Online Critic rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This story drags and could have been reduced significantly. I never connected to any particular character in part because there were too many point of views and all the males were testosterone-infused, sarcastic, tough guys. The other big issue is the basis of the story and conflict between the Irish, Brits, and States. It just isn't realistic.

Oh and this seems to pervade in several of DeMille's stories. For an army guy to use the term automatic pistol that his cops seems to own. Cops aren't gi
...more
Kate
Mar 25, 2009 Kate rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an older Nelson DeMille book that I had missed reading. It dates from 1981 and I enjoyed reading the names of places that I used to know during that era that are long since gone. Marine Midland Bank Building is now called the HSBC Bank Building. Trader Vic's at the Plaza. Lots of Irish bars. History has dated this book. No longer is the proposed destruction of a NYC landmark novel. Terrorism has changed over the past few decades. For me the book bogged down about 60% - 75% through and co ...more
Susan
Dec 09, 2015 Susan rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I have only read one other DeMille book and that was Plum Island. It was much better than this one. This was a page-turner but when it was over I was thinking, "What was the point?" The rebel offshoot of the IRA that took the cathedral didn't have a convincing motive for doing so. Flynn, the leader, went on about a mystical priest who gave him a ring so he thought he had a mission but we never really knew who that priest was or what he wanted or why he motivated Flynn to do what he did. His co-l ...more
J. Ewbank
Oct 14, 2014 J. Ewbank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: a-good-read, novel
DeMille has written a book about the Irish and British problem that many will not want to read because of the story. However, he has written a powerful story about the possibilities of the conflict coming to America and how it is handled with duplicity, double and triple motivations, and some interesting characters. A good book.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"
Nina
Mar 02, 2016 Nina rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
DeMille never disappoints. Glad I went to Belfast a few years ago, as it provided good context for the book. The Fenian Army (sort of the ISIL of the IRA), decides to make a big splash in NYC on St Patrick's Day by taking hostages in St Patrick's Cathedral and planting bombs that can bring the whole building down unless their friends and relatives are released from British prisons. The politics behind whether, how, and when to rescue the hostages seems all too real. As the politicians agree, the ...more
Eugenia O'Neal
Feb 16, 2012 Eugenia O'Neal rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite political thrillers. The suspense was edge-of-your seat and the characters believable! I've read a few others by deMille and I think this is the best.
Razvan Banciu
Jul 03, 2015 Razvan Banciu rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
It seems like DeMille (one of my favourites) has not any novel under five, or even six, hundred pages. Some of them are totally worth, some not. In my vision "Cathedral" looks like a sandwich: take away the first one hundred pages, somehow dull and boring, with unnecesary pieces of history, arhitectonics and mystics; take away the last hundred pages (excepting the last ten...) full of blood, violence and too many casualties and you remain with a FINE book about love, sense of duty, loyalty and t ...more
John Marsh
Jan 16, 2015 John Marsh rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Rick Boyer
Sep 02, 2013 Rick Boyer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4.5 stars. A great read... but, what else would you expect from Nelson DeMille? I loved it!
Larry Piper
Mar 15, 2016 Larry Piper rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: 14-year old boys
Recommended to Larry by: creepy lady at church book sale
A lady perusing the offerings at my church fair's book table pretty much insisted that I take a book by this guy. Eventually I gave in and did so. I'm not sure why it was so important to her, but it was. I also have no idea why she was so chatty and insistent with a strange, bearded, old man. It's not always just the bearded, old men who are the creepy ones.

I dunno, this is not really my kind of book. It's about a fringe band of IRA rebels who take over a cathedral in downtown New York as the S
...more
Elaine
Apr 11, 2011 Elaine rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
One meg·a·lo·ma·ni·ac after another on both sides of the law. Unreasonable conviction of one's own extreme greatness, goodness, or power.

