It ranks very highly, as it changed my perception of a number of social issues facing mankind. It moved me deeply and hopefully I am a better person for having listened to it.
There is one particularly moving scene where Fr. Boyle is in the mountains of South America (Peru?) giving mass to villagers who rarely see outsiders. One day, he encounters this old man...
He is a dynamic speaker (watch some of his Youtube videos, he gives some of his stories) and knows how to convey a story in a way that makes you think, laugh at times, and cry at others.
There were several that moved me deeply, in particular how he humanizes the victims of gang-related violence. He gives examples.
This book was an emotional roller coaster for me, with some very sad moments and some quite happy ones too. I would advise caution for anyone who is sensitive to violence or vulgarity (there are a couple dark moments, and for a Catholic priest, he does swear quite a lot) but if you can put them in context and wade the waters, you will come out the other side grateful for this work.
So many people told me how they love this book, but I found it somewhat rambling, mixed with long diatribes on abortion, and it takes more than half of the book to even have a clue what is going on. I just didn't buy in to the story. The villains are "bags of bones", as are several important characters:
Ed Deepneau - they allude to his pre-wacko personality, with no details.
Bill McGovern - All conversations seem so superficial with Bill, you wouldn't know they were such good friends.
And so on.
I'm a big fan. Loved "The Stand", "The Shining", "Bag of Bones", "Duma Key", and more.
Narrator was good, however the music ruins the audio track. I could make out the voice, but music is distracting.
If you are new to Stephen King, go for "The Stand" or the Dark Tower series instead. Much more satisfying.
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