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Monsignor Quixote

3.9  ·  Rating details ·  2,664 Ratings  ·  220 Reviews
A morally complex and mature work from a modern master

In this later novel by Graham Greene—featuring a new introduction—the author continues to explore moral and theological dilemmas through psychologically astute character studies and exciting drama on an international stage. The title character of Monsignor Quixote is a village priest, elevated to the rank of monsignor t
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Mass Market Paperback, 221 pages
Published August 1st 1983 by Washington Square Press (first published 1982)
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umberto
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
I didn't really enjoy reading this novel compared to his famous "The Power and the Glory" for some reasons so my rating is around 2.75, not 3. The first reason is that this one is rather obscure to me, I have never known that it exists, thus my reading motive is a bit shaky. The second one is concerned with my knowledge of Latin focusing on some functional ones related to my field of study, that is, I have known only those Latin phrases or abbreviations used in academic circles, for example: via ...more
Dhanaraj Rajan
Feb 09, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: literature
First Impression: An interesting novel.

The Reason:

It is about belief and doubt. "Doubt and belief are two halves of the same hinge, neither is defined without the other." - Miguel de Unamuno. This quote was apparently in the first draft of Greene's Monsignor Quixote. Later when he revised it, he removed it. I doubt that it would make the theme of the book blatantly very explicit.

There are two important characters in the novel: Monsignor Quixote, a Catholic priest recently elevated to the rank of
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Shane
Jan 14, 2012 rated it really liked it
Greene’s picaresque novel, a take on Cervantes’ Don Quixote, is a delightful read (and mercifully, much shorter).

The newly minted Monsignor Quixote of La Mancha sets off on a trip across Spain with Communist ex-Mayor Sancho, and strangely encounter similar perils and pitfalls as their celebrated fictional namesakes of four centuries ago. The Bishop is ostensibly on a shopping trip to buy his new vestments and the ex-mayor is looking to get away and bury his hurt from losing the last town council
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BrokenTune
One of the insights I have gained from reading Greene is that we do not see eye to eye when it comes to being fascinated by religion. It is a topic that holds little interest for me. Unfortunately, Monsignor Quixote is very much focused on the "religious".

I'm describing the topic the "religious" because at the heart of the book is a dialogue between Monsignor Quixote, a Spanish priest, and Sancho, who used to be the major of the Monsignor's home town. Sancho is a communist whose faith in Marx,
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Helen
May 29, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lovely dialectic between belief and faith, politics and religion, plain old human feeling. As I read it, it occurred to me that the two main characters, Father Quixote and the Communist mayor, Sancho, must have represented two sides of GG's personality. Sweet and charming, two words I never thought I'd attribute to any work by Mr. Greene, a late work full of love, humor and forgiveness.
A. Dawes
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Although one of Greene's later novels, Monsignor Quixote is his most dated work.

In the story, Monsignor Quixote is promoted from village priest to Monsignor via an error and his accompanying travelling comedian is Sancho, a Communist former-mayor. Although a clever homage to Cervantes' work, this novel relies heavily on exploring Catholicism and theology.

Unfortunately, the themes are tired and dated for modern day readers. And for many non-Christian or even non-Catholic readers, may even borde
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Bettie☯
rosado> walkies> Read by Cyril Cussack



The descendents of Quijano and Sancho go travelling. Wonderful soft adventure, gallons of wine, and the talk is of purple nylon socks, Marxism, Roman Catholicism and onanism. Many -isms, yes, but gentle philosophical fun.

Loved it but you wouldn't necessarily think it was from Greene's nib. Highly recommended if you are looking for a modern-day tilter.

Cross-posted to anobii and librarything.
Chris Hamburger
Aug 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Crisp dialogue, a story not muddied with useless and monotonous description. It was hilarious; a priest in a brothel, a porn theater all unbeknownst to him until its too late, traveling with a communist mayor, the exchange of religion and faith and politics and human error, is both funny and thought provoking. My first Greene novel, and will be reading the Quiet American next and if its as engrossingly funny as this he will surely jump to the top of my favorite author list.

In a deeper review of
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Ryan
Apr 05, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Father Quixote was peacefully tending to his parishioners at El Toboso when he received a letter from his bishop. The Holy See was promoting him into a monsignor, and all because he was endorsed by a bishop (a different one) who was once aided by Father Quixote in a time of need. This was a surprise, all the more for his superior who considered the priest's ways to be bent and misguided. He and the bishop did not always see eye to eye, but the Holy See had the final say and that's that.

