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The Clowns of God (The Vatican Trilogy #2)

4.09  ·  Rating Details ·  793 Ratings  ·  75 Reviews
What would happen, if the members of the Roman Curia discovered that the Pope was about to publicly state that he had received a private revelation that the world was about to end? Pope Gregory XVII claims to have received a private revelation of the end of the world - an apocalypse coming not in some distant future but at any moment. Is he a madman, as his cardinals suspe ...more
Paperback, 240 pages
Published December 18th 2003 by Toby Press Ltd (first published 1981)
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Anne Hawn Smith
This is another great book by Morris West. Jesus has come as Redeemer in the modern age. One of the things that I will always remember is the incident that gives the book it's name. The "clowns of God" are children who are mentally or physically handicapped. The French have given them that name and feel that these children are especially close to God's heart. Jesus pulls one of the children towards him and tells his followers that he knows that they want a sign that he is really the Messiah and ...more
Jerry Wendt
May 18, 2014 Jerry Wendt rated it it was amazing
Everyone remembers Morris West for his book " The Shoes of the Fisherman," a wonderfully written book about a new pope who revitalizes the Catholic Church and rfeinstates "humility" to the Church. It is very much more interesting in light of the new Pope Francis. It was also made into a riveting, lush, and pertinent motion picture starring Anthony Quinn at his best.

However "The Clowns of God" which is grouped into what they now call West's "Vatican Trilogy" with "Shoes," this book and "Fisherma
...more
Linda Robinson
Apr 22, 2016 Linda Robinson rated it really liked it
A good friend who shares reading tastes loaned me this book. She said it made an impression when she read it in the 80s. The novel still makes quite an impact. It begins: "In the seventh year of his reign, two days before his sixty-fifth birthday, in the presence of a full consistory of Cardinals, Jean Marie Barette, Pope Gregory XVII, signed an instrument of abdication, took off the Fisherman's ring, handed his seal to the Cardinal Camerlengo and made a curt speech of farewell." The short good- ...more
Kari
Sep 06, 2012 Kari rated it liked it
I really liked this book UP UNTIL the end. (I would give the first 4/5 of the book five stars but the last 1/5... not even one!) The characters were very intricately written and the relationships and/or encounters between them so real and full of meaning. There were powerful struggles with faith and doubt in terms of human to human relationships, individual to institution relationships and human to divine. Each character represented a diverse and interesting reaction to the inevitability of the ...more
booklady
Feb 09, 2010 booklady rated it really liked it
I'd heard this was better than Morris' first in the trilogy, The Shoes of the Fisherman. Perhaps because I stopped and started it so often, it failed to capture me the way his first one did. Once I got back into it, however, then I was hooked. I especially liked when it switched vantage points and I loved the ending. Someday I'm going to try reading it over again from start to finish without all the breaks and see if I don't get more out of it.
Amberlee Bixler
Aug 02, 2011 Amberlee Bixler rated it it was ok
As a sister to a challenged individual, I found this book insulting. As a Protestant/Christian, the story was ok, but not something that would have kept my attention if I didn't have to read it for my book club.
This book reminds me of overly greasy pizza the morning after: it'll get you through if you have to have something - but it's not something you really want to have on an ongoing basis.









Paul Gaya Ochieng Simeon Juma
I was very disappointed after reading this book. I expected a lot of religious philosophy but instead it turned out to be a debate as to whether between the concept of Consummation and Continuity. It was one's man search to find out the truth in the pope's prophecy of the end times. If one is not careful and is weak in faith then the book can easily shake the ground on which he or she stands. Maybe the first one is better if only I could find it.
Mary
Mar 06, 2013 Mary rated it it was amazing
Just reread this wonderful 30 year old book. It certainly applies to life in today's world. The current governments of the world,the Church,and people who have attained power have not changed or improved from those described when the book was written,which is truly a disappointment but not a surprise.
Mariella
Feb 20, 2013 Mariella rated it it was amazing
I think this is a wonderful book. I never tire of re-reading it.
Jose Luis Meza Garcia
Mar 26, 2017 Jose Luis Meza Garcia rated it really liked it
Vaya! Qué libro más difícil de sintetizar! Es que pasan tantas cosas en sus más de 500 páginas que uno se queda pensando en muchas cosas. Sobretodo viendo lo real y factible que sea el libro. Definitivamente Morris West tiene un privilegio al momento de contar historias respecto a la religión, pero el libro no es sólo para los creyentes de alguna religión particular, es para todos y es que es lo suficientemente abierto y explicativo para ello.

