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The Power and the Glory

3.99  ·  Rating details ·  23,243 Ratings  ·  1,500 Reviews
During a vicious persecution of the clergy in Mexico, a worldly priest, the “whisky priest,” is on the run. With the police closing in, his routes of escape are being shut off, his chances getting fewer. But compassion and humanity force him along the road to his destiny, reluctant to abandon those who need him.
Paperback, 552 pages
Published November 2nd 1968 by Viking Press (first published 1940)
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Jim Fonseca
Nov 11, 2011 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: british-authors
Graham Greene is known as a “Catholic novelist” even though he objected to that description. I mention that because this book is one of his four novels, which, according to Wiki, source of all wisdom, “are the gold standard of the Catholic novel.” The other three are Brighton Rock, The Heart of the Matter, and The End of the Affair.

Like many other Greene novels, this one is set in a down-and-out environment in a Third World country. (Third World at least at the time Greene visited: Mexico and Af
Jul 13, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Megha by: Ben Harrison
Shelves: reviews, kickass

This little gem turned out to be quite a surprise. It is indeed powerful and it is glorious. Greene's writing seems really simple and is easy to read, and yet is so full of meaning. I am still soaking it all in.

As the lead character, the 'whiskey-priest', moves from one place to another, Greene takes us along on a journey taut with suspense and tension. However, it is really his moral journey which is the most captivating. We not only witness the priest's struggle to escape, we also get to look
Jun 16, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
You can never go wrong with this guy—most definitely he's on my Top Ten list of All-Time favorite novelists. You cannot ask for crisper prose: the dialogue is practically in audio, the descriptions themselves cause impressive bouts with synesthesia. I cannot think of a single writer that is without flaw—the closest to that super-man would be Graham Greene.

That being said, this is my least favorite novel of his thus far; and it is interesting to note that this one is widely hailed as his masterpi
Jason Koivu
Oct 12, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
The Power and the Glory is the sort of title to inspire readers to great deeds, pushing beyond the bounds of normal reading capabilities to turn pages at superhuman speed! But alas no. And why not? Afterall, the premise is promising...

A cynical, whiskey priest sneaks about the poor, rural lands of southern Mexico, evading capture for the treasonous action of being a priest. The question is whether he's on the lam to preach the word of god or to save his own neck.

I haven't read much Graham Greene
May 30, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Power and the Glory, Graham Greene’s 1940 novel about the Mexican state of Tabasco’s virulent anti-church campaign in the 1930s is a powerful statement about courage, duty and the persistence of faith.

Greene describes the flight of the “whiskey priest” a never named survivor in the state’s operation to rid all vestiges of Catholic faith, even to the point of arresting priests, finding them guilty of treason and executing them against a wall with firing squads. Some priests were given the opp
Nov 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: english-novels
This is the first Greene I have read in years and it is a powerful novel. It is set in Mexico and Greene has spent some time there in research. The novel is about a priest; a whisky priest in a province of Mexico where the Catholic Church is banned and priests are shot. The unnamed protagonist is a bad priest and a drunkard who has also fathered a child. He is also a coward.
The title is taken from the end of The Lord's Prayer and there is religious imagery all over the place. The priest rides a
Paul Bryant
May 29, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
Here we have a novel which takes faith at face value which for an atheist reader is a bit of a thwack round the fizzog with a wet towel. This novel is all about the confession and all about the Mass. (And a little bit about the baptism too.) And the reality behind these rituals is that if they aren’t done properly (by a priest) YOU yes YOU could end up going to HELL because you might then die in a state of mortal sin, i.e. outside the reach of the grace of God, these are the rules, don’t look at ...more
I'm not a Christian. I most probably am an agnostic who's constantly flirting with atheism. What I feel about the Church as a constitution and the practices of the priests and their followers is contempt, to say the least. You read this, now look at my rating. OK? Read it again. Look at my rating. Get it?

This is a book that's called The Power And The Glory and it's about a priest trying to stay alive in a country where all priests are executed and faith is prohibited. The reason it appealed to
One thing I know after reading this, All the Pretty Horses and Joe Lansdale’s Captains Outrageous, I ain’t going to Mexico any time soon.

