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3.85  ·  Rating details ·  8,129 ratings  ·  336 reviews
St Patrick's Day, New York City. Everyone is celebrating but everyone is in for the shock of his life. Born into the heat and hatred of the Northern Ireland conflict, IRA man Brian Flynn has masterminded a brilliant terrorist act - the seizure of Saint Patrick's Cathedral. Among his hostages: the woman Brian Flynn once loved, a former terrorist turned peace activist. Among ...more
Paperback, 640 pages
Published November 2nd 2000 by Little, Brown Book Group (first published February 1st 1981)
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3.85  · 
Rating details
 ·  8,129 ratings  ·  336 reviews

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In the early ‘80s a group of Irish terrorists seize St. Patrick’s Cathedral and take hostages during New York’s St. Patrick’s Day parade. It’s hard to believe that this never got adapted into a movie starring Bruce Willis.

Maybe it’s because this isn’t the story of a single action hero trapped with a group of bad guys. In fact, this is more like The Taking of Pelham One Two Three than Die Hard with its depiction of how political agendas and public relations creep into a hostage situation. It seem
Aug 27, 2019 rated it did not like it
Since I've enjoyed a number of author Demille's stories, I was disappointed to find no connection with this one. Brutality and butchery in the name of religion does nothing for me. 0 of 10 stars
Aug 05, 2019 rated it it was amazing
And to think I almost didn't read this book after reading what it was about. That would have been a BIG mistake! In this book DeMille has fully developed an extremely interesting cast of characters and a great tragic tale of how they intermingle with each other. Some you love, some you hate...
Benjamin Thomas
In the early 1980’s during the annual St Patrick’s Day parade, a group or IRA terrorists take over Saint Patrick's Cathedral in Manhattan and proceed to demand that a list of jailed IRA members be released before several bombs are detonated at dawn the next day. There are four hostages including high ranking clergy as well as the former girlfriend of the terrorist mastermind. It’s a nice set-up for a major action movie of the 1980’s and for me it was a welcome change from the post 9/11 middle ea ...more
Justin Roberts
Dec 21, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The paranormal aspect was completely unnecessary, preventing me from giving it 5 stars.
Jun 21, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: action-adventure
Cathedral was one of DeMille's early books. It was first published in 1981. As I read the book, I continued to note how different the story is, pre-9-11, from more current writings.

I also compared this book to The Marching Season by Daniel Silva, another story about the Troubles in Northern Ireland.

A former member of the Provisional IRA, turned reformer and member of Amnesty International Maureen is in New York to speak upon the occasion of St. Patrick's Day. On the day itself, she is standing i
Bonnie Faust
Aug 16, 2013 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This was my least favorite Nelson DeMille book. It started out well; DeMille was able to romanticize the IRA and their cause to hook the reader before it moved to "present day" NYC. From here, things started to unravel.

First, the names. Way too many characters. And they all have Irish names...Fitzgerald, Finnegan, was near impossible to keep up with them and try to remember which one was the IRA terrorist and which was the NYC investigator. Top that off with a few of the characters al
I wanted to like this book -- because DeMille is my leading guilty pleasure these days.

But I couldn't finish it. The droning, consistently overwrought roll in the hay he has with being Irish and the Irish mentality ... I never want to read about the color green again.

Take your leprechauns, your "Saint Paddy's" day, and your IRA with guns ... and go home.

It was also very difficult to take to bed because the names all wash together in a great potato and beer sea of Irishness.

Jean O'Sullivan, Padd
Rick Boyer
Jul 30, 2013 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars. A great read... but, what else would you expect from Nelson DeMille? I loved it!
Feb 28, 2019 rated it really liked it
Another oldie, but a goodie by one of my top 10 authors!

