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The Power and the Glory (Penguin Classics)by Graham Greene
Synopses & Reviews
In a poor, remote section of southern Mexico, the Red Shirts have taken control. God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest strives to overcome physical and moral cowardice in order to find redemption.
"Mr. Greene's style is a model for economy of phrase. He is a master in the art of suspense. He seems to have the gift of understanding. Whether his character is a gringo dentist gone to seed, a brutal police lieutenant, a little boy reacting against pietist family pressure, a brave, resourceful little girl in a foreign land, or a truly humble 'whiskey priest,' it seems to make little difference. All speak for themselves convincingly; they are not easily forgotten. Graham Greene is a man to watch." Edward S. Skillin, Commonweal
"In The Power and the Glory, as elsewhere, Mr. Greene is extremely successful in creating a squalid and painful world. He has a palette of sour colors, a repertory of of sickening suggestions, a talent for selecting and rubbing in unpleasant details of modern civilization, such as cheap panes of stained glass, inferior dental drills, and insipid correspondence courses, that make good writing and are entirely his own. But the trouble is, it seems to me, that here he has too little to set against them. The canvas is pretty well painted, but the picture is somehow dead....Dispensing with the excitement of the mystery story, Mr. Greene has not wholly succeeded in creating the higher kind of excitement. His priest who is merely a victim, who is merely pursued and executed, does not stir us with the spiritual passion that ought to be conveyed by the life of a saint." Edmund Wilson, New Yorker
"Mr. Greene has told the story of a truly spiritual struggle, in the breast of a miserable sinner, who can yet do brave things, in a fashion that sets this novel of his a little above and apart from his others. Also, he has now proved himself one of the finest craftsmen of story-telling in our time." William R. Benet, Saturday Review
"It is expertly done, and the curious thing is that a purposeful flattening dramatic effect and a trick of rather artificial phrasing both seem to help rather than hinder." Times Literary Supplement
"This is a harrowing tale, but its relentless refusal of any substitute for goodness leaves the reader exultant rather than depressed and marks out its author as an imaginative critic of life." Manchester Guardian, Marriott
"The priest in [The Power and the Glory] also knows that even heroes must submit to scrutiny. He has risked his life to perform his religious functions in an anti-clerical state, but he suspects that he has done it out of pride. 'I thought I was a fine fellow to have stayed when the others had gone.' The priest is Greene's most impressive character, just as [The Power and the Glory] is his most successful novel." South Atlantic Quarterly
"Superbly told. And through the prosaic details runs a thread of mysticism, of something that guns and hate cannot destroy. This book is a splendid achievement, brilliant description, tense narrative — and something else besides." Atlantic Monthly
"A first-rate piece of storytelling." F. Marsh, New York Times
One of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, in a new edition commemorating its 75th anniversary
Seventy-five years ago, Graham Greene published The Power and the Glory, a moralist thriller that traces a line of influence back to Dostoyevsky and forward to Cormac McCarthy. Named one of the 100 best novels of the twentieth century by Time magazine, it stands today as his masterpiece.
Mexico, the late 1930s: A paramilitary group has outlawed the Catholic Church and been executing its clergy. Now the last priest is on the run, fleeing not just an unshakable police lieutenant but also his own wavering morals. As he scraps his way toward salvation, haunted by an affair from his past, the nameless whiskey priest” is pulled between the bottle and the Bible, tempted to renounce his religion yet unable to ignore the higher calling hes chosen. Timeless and unforgettable, The Power and the Glory is a stunning portrait of both physical and spiritual survival by a master dramatist of the human soul.
"Graham Greene's masterpiece" —John Updike)
In a poor, remote section of Southern Mexico, the paramilitary group, the Red Shirts have taken control. God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest is on the run. Too human for heroism, too humble for martyrdom, the nameless little worldly whiskey priest” is nevertheless impelled toward his squalid Calvary as much by his own compassion for humanity as by the efforts of his pursuers.
For more than sixty-five years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,500 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
About the Author
Graham Greene (1904-1991), author of many novels, short stories, travel books, plays, and memoirs, was one of the twentieth century's greatest writers. J
John Updike author of Rabbit, Run and other celebrated works, is a preeminent American novelist, short story writer, essayist, and poet.
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