With his
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Laura
From BBC Radio 4 - 15 Minute Drama:
Dramatised by Stephen Wyatt

Graham Greene's comic 'entertainment', set in rural Spain a few years after the death of Franco.
Father Quixote makes a friend of an Italian bishop, with unexpected consequences.

2/10: Father Quixote receives some unwelcome - and very surprising - news from his bishop.

3/10: Newly appointed a Monsignor, Father Quixote and his friend Sancho set off on their quest for purple socks.

4/10: Father Quixote and his friend Sancho arrive in Madri
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Jonfaith
May 18, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This proved a lively tandem read with the Mrs. A priest is taking a sightseeing drive through Spain and winds up in the company of a communist politician. Atrocity studies are compared, as if Torquemada and Stalin can be discussed over a quaint lunch. What, they can? My mistake. This is My Dinner With Andre on a more political bend. Given its fluidity, I'd recommend it to just about anyone, despite it being second-tier Greene.
Meaghen
'Monsignor Quixote' is simple, loving, matter-of-fact, a meditation on doubt and faith, a critique of post-Franquist Spain, a critique of hierarchy, and funny in the most joyful of ways. It's a reimagining of Cervantes' Don Quixote where the books of chivalry are replaced by lives of the saints, where Sancho Panza is a Communist ex-Mayor and the windmills are the forces of the Guardia Civil. Faith - whether in scripture or the writings of Marx - is not an easy thing. And yet.

I thought this was a
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Antonis
Jan 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: in-possession
Καιρό είχα να διαβάσω ένα τόσο ελαφρύ βαθύ βιβλίο. Πανέμορφο και συγκινητικό.
Mikaela
Jun 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
A Catholic priest and a Communist walk into a car...
C.S. Boag
Jun 12, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classics
This beautiful little book is a picaresque novel depicting the travels of fools and rogues all the while shimmering like a well cut diamond.
More than any other writer I know, Greene subjugates style for story, and himself to what he wants to say. Cast on a spinnet of Cervantes Don Quixote, with the Bible and various communist tracts as bedfellows, this beautiful innocent wanders Spain with his Sancho Panza, in his little car, the seat 600.
But it is not Spain that these two traverse but the whol
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astried
Dec 27, 2011 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2011
Leave it to Graham Greene to write about something I don't particularly care in a place beyond my eyesight and still made me hooked. Perhaps this is because no matter what the setting or who the character is, there's always the underlying love stretching through the whole story. Not necessarily romantic one nor is it always shown clearly, it's just there even under the most depressingly hopeless conditions. I suppose this is what makes me hooked with his stories, his love for humankind.

Another t
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Kath Middleton
Nov 27, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this book for my local book group and it wasn't one I'd have chosen. Father Quixote, descendant of Don Quixote of Cervantes's tales, impresses a visiting bishop and is elevated to be a Monsignor. He requests a holiday, from his own bishop, and takes to the road with his friend, the recently deposed Mayor of the town.

