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The Final Retreat: A Novel

3.86  ·  Rating details ·  22 ratings  ·  6 reviews
At the heart of The Final Retreat lies the question of how far the idea of a priest as a ‘wounded healer’ can be stretched. It is written as a diary-cum-memoir by Father Joseph, a middle-aged priest whose faith and life are in tatters, who is sent on an eight-day silent retreat by his kindly, sympathetic bishop. Apart from short daily meetings with a spiritual director, he ...more
Hardcover, 180 pages
Published June 15th 2018 by Sylph Editions
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3.86  · 
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 ·  22 ratings  ·  6 reviews


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Read By RodKelly
Aug 12, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Stephen Hough gives a pretty flawless performance in this novel! It is a brilliant psychological character study of a priest in the depths of a sexual scandal. One amazing sentence after another.
The Literary Chick
Mar 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: literature
Stephen Hough’s eyes and pen are windows to the human soul, its agony, its ecstasy, and its annihilation. A priest, torn by duty and his humanity, does serving God require the very sacrifice of the human soul that He created? Compassion returned by betrayal. Stephen Hough eloquently and fluidly translates the many shades of humanity and inhumanity to the page. An emotionally devastating book. This one will be a classic.
Yves Nadeau
Aug 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
"Lento" is the recommended reading tempo for this book, otherwise you will miss Stephen Hough's "sens de la formule".

Each sentence is nicely crafted, which reflects his approach to music. The story is ordinary in itself, but the storytelling is another matter: Hough keeps the reader interested throughout the book, and the challenge is to keep enjoying each line at a slow pace. And without revealing the ending, let's say that it is something that one could expect.

Highly recommended.
Casey Rafn
Aug 06, 2018 rated it liked it
One wonders how autobiographical it is ...

The rentboy chapters were a little garish even for me, while the more theological chapters seemed to be more soapboxes for Hough to strut his stuff instead of the character. I liked the faster moving plot that happened in the last quarter of the book.

Beautiful binding, font, paper, printing.
John Munro
Nov 30, 2018 rated it did not like it
This grim account of a gray priest alternates between screeds on the Catholic church and explicit sex scenes he has with an unending list of partners. Couldn't finish it. A total waste of time.
Gillian Dooley
Jul 25, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Funny, tragic and devastating view of the Catholic Church from within - erudite, earthy, unsparing and often brutally candid. Technically flawless, powerfully written.
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Stephen Hough is a British-born classical pianist, composer and writer. He became the first classical music performer to be awarded a MacArthur Fellowship in 2001, joining prominent writers and scientists who have made significant contributions in their fields. In 2009 he was named by The Economist and Intelligent Life magazines as one of 20 living polymaths. In 2010 he was named Instrumentalist o ...more