Brings to full light and fruition all the weighty themes, characters, conflicts and insights that the move could only that the movie could only brushed against lightly. Though very different from the film, I think the screenplay was authentic as it could be with its limitations.
To the ear, Ondaatje's prose flow more like a Bach three part invention with the interweaving of the characters stories in and out, flowing smoothly against an almost cryptic "timeline". But the experiences of love, hate, war, desire and destiny are eternal/universal so story can be picked up or dropped anywhere, and always resonate with the reader.
In Render Unto Rome, Berry writes about money; but as with his previous books, is not so much a book about ‘what happened’ but why.
What happened reads more like a thriller than investigative journalism.
But Render Unto Rome, like Berry’s other books, the refrain remains the same: money, sex and power; but mostly POWER.
Berry continues to educate the average catholic who may not have been physically raped, but have been financially and spiritually raped by the Vatican.
Exhaustively researched, insightful analysis and personally and spiritually powerful.
However, the real importance of this book is laying open the continuing struggle for power and the struggle for what the Roman Catholic Church will look like for generations to come.
While the focus is mostly on the The Legionaries of Christ, the book charts a trend toward a more cultic Roman Catholicism, a personality driven Roman Catholicism, and a decades long shift of power from the curia and religious orders towards personal and lay apostolates like the Legionaries, Opus Dei, Communion and Liberation, Regnum Christi, and Focolare (there are significant differences between these apostolates, but they are all neo-conservative, and in Pope Francis’ words- are loosely bound by their "ideologization" and "exploitation" of the traditional Latin Mass and all things anti-Vatican II.
But the most important revelation is not the mind boggling amounts of money and the hubris of the hierarchy, but the exploitation of the most vulnerable-those for whom the church is supposed to exist to ‘save’.
Larson makes you feel like you attended the 1893 Chicago World's Fair with its gleaming white buildings which makes the dark story of H. H. Holmes seem all the more sinister.
He makes you feel that you may have been one of his potential victims and could feel his eyes on you as you wandered the exhibits and were mesmerized by all your surroundings, easily letting your guard down, not knowing the mortal danger that walked beside you.
A book to please those who love history, americana, travel, and pscyological thrillers
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