1. A psychopathological condition characterized by delusional fantasies of wealth, power, or omnipotence.
2. An obsession with grandiose or extravagant things or actions.
a mental disorder characterized by delusions of grandeur, power, etc.
a passion for, or for doing, big things
a tendency to exaggerate

Bruidian House was a Celtic place of sanctuarty. A fugitiv
...more
Arun Divakar
In the days before I came to know of the Stockholm Syndrome, I used to think that the most romantic of all jobs is that of a operative who rescues hostages. What more could a petrified, down in the dumps hostage ask for ? To add fuel to the fires of imagination, there was the cult classic from John Mc Tiernan : 'Die Hard'.In the boy's childhood game of let's-pretend, most of us ran around with little toy guns rescuing poor hostages. This is my first book by DeMille and I find this to be a readab ...more
Wei Cho
Feb 26, 2012 Wei Cho rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action
I read this book long time ago, so I don't remember the tidbits and details of it. What I can tell you is the impressions the book left for me. It was sort of violent and bloody, but not too much to scare the crap out of me, but there was some sort of physical struggle. Also, this book was one of my first encounters with violence, guns, people dying because they were shot, and guns. I thought it was pretty neat, fast-paced, and action oriented. I didn't understand very well the conflict with the ...more
Amanda
Jul 13, 2012 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is actually the first DeMille book I've read and I really enjoyed it. Color me incredibly surprised when I saw that it was published in 1981. More on why in a second.....

Brian Flynn and his lover, Maureen Malone are soldiers with the IRA in Ireland. "Once in, Never Out". I would call them more like terrorists but that's just me. Malone gets out of the biz (as much as she can) and tries to get peace between Ireland and Britain. She ends up in America on Saint Patrick's Day working for her ca
...more
Scott  Breslove
As you always get from DeMille, an exciting, suspenseful read. It seemed like he really hasn't found his voice yet, as this was one of his earlier books, and the way that the characters are introduced in the beginning was a bit jumbled, rushed and confusing. But he always is a master at what he does and this book doesn't disappoint. The story kept you guessing at every turn of the page, I couldn't figure out even the slightest of what was to come. Some great characters, I'd love to hear more fro ...more
Will
Jun 07, 2013 Will rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Readers interested in the IRA
Shelves: mystery, ira-mystery
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Emanuel Raneri
A lesson for today

What's a terrorist organization? Certainly some hate it, but some also love it. In the Cathedral, 2nd and 3rd generation Irish Catholics were celebrating for the success of murdering terrorists evil. Complex and confusing to me. Think about this in today's context and wonder if any Americans today would celebrate a heinous crime on American soil.
Barbara M
Even though this audio was read by Scott Brick and was by the author of The General's Daughter nothing could save this book from being very drawn out. Perhaps it was because this large book was to depict a fictitious event that was to have happened in one day. Nevertheless, very long, very drawn out and I just didn't care enough for the characters. Major disappointment.
Felicity
Dec 16, 2014 Felicity rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Explosive action thriller in which IRA terrorists clash with New Yorkers in St Patrick’s Cathedral, on St Patrick’s Day (of course), when everyone is an honorary Irishman. De Mille is an expert at strong personalities and does well building the lengthy siege into a drama which has you asking who is on who’s side, and who is not going to make it. Religion, politics and moral dilemmas, it’s almost like this story foresaw the events that happened much later in 9/11.
Kathy
Apr 08, 2014 Kathy rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I am a huge fan of Nelson DeMille; but this book left me COLD. The topic was not of interest to me and there were too many characters to keep in mind. It was plain and simply AWFUL. There were 575 pages of awful but I managed to get through it, thinking it might get better. Not recommended.
Ada Iaboni
A very interesting concept and scary to think it could happen!
The whole story evolves in a 24 hours period. Intense and pretty thrilling. BUT, too many characters to keep track of. And not enough details on the main characters that would have been nice to know to figure out their "motivation" as the actors say... Worth reading.
Chris
Sep 29, 2014 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: suspense
It's the 1970's and the Fenians, an offshoot of the IRA, take over St. Patrick's Cathedral in NYC on St. Pat's day with a few hostages including a former IRA member and a member of the British Consulate. The Fenian group is threatening to kill the hostages & blow up the cathedral if IRA prisoners are not released from British prisons. And then the stand-off and negotiations ensue. Many people at all levels of government, law enforcement & national guard get involved, each with their own ...more
Robert Aiken
Feb 18, 2016 Robert Aiken rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This fictional account dramatically describes the juxtaposition of the characters that justify their reasons for being present at St Patrick's Cathedral. Be it terrorism. religious devotion or duty and the drama of the St. Patrick's Day parade result in a exciting climax.
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille. He moved as a child with his family to Long Island. In high school, he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army and attended Officer Candidate School. He was a First Lieutenant in the United States Army (1966-69) and saw action as an
...more
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