The Power and the Glory

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The Power and the Glory

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1timspalding
Out 10, 2012, 1:15am

My church's book club (17 people!) recently did a group read of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory. It was fantastic. I wonder if people would be interested in doing one here, or if we could skip that and just talk about something I'm guessing a fair number of us have read?

2John5918
Out 10, 2012, 2:15am

Superb book but so long since I read it that I'd struggle to remember details without rereading. I'll try to get a copy but unlikely in the immediate future.

3Arctic-Stranger
Out 10, 2012, 2:24am

I am game. The End of the Affair and The Heart of the Matter are two of my favorite books. I have not yet read The Power and the Glory but if I can fit it in between readings for my class, I would love to join in.

4timspalding
Out 10, 2012, 9:02am

I'd love to hear what you think of it. Anyone else?

52wonderY
Out 10, 2012, 9:21am

I'm not sure if I can keep up with the big boys, but I am going to stop at the bookstore today to try to find a copy. I've never read Greene.

6LivelyLady
Ago 4, 2013, 8:51pm

I did find a copy recently and read it. Maybe I am missing something, but I don't see why Graham Greene is considered one of the great Catholic authors. Please fill me in. Maybe I need to give one of his other works a chance?

7John5918
Ago 5, 2013, 1:28am

>6 LivelyLady: Well, I think he is generally recognised as a great author. He was a Catholic, and in The Power and the Glory (and some of his other works) he explores a Catholic theme.

8Jesse_wiedinmyer
Ago 5, 2013, 10:34am

I can probably find Greene at the library...

9Nathan_MD
Nov 1, 2013, 8:46pm

I love that book. It's one of my top five favorites of all time. If this thread and the idea aren't dead, I'd be up for it.

10Nathan_MD
Nov 1, 2013, 8:48pm

Aaaand I just realized this was started October a year ago. I hope everyone enjoyed it.

11timspalding
Nov 2, 2013, 12:34am

I did find a copy recently and read it. Maybe I am missing something, but I don't see why Graham Greene is considered one of the great Catholic authors. Please fill me in. Maybe I need to give one of his other works a chance?

I haven't read much else—only The Heart of the Matter, which isn't as good. But I'm interested to know what you disliked about The Power and the Glory. I think it's basically perfect, but, well, I'm sure my perceptions deviate from others'. Did it leave you cold? Did you actively hate some part of it? etc.

Aaaand I just realized this was started October a year ago. I hope everyone enjoyed it.

Sorry, Nathan. Perhaps we should read The End of the Affair next?

12Physio.Melbourne
Nov 2, 2013, 12:58am

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13timspalding
Nov 2, 2013, 1:08am

I'm not entirely sure that's accurate, but in either case it's a non sequitur.

14John5918
Nov 2, 2013, 1:47am

>6 LivelyLady:, 11 I don't see why Graham Greene is considered one of the great Catholic authors

It's many years since I read it, but for me it is because of the way Greene portrays the human struggle from a Catholic perspective. In many ways that whisky priest is a sympathetic figure with whose struggle one can identify.

15.Monkey.
Nov 2, 2013, 8:43am

I read it over a decade ago, so I don't remember details, so I can't really weigh in on the whole Catholic aspect, but I know I thought it was very well written and interesting, and made me put him on my "list" of highly regarded/respected authors.

More recently I read the huge collection of all his short stories, and again I can easily respect his way with writing, though I think most wound up a bit too ...gloomy? (but then that's often the case with short stories, for some reason, and one of the reasons I'm not crazy about short stories in general) for my tastes. I've also read The Quiet American and thought it was very good, some twists I wasn't expecting and the way he ended it was a pleasant surprise. He's definitely among my favorite authors (of which there are admittedly many, but still!).

16timspalding
Nov 2, 2013, 10:39am

Can you recommend any of the stories? I haven't read any, and I'd be tempted.

17Nathan_MD
Nov 2, 2013, 11:25am

>11 timspalding: Sorry, Nathan. Perhaps we should read The End of the Affair next?
I'm up for it.

>6 LivelyLady: I don't see why Graham Greene is considered one of the great Catholic authors

Neither did Greene. He said in an interview once "Only a few of my books have a religious emphasis -- 'Brighton Rock,' 'The Power and the Glory,' 'The End of the Affair' and 'The Heart of the Matter' -- but I don't consider myself a Catholic writer, but a writer who took characters with Catholic ideas as his material."

Also, The Power and the Glory was banned by the Vatican.

18.Monkey.
Nov 2, 2013, 12:02pm

Oh man, I don't really remember the specific ones, but, the collection May We Borrow Your Husband? had a few favorable reviews in the Monthly Author Reads group when we did Greene. this post gives a nice in-depth review of his Collected Short Stories which contains 3 collections of them, she's read it more recently than I read the Complete one, so you might want to poke her about any more specific titles she didn't mention there. :)

19John5918
Nov 2, 2013, 1:18pm

>17 Nathan_MD: banned by the Vatican

I don't suppose they wanted to admit that there are "whisky priests", nor indeed that they often do heroic work despite their dysfunctionality.

20timspalding
Nov 2, 2013, 2:53pm

>17 Nathan_MD:

I'm up for it.

Once The Circle is done, I may propose that for the Catholic or Christianity groups.

Also, The Power and the Glory was banned by the Vatican.

Not true. There was an effort to move against him, but it failed and the Pope (Paul VI) was an admirer. See http://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2001/07/graham-greenes-vatican-dossi... , http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/europe/1005484.stm , etc.

Neither did Greene. He said in an interview once "Only a few of my books have a religious emphasis -- 'Brighton Rock,' 'The Power and the Glory,' 'The End of the Affair' and 'The Heart of the Matter' -- but I don't consider myself a Catholic writer, but a writer who took characters with Catholic ideas as his material."

Few authors want to be pigeonholed. While only a few of his books are focused on it, they are probably his best-known—on LibraryThing they are the second, third, fourth and fifth most-popular of his works—and serious Catholic messages are to be found even in his "entertainments" (e.g., The Tenth Man). More generally, he wrote with the mental and emotional background that Catholicism provides. Greene drifted away from the church, and this showed up in his works, until, late in life, he came back.

Oh man, I don't really remember the specific ones, but, the collection May We Borrow Your Husband? had a few favorable reviews in the Monthly Author Reads group when we did Greene. this post gives a nice in-depth review of his Collected Short Stories which contains 3 collections of them, she's read it more recently than I read the Complete one, so you might want to poke her about any more specific titles she didn't mention there. :)

Thanks. I'll be on the look-out for them.