Although I found the character of Quixote naively funny, the whole road-trip concept seemed to be merely a hook on which to hang a philosophical discussion about Christianity
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Pascale
Feb 05, 2015 rated it did not like it
A very weak book by Greene's standards. There is no plot, and little by way of character study. The comparison between the protagonists, a humble priest and a Communist mayor, and the heroes of "Don Quixote" feels belabored. The central themes are doubt and its opposite, absolute belief. Living with doubt is unbearable, but absolute belief is elusive, yet, once attained, stifling. Such meagre insights hardly make this clumsy parable worth reading.
Peter Allard
Jul 06, 2016 rated it liked it
I read this book after hearing it reviewed on Radio 4. The more you know about Spain, Don Quixote, Catholicism and Marxism, the more you'll get out of it. An amusing and easy read - but why it was reviewed thirty five years after publication, I don't know. If you've never read Graham Greene, try Brighton Rock.
Steve
Jul 07, 2017 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
A blend of comedy and human emotion. Although Greene touches the comedic meta narrative of Don Quixote, it doesn't quite ring true.
However, in terms of understanding human doubt in devotion to institutions, Greene excels.
I was not satisfied by the book, but you can occasionally see his brilliance in small conversations.
Stephen Gallup
Jan 13, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is a deceptively simple novel about a humble priest (somehow considered the descendant of the fictional Don Quixote!) who like that ancestor sets out on an improbable journey across Spain, accompanied by a sidekick. Although recently elevated by a quirk of fate to the rank of Monsignor, the priest is actively disliked by his bishop and essentially has no standing in the Church whatsoever. His companion is a devout communist, recently voted out of office as the town's mayor. Despite their di ...more
Ron
Aug 01, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Most of the Graham Greene I have read over the years has been serious stuff. Monsignor Quixote by contrast is a sometimes delightful, sometimes serious little story that very gently pokes at things. Serious, but told in a somewhat comic way. Our modern Man of La Mancha sets off with Sancho in Spain, circa 1980. He doesn't dream the impossible dream. He's not sure where he's going. Various places flit through his mind. Father Quixote, newly appointed a Monsignor, sets off perhaps to find himself, ...more
Josh
Dec 09, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: novels
You could call it many things-- a buddy adventure, a philosophical novel, a comedy, a Cervantes pastiche-- and you'd be right on all counts. It's also a distillation of Greene's two great obsessions: Broken and unworthy men of God, and the struggle to believe in something (whether God or Communism) in a fractured, post-war world. That's an awful lot to pack into 221 pages-- and the book can be a little talky at times-- but it is never anything less than compelling: The humor is genuinely funny, ...more
Ali
Apr 08, 2007 rated it it was ok
Shelves: novels
گراهام گرین یکی از نویسندگانی ست که در زبان فارسی از لحاظ شرایط و مترجم گرفتار بدشانسی شده و آن گونه که شایسته اش بوده، به خواننده ی فارسی زبان معرفی نشده. به عنوان مثال دو اثرش "مرد دهم" و "وزارت ترس" با نثر سنگین مترجم صاحب نامی چون پرویز داریوش به فارسی برگردانده شده که از زبان گراهام گرین فاصله ی بسیار دارد.
برای شناخت شخصیت و آثار گراهام گرین، "مردی دیگر" اثر "ماری فرانسواز آلن"، توصیفی ست چند بعدی و گویا؛ مصاحبه ای روان شناختی در شناساندن نویسنده ای پیچیده و افسونگر. گویا این کتاب را خانم
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Louisa
Nov 28, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: recent-reads
"Fact and fiction again, one can't distinguish with any certainty". I feel like I missed a lot of things in this novel, not having read Cervantes' original Don Quixote, but even without that, this was an enjoyable read.
"'Because once when I was young I partly believed in a God, and a little of that superstition still remains. I'm rather afraid of mystery, and I am too old to change my spots. I prefer Marx to mystery, father.'
'You were a good friend and you are a good man. You don't want my bles
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Gill
Mar 16, 2016 rated it liked it
I had some interest in this book, because I've read Don Quixote, and also I'm interested in reading about Spain.

It seemed to me to be a vehicle for Graham Greene to discuss Communism and Catholicism, their theory and practice. I've already read plenty relating to Communism, and I think I would have found the bits relating to Catholicism more interesting as nonfiction.

I didn't think it was anywhere near as good as the other books I've read by him.
Charlaralotte
Nov 09, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Mick, my brother, people who have a sense of humour & are interested in witty religious debates
Shelves: read-in-2008
Couldn't get enough of this book. Charming retelling of Cervantes masterpiece, now updated to follow a parish priest and a Communist mayor. Their travels through Spain are delightful. Filled with wonderful dialogue about the nature of belief, the problem with having an open mind, and how to escape doubt. Wry take on the Catholic Church and Communism. The kind of book I could read over and over to relish the characters and insights.
Gerald Sinstadt
An ingenious updating of the celebrated Cervantes tale. Greene's Quizote is a humble parish priest unexpectedly elevated to Monsignor status. The communist former mayor becomes his Sancho Panza, and together they set off on a journey that throws up encounters that mirror those of their literary predecessors.

Graham Greene's touch as astory teller doe sot desert him as he balances - with meticulous fairness - a debate about communism and Christianity as seen by the Roman Catholic church.
Anna
Jul 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
A wink of a novel. Greene masterfully references Cervantes episodic classic to explore mankind's faith in all things. Set in post-Franco Spain, Don Quixote's books of chivalry become Father Quixote's religious texts. WIth a communist Sancho at his side, truth and fiction collide in this delightful novel. Best served with wine.
Elliot
Aug 04, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I like Graham Greene, and his style of writing in general. The fact that this book was set in Spain and had deeply Spanish characters and references made me like it more than I might have otherwise. A very quick read, and it brought me back to wonderful memories of beautiful places in Spain.

This is the 200th book that I've finished and put into goodreads since I started in 2007!
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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
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“Perhaps we are all fictions, father, in the mind of God.” 6 likes
“No wine can be regarded as unimportant, my friend, since the marriage at Cana.” 5 likes
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