I read a lot and on most any subject!
This is not the type of book I'd normally read but I thoroughly enjoyed "Father Joe." Anyone that has ever had or needed a spiritual advisor and friend like Father Joe will relate to the stories Mr. Hedra tells.
The detail of his story and the way I could relate to the story.
The power of true loving friendship
For 50 years Tony Hendra thought that an eccentric Benedictine monk on the Isle of Wight was his personal confidant, whom he could run to frequently in hours of need, or rather less frequently during successful coke-snorting days in LA and NY. Only when Father Joe dies does Tony discover that the funny little monk had also been providing guidance to hundreds of other people, including Princess Di and the Archbishop of Canterbury.
That's the coda of the book. The early part is thrilling, somewhat sordid autobiography about a 14-year-old's seduction by a woman in her 20s, and his subsequent retreat at a monastery where he becomes fascinated by the omniscient Father Joe.
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.” CS Lewis
I was looking for an inspirational book about Catholics when I stumbled upon this audible.
Two quick warnings:
1. This book is not really about Father Joe. While Father's influence on the author is inspiring and wonderful, Father remains one-dimensional. I finished this book thinking
Deals with life's big questions without being stuffy. A real person with real events, honest & unblinking. Author's reading of his own story a good one. Definitely worth listening to. If you found Merton's autobiography worthwhile, this is more current and (forgive me) unflinchingly authentic.
I couldn't agree more with an earlier reviewer that said, "I found it a bit tedious. The book is poorly paced and the writing, line-by-line, uninspired; the efforts at humor were effortful."
I'm the kind of person that can listen to nearly anything and find something interesting ... not so with this book. Yes, thee Father Joe sounds interesting, but there is so little actually there about Father Joe. It took real effort to force myself to listen, the whole time thinking that something would happen that would redeem the tediousness.
I had heard Tony on The Moth podcast and loved him - decided that moment to listen to his book. Big mistake! His ~10 minute rendition of the story on the podcast was a hundred times better than the 10 hour book.