Adam's Reviews > The Monk

The Monk by Matthew Gregory Lewis
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M_50x66
's review
Nov 30, 08

Read in April, 2007

Ranging from vicious action to scathing satire and moments of genuine dread, this admittedly sometimes rambling work paints a vivid image of scandal in the Catholic church, following the exploits of Ambrosio, a seemingly noble and virtuous priest who is seduced and tempted into sin. His gradual downfall (including brief cameos by the devil and a few of his minions) begins with an affair with a young woman disguised as a monk, though his point of no return comes much later on in his taking an unspeakably horrible action near the end.
The numerous tangent plot threads and brief but memorable appearances by characters who have almost or absolutely nothing to do with the main story would be irritating, but this does not seem to detract in the slightest from the reader's desire to turn the page to see what fascinating spectacle Matthew Lewis conjures up next.
Certainly the somewhat unrealistic plot turns and character motivations do not detract from its readability: despite having been written in the late 1700s this novel, quite a source of censorship and controversy in its day, remains a genuinely exciting page-turner.
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