Cathedral takes place partly in Ireland, for the first few chapters, then for the rest of the story, at the St. Patrick's Cathedral in New York City on St. Patrick's Day. During the St. Patrick's Day Parade, IRA member Brian Flynn has devised a diabolical terrorist act, will the help of his Irish Comrades, Flynn has taken over the Cathedral, taking hostages inside, one of the hostages being the former love of his life, Maureen Malone. Flyn
Jun 25, 2008 rated it it was ok
Not as good as By the Rivers of Babylon (it's one of those compilation books). Actually Cathedral is not very good at all. It's a story that you know how it's going to end, but you think the ride there is going to be full of fun and Irish bullshit and typical DeMille biting wit. And it's just not. Wow, this man gets so much better as he gets older, thank God. I have a whole shelf of DeMilles to attest that.

Nobody writes male/female back-and-forth better than DeMille...later in his career. But I
Jul 13, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I didn't think I was going to like this based on the subject matter, but another excellent book by DeMille. An oldie, but a definite must read!
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It's really the first book I've read that confronted the issues between England and Northern Ireland. I'm sure the issues weren't presented in all their complexities, but it seemed a lot like any other long-standing conflict. One group does something to the other, that may be well within the common practices of the day--Just or unjust as that may be--and then the other group retaliates, and the cycle continues destroying the lives of everyone it touches. No one is wil ...more
Bodosika Bodosika
Oct 03, 2018 rated it liked it
A book about Ireland and a group of IRA who took to hostage taking on a St.Patrick day to negotiate the release of their various relations languishing in various jails in Ireland and Britain.
Though there was no dull moment with this book but however I found some areas not too realistic.
Oct 21, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: completed
DeMille, as always, writes a thrilling story with some careful plotting, twists and turns. In this novel, I.R.A. Terrorists (or Freedom Fighters I guess, depending on your point of view) take control of St. Patrick's Cathedral on St. Patricks day. With military weapons and explosives we pretty much have "Die Hard" in a large church.

However, there is so much political wrangling and double wrangling. Are things really as they seem? Are these particular terrorists really backed by the I.R.A. or are
Aug 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Great book about an IRA terrorist group that takes over St. Patrick's Cathedral on at the end of the St. Patrick's Day Parade.
I had read this book back when I was in high school at the recommendation of my good friend Andrew Cox. Aside from being a great book, it lends itself very well to answering HS English essay questions such as, 'Compare and contrast two characters' or 'If you were stuck on a deserted island with a character from a book you have read, who would it be?' because of the cast o
Scott Breslove
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
As you always get from DeMille, an exciting, suspenseful read. It seemed like he really hasn't found his voice yet, as this was one of his earlier books, and the way that the characters are introduced in the beginning was a bit jumbled, rushed and confusing. But he always is a master at what he does and this book doesn't disappoint. The story kept you guessing at every turn of the page, I couldn't figure out even the slightest of what was to come. Some great characters, I'd love to hear more fro ...more
Joe  Noir
I thought this was the first DeMille book I read, but I later learned that Mayday was co authored by DeMille and Thomas Block, and I read that one a year before this and liked it. Anyway, I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Pleanty of suspense and action. Some scenes have stayed with me all these years, especially the mounted police officer charging up the cathedral steps on his horse as the doors are being closed and barred. I liked the interplay with the negotiators, and, of course, the climax. A ...more
Razvan Banciu
Jul 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
It seems like DeMille (one of my favourites) has not any novel under five, or even six, hundred pages. Some of them are totally worth, some not. In my vision "Cathedral" looks like a sandwich: take away the first one hundred pages, somehow dull and boring, with unnecesary pieces of history, arhitectonics and mystics; take away the last hundred pages (excepting the last ten...) full of blood, violence and too many casualties and you remain with a FINE book about love, sense of duty, loyalty and t ...more
Online Critic
May 14, 2014 rated it did not like it
This story drags and could have been reduced significantly. I never connected to any particular character in part because there were too many point of views and all the males were testosterone-infused, sarcastic, tough guys. The other big issue is the basis of the story and conflict between the Irish, Brits, and States. It just isn't realistic.