En el libro, el Papa Gregorio XVII menciona haber ten
...more
Carol Stowe
Mar 01, 2016 Carol Stowe rated it it was amazing
This is book two of the Vatican Trilogy and my favorite so far. The Pope, Gregory XII, claims to have had a revelation of an imminent end of world crisis which he has promised to share with the world. However, the cardinals believe that his being Pope and a prophet at the same time constitutes a conflict of interest. He retires to a monastery and a successor is elected.
The first few chapters are told from the point of view of his long-time friend Carl Mendelius. Having received a letter and do
...more
Roxana
Jul 03, 2012 Roxana rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Again is not easy to make a review of a Morris West book! It has so many things and is never simple.
Morris West is an expert to make his readers ponder questions that scratch the philosophical and spiritual issues.. Are you ready to believe in a modern prophet? Do you actually believe God is capable of anything, including making a Pope see with his own eyes the ends of the days of the human race and the world as we know it, and that they are not far away in time but close and present.
The Vatica
...more
Tom
Aug 08, 2013 Tom rated it it was amazing
Book two of the Trilogy. After Pope Krill dies his successor, Gregory XVI
tries to reform the curia and to assist the various powers on earth to allow a proper grain sale to Russia to prevent WWIII. He has a vision, a visit from God concerning the apocalypse and the speed of it's arrival. Due to pressure from the Curia, and the threat of having him committed as a madman, he abdicates the Chair of Peter to a monastery in Monte Cassino.

There he is visited by a long time friend, a former Jesuit. To
...more
Andreina Troconis
I read this book as a child in Venezuela in Spanish. I praise Morris West, the writer

of this book. Being kind of a triller in a religious setting, I found it througly interesting.

Based on his novels many movies have been made, such as the Fisherman's Sandals ( Las Sandalias

del Pescador) with Anthony Queen, or the Devil's Advocate with Al Pacino. This writer loved writing

trilogies, and also as you can see, he xeroed on writing novels that dwelded in Religion and

spirituality.

This one in p
...more
David Ward
The Clowns of God by Morris L. West (Compania Financiera Perlina 1981)(Fiction – Mystery). (SEE UPDATE BELOW).  To summarize, the Pope abdicates.  Now what?  Folks I respect love this, but I've tried it several times over 20 years and can't get through it.  My rating:  4.0, finished 1/18/12. (UPDATED REVIEW 12/10/14): The Pope is forced by the Cardinals to adbicate. Why? Because the Pope was convinced that God had spoken directly to him and had revealed that a major war was coming. Could it be t ...more
Daniel
Aug 11, 2015 Daniel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I don't know how I learned of this book, may have been here on Goodreads.com, I don't remember. But it seems there is a spirit that guides me and drops books in my lap that are on a subject or contain a message that I need to hear at that time. The Clowns of God was just such a book. The message, to me, was that even an abdicated Pope has something to learn about the ways of God and man hit me, because our preconceived notions and beliefs about people and life just might be wrong. Listen for the ...more
Sérgio Rodrigues
Dec 05, 2016 Sérgio Rodrigues rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Um livro que me agarrou do inicio ao fim. Surpreendente da forma que foi escrito e o rumo da sua historia. Para leitores agnósticos talvez o fim não faça sentido mas mesmo para os que acreditam muitas duvidas ficam no ar. O autor coloca-nos directamente na pele de Carl no primeiro "acto", obrigando-nos a escolher lados. Tornando a historia muito pessoal. Leva-nos a ponderar sobre o fim do mundo de uma forma realista e actual, será que já lutamos pelas guerras que o autor anuncia? Será que nos ca ...more
Eric
Mar 17, 2009 Eric rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A thrilling and suspenseful ride through cold war Europe on the back of a scholar and his friend the pope. Don't let my opening sentence fool you, this book is not for the faint of heart, but I'd have to say it's quite on par with anything The Da Vinci Code could conceive of. Of course, for you realists, all the religion might get to you a bit. Even though I enjoyed it so thoroughly, it took me about 3 months to read it when I first got it from a library book sale.
Richard
Sep 16, 2008 Richard rated it liked it
This is an interesting yet subtle Second Coming story that finds itself intertwined with a skeptical investigative reporter, a panic amongst the Cardinals, and a Pope that has been shut down and whisked off to a hideaway incarceration for what he knows or what he thinks he knows....

Its always an interesting subject since there is so much speculation out there even with believers. The details have this print at 2003 but this book was first published in the 80's I believe.
Katies_Faves
Jul 03, 2010 Katies_Faves rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
MY MIL recommended this book to me years ago. I really found this interesting. I don't remember much about it anymore -- but when The DaVinci Code came out I remember thinking they sounded similar. I have not read The DaVinci Code still - so I can't say for sure about this.

Anyway, the last part of the book is the best. It is very heart warming and touching about those who come to earth who are deformed in some way.

