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277 pages, Paperback
First published January 1, 1956
Very soon I began feeling dizzy and strange, and when I came to I was still on the camel but in a coma, and this was the Turkey sickness, or possibly it was the camel sickness, and one made the other worse...I wished I had kept a few of aunt Dot's bottles and pills in case any of them were good for the Turkey sickness, but the only bottle I had was the green potion I had got from the Greek sorcerer in Trebizond.
Then I thought, the Church is like a great empire on its way out, that holds its subjects by poetic force, its fantastic beauty heightened by insecurity; one sees it at times like a Desiderio fantasy of pinnacles and towers, luminous with unearthly light, rocking on their foundations as if about to crash ruining in decadence and disaster into the dark sea that steals up, already lapping and whispering at the marble quays. Yet, though for ever reeling, the towers do not fall: they seem held in some strong enchantment, some luminous spell, fixed for ever in the imagination, the gleaming, infrangible, so improbable as to be all but impossible, walled kingdom of the infrangible God.At the end, a strange accident occurs which sets the ending off on an altogether different track than the rest of the novel -- one that is surprisingly somber.