This prize-winning novel of a fugitive priest in Mexico is quite simply “Graham Greene’s masterpiece” (John Updike, The New York Review of Books).
In the Mexican state of Tabasco in the 1930s, all vestiges of Catholicism are being outlawed by the government. As churches are razed, icons are banned, and the price of devotion is execution, an unnamed member of the clergy flees. He’s known only as the “whisky priest.” Beset by heretical vices, guilt, and an immoral past, he’s torn between self-destruction and self-preservation. Too modest to be a martyr, too stubborn to follow the law, and too craven to take a bullet, he now travels as one of the hunted—attending, in secret, to the spiritual needs of the faithful. When a peasant begs him to return to Tabasco to hear the confessions of a dying man, the whisky priest knows it’s a trap. But it’s also his duty—and possibly his salvation.
Named by Time magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels written since 1923, The Power and the Glory is “a violent, raw” work on “suffering, strained faith, and ultimate redemption” (The Atlantic).
APPLE BOOKS REVIEW
Graham Greene’s novel about a troubled priest in the Mexican state of Tabasco is a powerful examination of good and evil—and how intertwined they are. Following the real-life socialist revolution that largely outlawed the Catholic church in Mexico in the 1930s, an unnamed “whisky priest” reflects on his own moral failings and those of the government, embodied by the relentless police lieutenant who shadows his trail. It’s heady, philosophical stuff, but Greene balances deep thoughts with thrilling tension. After you’re done with Greene’s novel, read his gripping travelogue The Lawless Roads, about his adventures in Tabasco during this era.
After wasting my time with Bird Box I needed a novel I could sink my teeth into. Both in theme and style Power and Glory delivers. Like all his work, the writing is lyrical and poignant. Each sentence delivers. And like all Greene’s books, the plot revolves around basic human questions of good and evil and the choices his characters make under challenging conditions.
While I no longer share his Catholic Faith, he makes me understand the foundation of these questions and the sincere effort and pain suffered by the Whiskey Priest, the Cowards and the Lieutenant doing his duty. It was a powerful reading experience and one that many of today’s best selling writers could learn from!