Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Conclave” as Want to Read:
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview


3.94  ·  Rating details ·  18,015 ratings  ·  2,156 reviews
The Pope is dead.

Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, one hundred and eighteen cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world’s most secretive election.

They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals.

Over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.
Kindle Edition, 287 pages
Published November 22nd 2016 by Cornerstone Digital (first published September 22nd 2016)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Conclave, please sign up.
Popular Answered Questions
This question contains spoilers… (view spoiler)
Penelope Irving
This answer contains spoilers… (view spoiler)

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
3.94  · 
Rating details
 ·  18,015 ratings  ·  2,156 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Jeffrey Keeten
Nov 26, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, thriller
”Sede vacante, . . . .The throne of the Holy See is vacant.”

 photo Cardinals_zpsdlpqwv84.jpg
The Power of God, the Ambition of Men.

Cardinal Jacopo Lomeli has been contemplating retirement to peaceful meditation and study for several years now, but the Pope insists that he still needs him at the Vatican. Lomeli is maybe a better manager than he is priest. This assessment makes Jacopo uneasy because it feels like a deviation from what he feels his real purpose should be.

Can a manager truly be close to God? How much closer to Go
Diane S ☔
Oct 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
4.5 The second book in as many days that I didn't want to put down. It initially appealed to me because I spent most of my school years in Catholic schools, was pretty young when Vatican two came around. All I really remember is that we no longer had to go to mass every morning at 6:30 am, before school started, that mass was no longer in Latin and that the nuns started wearing shorter habit, shorter veils and in different shades of pastel. Pretty big, though small in the scheme of things I supp ...more
Nov 03, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audiobook
Harris returns with another remarkable novel of historical fiction, turning his narrative to the present as explores a highly pious and political event. THE POPE IS DEAD! This startling piece of news makes its way to the ears of Cardinal Lomeli in the early hours one October morning. Heading to the apartment of the Holy Father, Lomeli is met by a small group, who confirm the news and begin the prescribed acts required when the Vatican is without its Supreme Pontiff. As the news becomes public, L ...more
Nov 23, 2016 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: those that like intelligent thrillers
Shelves: four-stars-books

4 "solid, carefully layered, quietly thrilling" stars !

We have all of Mr. Robert Harris' novels and I have read none of them. When I saw this in the bookstore, however, I just had to have it. I was allowed to buy it on the condition that I start reading it within two weeks of purchase. I live with a tyrant but a sweet and generous one :)

After reading this novel I will be certain to read all his others as Mr. Harris is an excellent and subtle storyteller. He has done meticulous research on the
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: hope, religion
This is a lonely place, and the hour is now late...

Interesting, fascinating, intriguing. 'Unputdownable'(Guardian), yes, that is the right word.
The process of the Vatican Conclave, the thought of the beautiful art there and an intrigue. What goes on behind those closed doors? It kept me reading to get to the twist. The twist... mmmm... far fetched? Well who knows, in today's day & age. I did love the struggle of Cardinal & Dean Lomeli in guiding the delicate process of the Conclave. Gre
4.5 Stars

I was baptized Catholic, my mother raised in the Catholic faith, my father converted so they could be married in St. Mary’s Catholic Church in Alexandria, Virginia. My older brother was also baptized Catholic, not that I recall either of these events, but I do remember when my younger brother was baptized in the Episcopal church, where we went until I was in my early teens. I didn’t know until I was 24, when my godmother mentioned it to me, but I did spend a bit of time inside the Catho
Maria Espadinha
Jul 17, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Ai Vaticano, Ai, Ai!...

Sede Vacante -- a morte do Papa vigente deixou vago o lugar supremo na hierarquia da Igreja Católica.
Até ao Habemus Papa haverá um longo caminho a percorrer.
Será necessário um coordenador para levar a bom termo o melindroso processo e coube ao Cardeal Lomeli a honrosa missão.
A Lomeli, que pouco tempo antes requerera o seu afastamento da Cúria ao Santo Padre, alegando uma recente crise espiritual. Porém, Sua Eminência recusara o seu pedido, pois o Cardeal era um homem ínte
Nov 25, 2016 rated it really liked it
A captivating and intelligent thriller that takes us inside the Vatican for an election of the new pope.

I wasn't entirely sure I wanted to read this novel but something about it's cover drew me to the book and the fact that a couple of my goodread friend's enjoyed it I knew I had to step outside for comfort zone and give it a try and what a enjoyable and interesting read it was. It's one of those books that quietly sucks you in and you just keep turning the pages.

