John's Reviews > The Power and the Glory

The Power and the Glory by Graham Greene
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Jan 15, 2009

it was amazing
Read in January, 2008

This is the story the great novelist Graham Greene was born to tell. Himself a man more haunted than blessed by his belief in Christ, Greene’s legacy as one of the twentieth centuries’ premier novelists (not to say simply “Catholic novelists”) would have been secure if "The Power and the Glory" had been his only work. With this novel, Greene brings all his considerable talent, craft, and gift for suspense to bear on a story that penetrates the heart of one tortured man’s mystery. For all its darkness and intensity, it’s a thrilling, page-turning read: the story is structured essentially as an extended chase across the barren landscape of Mexico—mirroring the even vaster desert spaces in the heart of the pursued Priest. Greene evokes the heat and dust and sweat of the country and its inhabitants with cinematic immediacy. The atmosphere is stifling, almost unbearably intense, and Greene’s capacity for storytelling invention never flags.

The Whiskey Priest is an indelibly haunting character—a convincing, fully dimensional flesh-and-blood creation in his own right, yet simultaneously representing the ongoing battle between good and evil, justice and mercy, sin and salvation that rages within each living soul.
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