The Power and the Glory The Power and the Glory discussion

The Power and The Glory

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message 1: by Tim (new) - rated it 4 stars

Tim I've been reading a bit of Graham Greene lately—"The End of an Affair," "The Heart of The Matter," "Our Man in Havana," and "The Quiet American." But by far my favorite is the one I'm currently reading—"The Power and The Glory." It's a very simple story and the language is very tight. It's about a man—a Catholic priest—having to deal with who he is versus who he wants to be. The ideals we create for ourselves are sometimes very difficult to live up to. The story takes place in Mexico and I feel he really captures the environment well. A great author like a great painter can capture a lot with just a few strokes. I'm almost done, so I'll say more soon.



message 2: by Dr. (new) - rated it 5 stars

Dr. Jim So ..... Did you finish. Whats the verdict?

message 3: by Margaret1358 (last edited Jul 01, 2012 09:10PM) (new) - rated it 5 stars

Margaret1358 Joyce I like Tim's comments about the the gap between one's ideals and one's actuality. The thing is, the Christian is defined by his faith, not by his flaws,in that his whole life is about striving toward,yes,the ideal.Success or failure is relative to his capacity to sustain that vision. I see Greene's priest as sustaining that vision in a way that tears the veil away from any facile interpretation of what it means to love God. Anyway, I love the book. Beautifully written.

Carol Greer It's such a profoundly Catholic book: in the end, all Father is, all he has, is the Eucharist. It reminded me of St. Francis of Assisi, when during his crisis with his headache, when he was in agony, he lost his smile and his charm, the things that drew followers to him. The only thing that animated him was God. The transformation from a man to a saint.

message 5: by Feliks (last edited Jun 20, 2013 03:17PM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Feliks I recently read this book, as well. Unfortunately--although I think I received everything Graham was trying to communicate--I found little gratification or reward for plodding through to the end. Very rare, were any enjoyable moments present within the length. A few, sure--but far inbetween. I wanted much more terseness in the prose, much more dialog... and much less 'psychological musings' from within the head of the priest. It was unending, interminable! Those private dialogs he carried on with himself.

It was high quality writing; and I generally like Greene..but the technique here felt like a slow, burdensome, slog. Thick going; lugubrious. His descriptive power was not wanting at all; but the subject matter, theme, plot, and character were just so depressing and moribund. It felt like the story never had anywhere to go.

The ending was quite vivid, I will say. A death scene written with a dimension that felt very true; struck a chord. I felt like I was finally getting what I wanted from the book. That one chapter carries superb impact; the way Greene shifts viewpoint and his choice of what to focus on.

Looking forward to reading more of Greene, but if I encounter another title that reads like this one, I will set it down.

Carol Greer I think this is the most ponderous. Have you read Brighton Rock? That one will take your breath away.

Geoffrey I read the book for freshman English and my best friend and I both resolved that the archetype of the priest slipped occasionally into stereotyping. In another book of Greene`s about Mexico, he blatantly commits that "sin".

I have seen a play of Greene`s on stage as well and of all the major 20th century writers, I find Greene the most conventional and hackneyed. I never liked his writing and am very much surprised by his excellent reputation among other writers. He`s tedious and boring for me with language with no zest. I can not but wonder in giving lectures whether he was a monotone speaker-that`s how I envison him.

Glenn Krzeminski Two months ago I read The Heart of the Matter and was blown away. I thought it was one of the most intelligent books I've read. Mr. Greene fills the pages with many pearls of wisdom that are worthy of pause and contemplation. I quickly researched other popular novels by him and settled on The Quiet American. I was underwhelmed. Not to be discouraged I quickly attacked The Power and the Glory and again was underwhelmed. It's not that the book isn't worthy of reading; it's just that I found it less satisfying than THOTM.

I'm wondering if I'm experiencing the same phenomena I experienced with Metallica. Late on the Metallica band wagon, And Justice For All was unlike anything I had ever heard before and I loved it and quickly bought every CD. All of the others are good yet even those with more critical acclaim didn't measure up to AJFA. I guess it's hard for artists who stick to a formula to repeatedly amaze. Now I'm unsure whether to try another or move on. Any thoughts? Maybe one can reach his fill on bleak, imperfect, damaged (i.e. human) protagonists no matter how realistically they are described.

Brad Lyerla Greene is a great author and this might be his best book.

I love the fact that the "whiskey priest" is guilt-ridden and afraid that he is beyond salvation. This story would be entirely different and uninteresting if he was seeking martyrdom. His alcoholism, illegitimate child and concomitant humility make him so much more human, so genuinely Christian. There is not a hint of hypocrisy in him.

If he was an evangelical, like those in the public eye these days, the book would be unbearable.

message 10: by Feliks (last edited May 03, 2014 09:16AM) (new) - rated it 2 stars

Feliks I haven't changed my opinion from what I wrote earlier. This book was not a pleasure. I d'know...maybe I read too much English lit to be impressed by this one. There's certainly many other titles from among the ranks of its numerous peers, which I'd sooner choose. Similar themes, similar insights on mortality..nothing new. I haven't lost my appetite for more of Greene's works--reading his 'The Comedians' shortly after completing this dreary chore (Power/Glory) re-inspired my interest. Looking forward to more from him. But goodness gracious, this one title seemed to have every flaw of his writing style, aggregated in spades.


p.s. dismal, discouraging comparison (above)..comparing heavy-metal 'music' (deliberate quotes) to something real, true, genuine, and honest like Graham Greene? I thought I'd seen it all on Goodreads...

message 11: by Mike (new) - rated it 5 stars

Mike Robbins Brad wrote: "Greene is a great author and this might be his best book.

I love the fact that the "whiskey priest" is guilt-ridden and afraid that he is beyond salvation. This story would be entirely different ..."

Strongly agree, Brad. This is exactly why it is a great book.

message 12: by [deleted user] (new)

Brad wrote: "Greene is a great author and this might be his best book.

I love the fact that the "whiskey priest" is guilt-ridden and afraid that he is beyond salvation. This story would be entirely different ..."

I share that opinion. I've read "The Power and the Glory" twice, and though I adore the "End of the Affair," (and have read it three times over the years) "The Power..." is so extensive in its movement, so vast. I may have to take another go at it soon.

Virginia Moffatt I love Greene and studied "The Power and the Glory" for "A" Level. It's a fabulous book - the juxtaposition of the whiskey priest and the fanatical lieutenant who tracks him down. And the whiskey priest is no saint, but faithful to his calling in his way, whilst the lieutenant, who despises him, and considers himself virtuous as all the failings of the self-righteousness. And the heat, and dirt, and decay of the landscape reflecting the torment of the characters. Haven't read it for years, must give it another go!

Feliks The juxtaposition of those two characters, yes--but that was old hat long before Greene even used the device. It just doesn't save the novel; because it quickly becomes apparent that this is going to be the structure of the novel from the first 1/3 of the book, onward.

The strength of the novel (if there is any) is Greene's ability to describe the sordid and mean details of men's everyday habits. That was sharp-eyed throughout the novel; one cannot help but respect that and be awed by it. But overall it leads to a tremendously depressing experience. I wouldn't wish this book on anyone.

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