Conclave, as its title title
Cathrine ☯️
Dec 28, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Cathrine ☯️ by: Diane S's review
Holy smoke was this a good one.
The blurb tells you what you need to know. I had never read or heard of this author but most definitely will be checking out his other books.
It was compelling, fascinating, intelligent and ... that ending! Did not see that coming. Most enjoyable. Next!
Jan 23, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Excellent read! It almost felt like historical fiction because there was quite a lot about the traditions of the conclave and also where the outside world is deliberately shut out for the process of electing a new pope, it almost might have been set 400 years ago.
I'm lucky enough to have visited Rome and the Vatican and it really helped me to visualise the setting. I also saw a programme about the Borgias and a dramatised version of the Conclave, so when I saw this book I knew I would have to re
Dec 15, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The author, Robert Harris, was given the privilege of visiting the locations that are permanently closed to the public to help him in his research of this book. The reader is given an in-depth tour and detailed account of traditions and rituals that take place. His writing style makes it so easy to visualize every aspect of the happenings.

What starts out as a usual process for choosing a new pope, soon develops into a plot with numerous complications, unraveling secrets long hidden, and just whe
Paul O'Neill
Jan 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Interesting book, thought provoking with a great ending.

I thought this would be a thriller played against the backdrop of a Conclave. Turns out that it had more depth than I anticipated, with religious theory and the state of the church at the forefront and all the nessecary twists and turns until the church elects its new pope.

It is a little predicable, but nonetheless thoroughly enjoyable.
Susan Johnson
Jan 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

One of the signs of a great book, to me, is that you feel you are actually living the book. I felt like I was in the middle of the Conclave and actually meeting and greeting the other Cardinals, meditating, plotting and participating in history. Yet it was all fiction. Every bit and still felt so real to me.

I have read other books about the Conclave so I had the basics down but Harris made it sing in a way that other books haven't. The grind, the boredom, the endless task of followin
Oct 03, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an intelligent, compelling, unpredictable and absorbing thriller of the best kind.

Whilst the subject matter – Conclave (an assembly of cardinals for the election of a pope) is something I knew very little about (other than the iconic chimneys emitting either black or white smoke!) the general themes concerning political machinations and the struggle for power will be familiar to Robert Harris readers. Clear parallels can be drawn between themes explored in Conclave and those in Harris’
Ova - Excuse My Reading
I loved the tense atmospheric glance to Vatican but I hated the ending of this book. I thought it was a bit hasty, felt like an unfinished work of art.

The writing and the characters were beautiful, I love how different cardinals were portrayed all with their own flaws and the traits of being more human than holy. Wished the end was a bit different (or it was done in a different way!)
4.5 stars

In my twenties I read every Andrew Greeley novel I could lay my hands on; and now listening to Conclave reminded me a lot of Greeley since he wrote so prolifically about Cardinals, Popes, celibacy, politics, etc. Men of God, be they priests, Monsignors, Cardinals, or the Pope himself are, after all, men and by nature, not without sin. In Conclave, as the name implies, 118 Cardinals have gathered to elect a new Pope. One by one, their sins are disclosed and the contender list shrinks. Ca
Jody McGrath
Nov 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Cardinal Lomeli is devasted by the death of the Pope. He never believed or hoped to attend another Conclave, the congregation of cardinal electors to choose the next Pope, as this will be his third. Cardinal Lomeli is the Dean of the College of Cardinals, therefore, he is tasked with the running and management of the Conclave. With 117 (?) Cardinal electors, emotions run high as support is given to individuals and taken away as secrets are discovered. Will politics or the Holy Spirit guide this ...more
May 31, 2017 rated it really liked it
I have to say, I am rather surprised by how much I enjoyed this book.
This is the story of the election of a new pope, but it is also the story of the men who elect the leader of the Church, and I found it to be a compelling read. The book is told in the third person, but told from the point of view of Jacopo Lomeli, who is the most senior member of the conclave and directs the proceedings throughout the election process.
I liked the main character, I enjoyed reading about the procedure taken to
It seems Robert Harris can make pretty much anything into a deeply intriguing political drama with the addictive qualities of a soap. In this case, it's the election of a new pope; the sympathetic Cardinal Lomeli is our protagonist, observing the the power play as potential candidates come to the fore, have their hopes dashed, and/or are scuppered by scandal. Like the author's Cicero novels, Conclave takes a world that seems distant and rarefied to most and aligns it with the sort of rivalry and ...more
TS Chan
Jan 31, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library-book
The power of God. The ambition of men. The allure of an intriguing read.

Ever since I've read about the papal conclave for the first time in Angels and Demons by Dan Brown, I've been fascinated with the Catholic Church's process of electing a new Pope - a tradition observed for hundreds of years. I also had the opportunity to visit Vatican City which gave me a greater appreciation of the power of the Church, which is evident from the awe-inspiring and jaw-droppingly beautiful sovereign state in
Dan Thompson
My first Harris book. *sighs*

Very well written, well researched and interesting to a point, but it fell flat quickly. I guessed the ending about half way through and I can't really see the point of the book. If the ending was the beginning and how the world reacted to it - then possibly, it would have been a more thorough and engaging book.
Roger Brunyate
Jun 19, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: religion
A Balancing Act

Robert Harris has always excelled in writing historical novels in the manner of a thriller. They have succeeded because of his seriousness of purpose, his sensitivity to character, and his eye for detail. Also, I would suggest, because his subjects have mostly been comfortably in the past, In addition to several books set in ancient Rome, he has written about the turn-of-the-century Dreyfus case (An Officer and a Spy), the Bletchley cryptological center in WW2 (Enigma), and an alt
Dec 17, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: crime-conspiracy
Have really enjoyed other works by this author & was great to get my hands on his latest which intrigued me with its concept of more Roman politics albeit from a much later period in history from his Cicero series. And seeing as his Cicero series is one of my all time fav reads.....