Oh and this seems to pervade in several of DeMille's stories. For an army guy to use the term automatic pistol that his cops seems to own. Cops aren't gi
Mar 25, 2009 rated it liked it
This is an older Nelson DeMille book that I had missed reading. It dates from 1981 and I enjoyed reading the names of places that I used to know during that era that are long since gone. Marine Midland Bank Building is now called the HSBC Bank Building. Trader Vic's at the Plaza. Lots of Irish bars. History has dated this book. No longer is the proposed destruction of a NYC landmark novel. Terrorism has changed over the past few decades. For me the book bogged down about 60% - 75% through and co ...more
J. Ewbank
Oct 14, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: a-good-read, novel
DeMille has written a book about the Irish and British problem that many will not want to read because of the story. However, he has written a powerful story about the possibilities of the conflict coming to America and how it is handled with duplicity, double and triple motivations, and some interesting characters. A good book.

J. Robert Ewbank author "John Wesley, Natural Man, and the Isms" "Wesley's Wars" and "To Whom It May Concern"
Jul 21, 2008 rated it liked it
This was a good but not great thriller. As usual, the crux is not whther the terrorists would be caught and hostages freed but how. What I liked was the attempt to show the abductors as human, with their reasons, something this author always attempts. A balanced book but not one of his best.
Eugenia O'Neal
Feb 16, 2012 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my favorite political thrillers. The suspense was edge-of-your seat and the characters believable! I've read a few others by deMille and I think this is the best.
Bob Lambert
Mar 14, 2017 rated it liked it
Interesting story but too detailed.
Sridhar Babu
May 28, 2016 rated it really liked it
Nelson DeMile..
Patrick Burke, Maureen Malone, Brain Flynn ( Finn MacCumail), Megan Fitzgerald, Father Timothy Murphy, Harold Baxter, Cardinal (of St.Patrick not mentioned), Joe Bellini, Inspector Phillip Langley, Major Martin, Captain Bert Schroeder and others..
Belfast,Ulster,(Northern Ireland) and St.Patrick Cathedral (New York city USA)

St. PATRICK's DAY ...NEW YORK CITY.......!!! Everyone is celebrating....watching t
Loree Harrell
Feb 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audible, read-in-2018, own
I'm on the fence somewhere above 3.something and below 4 on this book. While I actually have a preference for long "reads" in audio [20 hrs and 1 min in this case], it is likely that I would have washed out on this one in print. It seemed like the last 20 story minutes leading up to the 6:03 deadline took about three real-time hours, and I started rooting for the bomb a bit.

On the other hand, it served the purpose of prolonged escapism at a point that escapism was needed, and I learned a bit new
Aug 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It Ain't Easy Being Green (Irish)

The action and suspense make you feel like you are in a full-Nelson (De Mille). The story captures your imagination and emotions. The plot is logical without being obvious. The characters are fully fleshed out warts and all. The aromas from this Irish stew tantalize the reader. We are going to Ireland soon and do not plan to pack any Orange outfits. Erin Go Bragh.
Jerry Goodwin
Dec 02, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Plot of this historical novel is based on the Northern Ireland conflict. “Fenian” revolutionaries, with a huge cache of weapons and explosives, take over St Patrick’s Cathedral on St Patrick’s day. I learned that St Patrick’s Day is a huge holiday in NY. The hole thing was instigated by a British secret agent in order to negatively influence American public opinion. Characters were also interesting, but the disaster dragged on a bit for me. Another solid effort by one of my favorite authors.
Annie Myers
Jan 03, 2019 rated it liked it
I might have found this book more relevant if I'd read it in the early 1980s. It could have been a great story, but for me, it fell flat on top many levels..Too many characters and way too much "attention to detail" when it came to strategy and the actual attack. I found myself skimming huge sections (and no doubt missing important details on the process) and thinking oh, just get to the point, would you?
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Nelson Richard DeMille was born in New York City on August 23, 1943 to Huron and Antonia (Panzera) DeMille, then moved with his parents to Long Island. He graduated from Elmont Memorial High School, where he played football and ran track.

DeMille spent three years at Hofstra University, then joined the Army where he attended Officer Candidate School and was commissioned a Lieutenant in the United S
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“When you have excluded the impossible, said Sherlock Holmes, whatever remains, however improbable, must be the truth.” 0 likes
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