Graham Greene’s classic account of a priest living on the run in a Mexican state after socialists have taken political control and are trying to abolish the Catholic Church is a grim tale of human nature at it’s best and worst. The unnamed priest is a drunk who isn’t particularly brave and has committed sins big enough to register fairly high on he Catholic G
K.D. Absolutely
Nov 13, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to K.D. by: 501 and 1001 Must Read Books
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Jun 20, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Jen by: Montambo
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Mar 20, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A truly great book and (forgive the use of what is probably a very well –worn cliché) a novel that is without a doubt powerful and glorious on many levels.

Set in Mexico in the 1930’s against the backdrop of an attempted suppression of the Catholic Church by the authorities. Ostensibly this is the story of the fugitive, renegade ‘Whiskey Priest’ (a great creation and a believably authentic character) and his quest to escape the anti-Catholic authorities. This is a novel that confronts head-on th
Dec 22, 2007 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The “whisky priest” is on the run from the law from the law in Mexico. Set in period in Mexico’s history where priests where being shot and the Catholic Church was illegal, this book plays like the New Testament mixed with an existential western. Grim and suspenseful, stocked with cinematic imagery in a gothic and decaying Mexico, this book is masterpiece from the first page on. While my personal beliefs are nearer to the nihilistic lieutenant (kind of a Miltonic devil type character) chasing th ...more
My first Graham Greene novel was The End of the Affair and it rocked my world, and affected me in some profound ways. It was the perfect novel for me at the time, and I am forever indebted to Mr. Greene for giving me that enlightening experience.

Going into this, I knew better than to expect the same magnitude of visceral reaction that I had with The End of the Affair, but nonetheless, because the connection I had with the aforementioned was so strong, I couldn't help but have decently high expec
Oct 04, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

--The Power and the Glory
Chiara Pagliochini
I migliori romanzi sono quelli che mi lasciano come sono adesso: perplessa, moralmente scossa, vagamente isterica. Sono i migliori non tanto per il piacere che suscita la loro lettura o l’affetto che si prova per un personaggio o magari una scrittura fascinosa. Sono i migliori perché agiscono come un pungolo sulla mia coscienza, perché svitano e riavvitano i miei circuiti come un cavatappi. Controversi, grotteschi, disturbanti, si insinuano a un livello che è al di sotto della coscienza psicolog ...more
Dave Russell
Jun 20, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
That was another mystery: it sometimes seemed to him that venial sins—impatience, an unimportant lie, pride, a neglected opportunity—cut off from grace more completely than the worst sins of all. Then, in his innocence, he had felt no love for anyone: now in his corruption he had learnt...

There is a key scene which takes place in a prison after The Priest is arrested for the less serious crime of possessing brandy and not the more serious crime of treason, for which he is also deemed guilty by
May 06, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Graham Greene's whisky priest is one of our better martyrs. Self-loathing, self-pitying, starving, he shambles helplessly through this parable of a book.

It gets off to a fragmented start; for the first third or so, you might not be sure who the protagonist is. Stick with it; it will gain focus, and everyone is there for a reason. Greene's structure is in fact precise. The fat, hopeless Padre Jose, miserably married, is there to show us what the whisky priest is doing right. The vicious but surpr
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2012
[9/10] a great book, I could easily have given it 5 stars, but I'm trying to curb my enthusiasm a little, seeing how high my overall rating is. What can I do? I love books and I'm not that difficult to please. Although pleasing is not the first thing that comes to mind about The Power and The Glory.