Lynne
Dec 20, 2012 Lynne rated it really liked it
I re-read this after many years and I can see why I liked it so much before but now it does seem rather dated - thankfully the very real threat of nuclear war has lifted somewhat. It is a story about faith and hope among a diverse range of people, and not the institutional church. I have liked a lot of Morris West's books but I think this one remains my favourite.
Gail Hoskins
Very dated. It was published, I believe, in 1981, but takes place in the 1990's. It deals with the apossibily of nuclear war between the West and the Soviet Union. It's ironic that the Soviet Union collapsed in 1991. It is still a good book though. Anyone who thinks that terrorism is a recent phenominon should read this!
Livvy
Jan 08, 2009 Livvy rated it it was amazing
Morris West never lets you down-always an enthralling read, even though my non-conformist background is far removed from Catholicism. The most moving part of the book for me was the page near the end, where the "Clowns of God", the Down's Syndrome children are described, so I wrote it out in my reading journal.
Timm Dobbins
Oct 16, 2011 Timm Dobbins rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite books. I re-read it every other year. I find something new in it every time I read it. I believe there are many messages imbeded in the story of what happens when someone has a vision of something, and must deal with how those around, both friend and stranger, re-act to that vision.
Charles Bell
Sep 17, 2009 Charles Bell rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: christians and catholics
I could not put this book down. I found it to be interesting and engaging. The book touches on major items war, the right to life, cohabitation, and other things. The book had a disappointing end for me but this would be a difficult one to close out. I will continue to read the author's works. The next book in the series is 'Lazarus'. The first book was 'The Shoes of the Fisherman'.
Kei
Dec 09, 2007 Kei rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: other
One of those End Times books. The Pope very inconveniently has a vision. The Vatican doesn't like it. The world is spiralling down to the Biblical end. There's a stranger whose identity is obvious to everyone except the protagonist. Unlike any other book I've read in this genre (is there a genre called 'end of days'?) Has a lovely touch at the end. An old friend.
Gary Bonn
Aug 20, 2012 Gary Bonn rated it it was amazing
I swear West must have written this book with me in mind. It switched a light on in my head that will never go off again. Thank you, Morris.
Not only is it a terrific story with well-crafted protagonists, it's also a profound look into human nature.

Be prepared for a stunning paradigm shift in the closing sequence.
Jb
Apr 08, 2010 Jb rated it really liked it
I read only 10-20 pages per day, but always looked forward to the next day! When I had 20 or so pages left I was bummed out knowing that the book would soon end.

It is thrilling, suspenseful, and I enjoyed identifying with some characters. I also like the biblical research that Morris West mixed in throughout the book.

Judithosc
Jul 29, 2012 Judithosc rated it it was amazing
This is a powerful and thought provoking book. I actually thought that I read it years ago but there is no way that I could have since Irembered so little of the story. There is even acharacter named "Judith"!
Mizales
Jan 04, 2013 Mizales rated it it was amazing
ya lo habia leido antes , pero ahora lo disfrute mas, pues estuvimos trabajando en mi grupo el tema del apocapipsis.

muy bueno1

si alguien me puede decir quien es el personaje al que Morris west personifica como Karl Mendelius, en la vida real?

Miguel
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Actuality 1 2 Apr 01, 2014 12:37AM  
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Morris Langlo West was born in St Kilda, Melbourne in 1916. At the age of fourteen, he entered the Christian Brothers seminary ‘as a kind of refuge’ from a difficult childhood. He attended the University of Melbourne and worked as a teacher. In 1941 he left the Christian Brothers without taking final vows. In World War II he worked as a code-breaker, and for a time he was private secretary to form ...more
More about Morris West...

Other Books in the Series

The Vatican Trilogy (3 books)
  • The Shoes of the Fisherman
  • Lazarus

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“I know what you are thinking - you need a sign. What better one could I give than to make this little one whole and new? I could do it, but I will not. I am the Lord and not a conjurer. I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you - eternal innocence. To you, he looks imperfect but to me he is flawless like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by the ants. He will never offend me, as all of you have done. He will never pervert or destroy the work of my Father's hands. He is necessary to you. He will evoke the kindness that will keep you human. His infirmity will prompt you to gratitude for your own good fortune. More! He will remind you every day that I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite, while in darkest space, does not fall out of my hand. I have chosen you. You have not chosen me. This little one is my sign to you. Treasure him!” 9 likes
“I know what you are thinking - you need a sign. What better one could I give than to make this little one whole and new? I could do it, but I will not. I am the Lord and not a conjurer. I gave this mite a gift I denied to all of you - eternal innocence.
To you, he looks imperfect but to me he is flawless like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest
to be devoured by the ants. He will never offend me, as all of you have done. He will never pervert or destroy the work of my Father's hands. He is necessary to you. He will evoke the kindness that will keep you human. His infirmity will prompt you to gratitude for your own good fortune. More! He will remind you every day that I am who I am, that my ways are not yours, and that the smallest dust mite, while in darkest space, does not fall out of my hand. I have chosen you. You have not chosen me. This little one is my sign to you. Treasure him!”
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