The Clowns of God
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The Clowns of God (The Vatican Trilogy #2)

4.04 of 5 stars 4.04  ·  rating details  ·  528 ratings  ·  60 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 Pr (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
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
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.
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
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


This one in p...more
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
A fiction written in 1981... and so much that is "foreseen" seems uncannily close to 21st century reality!

Simply fascinating to reread this book 30 years after I first attempted 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.
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.
Amberlee Bixler
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.

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.
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.

Charles Bell
Sep 19, 2009 Charles Bell rated it 4 of 5 stars
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'.
Steve S
The book was written in the 80's and read as such. It was a relaxing read.
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.
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.
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!
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.

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
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.
Gary Bonn
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.
David Ward
The Clowns of God by Morris L. West (Compania Financiera Perlina 1981)(fiction - mystery): 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.
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?

By far the most original fictional premise of the end of the world theme in which religion and a prophecy of doom plays a major part of the plot.

No wonder it remained on the New York Times Bestseller list for 22 weeks when it was released in 1981.
Matthew Bartlett
This book was much better than I thought it would be when I first started. It's really driven by the dialogue and relationships, a very keen and Catholic way. Plus, it's really 392 pages. But really Interesting and engaging. Well done.
Jeanne Linn
This has a surprise ending....I LOVE Morris West. He writes a lot about the Catholic Church and seems to have a lot of knowledge about it. I love his historical fiction and there is often a twist at the end of his books...
Although this book was written in 1981, it is still relevant today. The west grapples with governing itself, the Catholic Church struggles internally and we all continue to search for the truth inside and out.
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"!
This is my very favorite book of all. I read it every year or so.
2013: read it again for about the third time. Still my favorite. Although written in the 1980s, it's still amazing how timely it is.
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Morris Langlo West was an Australian novelist and playwright, best known for his novels The Devil's Advocate (1959), The Shoes of the Fisherman (1963), and The Clowns of God (1981).
His works often were focused on international politics and the role of the Roman Catholic Church in international affairs. One of his most famous works, The Shoes of the Fisherman (1963), envisioned the election and ca...more
More about Morris L. West...
The Shoes of the Fisherman The Devil's Advocate Lazarus Harlequin The Navigator

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