Disturbing, heart wrenching, gloomy, suicidally downbeat for most of the journey - yet I feel this is a story that needed to be told, one that couldn't be sugar coated with witty remarks or beautiful
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
This is the first novel in which its partial extract to read in an English literature course eventually introduced me to know Graham Greene and I had to learn to enjoy reading him more from his other works. It's a pity I can't recall the exact pages due to such a long time, 43 years ago. A bit embittered, I did my best to keep reading, struggling with this formidable hardship and learned to gain more light on those new words, idioms, phrases, etc. used in the novel. It was a kind of tough advent ...more
Steven  Godin
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: classic, fiction, british
After being received into the Roman Catholic Church Graham Greene would some years later travel to Mexico in 1938 to report and witness first hand the persecution of the clergy, this would clearly go on to have a major impact in writing 'The Power and the Glory', which sees an unnamed Priest (known to locals as the 'whisky Priest') go on the run from the authorities during a time of religious hostilities where many Priests were tried for treason and shot, with only his mule and little in the way ...more
"The wall of the burial-ground had fallen in: one or two crosses had been smashed by enthusiasts: an angel had lost one of its stone wings, and what gravestones were left undamaged leant at an acute angle in the long marshy grass. One image of the Mother of God had lost ears and arms and stood like a pagan Venus over the grave of some rich forgotten timber merchant. It was odd – this fury to deface, because, of course, you could never deface enough. If God had been like a toad, you could have ri ...more
Dec 13, 2013 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a powerful little book. It shows the best and worst of dogma, as well as the cowardice and bravery of being human and living up to a standard, whatever that standard may be.
The unnamed Whisky Priest is everything good and bad the human race. He's flawed, full of guilt & sin and still he struggles to do right and find his way. He holds mass and confessions, absolving others of guilt and sin.....but there's no one to absolve his guilt & sin. He will suffer always. Yet, he faces hi

A little too heavy-handed on the Catholicism-as-last-beacon-of-light-in-dark-world bit (Hitchens referred to it as "clammy handed") but it's got all the things that make Greene a fine, fine writer as well...

His cinematic vividness, his supreme control of pacing, drama and characterization, his feel for place and space...I've really got to read more of his work.

It really is a pleasure to read him. His sentences go down like good scotch.
Jun 20, 2009 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: cultured
3.68 stars. 3.85 stars

So, my first jaunt into book club territory. What do I bust in with? The Power and the Glory. What an idiot I am.

I have to say that this is probably not a book that I would have picked if left to my own devices. My first introduction into Greene was The End of the Affair and that’s only because I’m a sucker for a good ‘woe is me’ story. Bitterness and anger to unknown deities? Rock on! But, put into this context - in this setting - I have to admit that I felt a bit lost.
Já li algumas obras de Graham Greene e, do que me lembro, gostei.
O Poder e a Glória é considerado a sua obra-prima e está incluído em algumas listas de leituras "obrigatórias". Por várias vezes o tentei ler e desisti às primeiras páginas. Desta vez li metade. Gostava muito de ler tudo mas não consigo.
Não digo que é mau, nem que é bom, apenas que me aborrece muito. Gostos...
Resulta demasiado fácil morir por lo bueno o hermoso, por el hogar o los hijos o la civilización: fue necesario un Dios que muriese por los hombres mezquinos y corrompidos.

Este libro figura entre los 100 mejores libros desde los años 20's al presente según la revista Time. A mi me dejó marcando ocupado (de ahi la falta de estrellas, pues aun lo estoy pensando)

La historia situada en México de los años 20's cuando el gobernador de Tabasco (Partido Socialista Radical), entre otras medidas, prohib
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 06, 2009 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The Mexican Constitution of 1917, that should ring some bells about other events in 1917, was an extreme document aimed in part to rid Mexico of the Roman Catholic Church.
Mexican Constitution of 1917 contained further anti-clerical provisions. Article 3 called for secular education in the schools and prohibited the Church from engaging in primary education; Article 5 outlawed monastic orders; Article 24 forbade public worship outside the confines of churches; and Article 27 placed restrictions
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Henry Graham Greene, OM, CH was an English novelist, short story writer, playwright, screenplay writer, travel writer and critic whose works explore the ambivalent moral and political issues of the modern world. Greene combined serious literary acclaim with wide popularity.

Although Greene objected strongly to being described as a “Catholic novelist” rather than as a “novelist who happened to be Ca
More about Graham Greene...

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“Hate is a lack of imagination.” 353 likes
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