As for the review..... I cant really say much at all as it would give a lot away perhaps even inadvertently so. I would even encourage you to avoid any reviews on the book at all! So a few brief thoughts/observat
Oct 08, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2016-read
4 GR* (I loved it.) - my actual rating is 8 out of 10.

Solid 5* book, but the unbelievable end ruined it for me.
Apr 22, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: library, thriller

The thinking man’s thriller writer writes a thriller which surely will have no thrills?! Will it be thriller or not? Everything points at thriller, I mean what could be more thrilling than a group of pensioners deciding on who should next lead them in a state of delusion?

That being said, this was a great read. Things started slowly enough but there are over 140+ people getting together so the usual setting up of the situation and introductions of people means for a bit of info dumping until
The Pfaeffle Journal (Diane)
Many years ago, my brother and I saw a play called Hadrian the Seventh, which was based on a book by the same name. The gist of the story is that two members of the Roman Catholic church visit a pathetic Englishman whom failed at becoming a priest; they make him a priest and take him back to the Vatican where he is elected Pope. Instead of having control over this rather pathetic fellow, he goes on to have his way with the Roman Catholic church. So any time I read a book about the Vatican I alwa ...more
☙ percy ❧
never thought that a book about choosing the next pope would make me as Shooketh as i currently am, but it did and i am.

what a great way to start 2018 fhahdakkadjadsdkf

anyway i'm too Shook to write a proper review but let me just say that if you think a book about choosing the next pope sounds boring you are Extremely Very Wrong
Tense, clever, unusual - extraordinary. On the rare occasions when I put this book down, I couldn't stop thinking about it.

This is only the 3rd book among 784 read to go on the "Field-of-dreams" shelf. Remember the movie, Field of Dreams? When it was over, I was left wondering what happened. I had to have my wife explain it to me. I don't want to be left with an ambiguous ending. I spent the time reading it, make it clear to me what happens next. Yes, I'm a guy with little gray. I prefer black and white.

Anyway, I enjoyed the story's intrigue and the behind the scenes look at the type of things that happen in conclav
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
topics  posts  views  last activity   
Play Book Tag: Conclave / Robert Harris. 3.5 stars 3 16 Jul 27, 2018 05:29PM  
Mitlesezentrale: Konklave - Abs. 6 - Kap. 16-19 5 12 Jul 16, 2018 12:39AM  
Mitlesezentrale: Konklave - Abs. 5 - Kap. 13-15 3 9 Jul 15, 2018 11:00PM  
Mitlesezentrale: Konklave - Abs. 4 - Kap. 9-12 4 10 Jul 15, 2018 01:39PM  
Mitlesezentrale: Konklave - Abs. 3 - Kap. 6-8 4 16 Jul 15, 2018 02:19AM  
Mitlesezentrale: Konklave - Abs. 2 - Kap. 3-5 4 12 Jul 11, 2018 11:31AM  
Mitlesezentrale: Konklave - Abs. 1 - Kap. 1-2 6 15 Jul 04, 2018 06:41AM  

Readers also enjoyed

  • Once There Was Fire: A Novel of Old Hawaii
  • Der Jesus-Deal
  • The Other Side of Silence (Bernie Gunther, #11)
  • The Secrets of Pain (Merrily Watkins, #11)
  • Bad Day in Blackrock
  • The Wanderer (Fire and Ice #5)
  • A Colder War (Thomas Kell, #2)
  • Hacked
  • Fearless
  • A Murderous Affair
  • False Friend (Detective Cooper Devereaux #2)
  • By the Sword (Spoils of Olympus, #1)
  • The Fire Court (Marwood and Lovett, #2)
  • Novena for Murder (Sister Mary Helen, #1)
  • Slow Horses (Slough House, #1)
  • Amenable Women
  • First Man: The Life of Neil Armstrong
  • Heaven's Prey (Redemption's Edge, #1)
See similar books…
ROBERT HARRIS is the author of nine best-selling novels: Fatherland, Enigma, Archangel, Pompeii, Imperium, The Ghost Writer, Conspirata, The Fear Index, and An Officer and a Spy. Several of his books have been adapted to film, most recently The Ghost Writer, directed by Roman Polanski. His work has been translated into thirty-seven languages. He lives in the village of Kintbury, England, with his ...more
No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »
“Any man who is truly worthy must consider himself unworthy.” 5 likes
“No one who ever follows their conscience ever does wrong. The consequences may not turn out as we intended; it may prove that we made a mistake. But that is not the same as being wrong.” 4 likes
More quotes…