Joshua's Reviews > Monsignor Quixote

Monsignor Quixote by Graham Greene
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's review
Dec 27, 12

it was amazing
bookshelves: favorites
Read from April 06 to 09, 2012 , read count: 1

Maybe I missed a large portion of the point of this novel. Maybe I'm not that educated about Spanish culture before, during, and after the revolution. And maybe I only read it because of the influence from Don Quixote. All of that being ignored, this was one of the best novels I've read this year. I've only read Greene's The Destructors, so as an example of Greene's writing style or capabilities, I can hardly give any comment except that I found it easy to read, the characters were well drawn, the story was believable and enjoyable, and the moral was not preached but left to the read to understand or ignore. What that moral was is somewhat ambiguous in my mind, which may be because of those things I mentioned above. Of course, to say that Father Quixote's religion is the same as Don Quixote's knight-errantry is somewhat trite, though true. I have not read many reinterpretations of Cervantes' masterpiece, but most seem to focus on heroes or heroines becoming too much obsessed with literature (Northanger Abbey or Madame Bovary) or simply as an eccentric wanderer (The Pickwick Papers). I could be wrong and would love any corrections, as I'd love to read some more books along this line, but I'm not aware of many books that have used the theme of religion to replace knight-errantry. I'm confused by this, because, unless Greene and I are justt more brilliant than I give us credit, the two have always seemed interchangeably ridiculous. But that's the beauty of it. I don't find Don Quixote ridiculous for believing in the ideals of knight-errantry, nor do I find Father Quixote ridiculous for believing in the tenants of Christianity, despite that the fact that they are. That being said, I respect Sancho Panza for his incredulousness or the ex-Mayor's Communism, despite my disagreement with their views. I find life is more ridiculous in its truth than otherwise though. We have all these cold views of man's behavior, but most persons never seems to follow them. Instead, we act in ways inconceivably ridiculous. Whether that's the point Greene was going for, I couldn't begin to say. That is, however, what I got from the book, and I think it's a worthy moral.

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Quotes Joshua Liked

Graham Greene
“Rocinante was of more value for a true traveller than a jet plane. Jet planes were for business men.”
Graham Greene, Monsignor Quixote

Reading Progress

04/06/2012 page 29
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