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The Power and the Glory | [Graham Greene]

The Power and the Glory

Graham Greene explores corruption and atonement in this penetrating novel set in 1930s Mexico during the era of Communist religious persecutions. As revolutionaries determine to stamp out the evils of the church through violence, the last Roman Catholic priest is on the lam, hunted by a police lieutenant. Despite his own sense of worthlessness—he is a heavy drinker and has fathered an illegitimate child—he is determined to continue to function as a priest until captured.
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Publisher's Summary

Graham Greene explores corruption and atonement in this penetrating novel set in 1930s Mexico during the era of Communist religious persecutions. As revolutionaries determine to stamp out the evils of the church through violence, the last Roman Catholic priest is on the lam, hunted by a police lieutenant. Despite his own sense of worthlessness—he is a heavy drinker and has fathered an illegitimate child—he is determined to continue to function as a priest until captured. He is contrasted with Padre Jose, a priest who has accepted marriage and embodies humiliation.

A Christian parable pitting God and religion against 20th-century materialism, The Power and the Glory is considered by many, including the author himself, to be Greene’s best work.

©1940, 1962, 1968 by Graham Greene (P)1990 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What the Critics Say

“As brilliantly written as it is magnificently conceived.” (Chicago Sun)

What Members Say

Average Customer Rating

3.6 (96 )
5 star
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4.1 (75 )
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3.2 (76 )
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Performance
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  •  
    E. D. Kelly Muncie, IN USA 06-03-13
    E. D. Kelly Muncie, IN USA 06-03-13 Member Since 2006

    Eric Damian Kelly

    HELPFUL VOTES
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    "Wonderful"
    What made the experience of listening to The Power and the Glory the most enjoyable?

    It had been a LONG time since I had read Graham Greene. This book made me glad that I had returned and led me to read or listen to two or three others immediately -- and I will do more.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The power of the characters as woven into the plot.


    Which scene was your favorite?

    Not sure I can pick one.


    Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?

    I was ready to cry as it finished. We were listening in the car and I turned to my wife and said, 'That is not just fiction. It is too powerful." That led me to read some biographical information on Greene which confirmed that in fact the affair was probably based on one in his own life. Normally on a long car trip I finish one book on tape and start the next one. I could not start another one for a good while after finishing this -- I wanted silence.


    Any additional comments?

    I try to be positive in general, but for me to give something 5 stars across the board is VERY unusual. Highly recommended.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    caitilin Bloomington, IN, United States 01-07-13
    caitilin Bloomington, IN, United States 01-07-13
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    "Probably Greene's best book"

    Although not his best known, this is probably Greene's best, and certainly most powerful, book, depicting the holiness of a priest who does know know he is holy, and in fact believes the opposite is true. Well worth listening to!

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Patricia San Diego, CA, United States 12-09-12
    Patricia San Diego, CA, United States 12-09-12 Member Since 2012
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    "A Graham Greene Masterpiece"
    What did you love best about The Power and the Glory?

    This is classic Gramham Green struggling with his love/hate relationship with Catholicism. The "hero" is an alcoholic priest on the run from persecution in Mexico. He is a coward, he has fathered a child and yet he struggles to serve. He is totally believing of a very narrow Catholicism that condemns him. Today even many Catholics would consider his beliefs almost superstitious and yet he is true to them and is indeed heroic in many ways. I don't know if readers who are not familiar with the Catholicism of those times will understand or find it believable yet it is a powerful story.


    What did you like best about this story?

    The beautiful writing, the way Greene pulls you completely into the characters and their struggles. There is so much poverty, superstition, hatred and yet so much hidden strength. And how he faces the weaknesses in people - he has seen it all, including his own.


    What does Bernard Mayes bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?

    He read beautifully. He did not try to over-act the voices. He is the kind of reader I like.


    Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

    The scenes when the priest on the run encounters people who initially disgust or frighten him and how he struggles to see them as they really are.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    Rebecca 10-13-12
    Rebecca 10-13-12 Member Since 2009

    Love to read, and Audible has made the two-hour daily commute enjoyable!

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    "Examination of Evil"

    This is one of Greene's novels that examines evil.

    A "whiskey" priest repeatedly escapes a lieutenant who is part of the regime suppressing Catholicism in Mexico. The priest questions his own worth, and towards the end comes to terms with God as he faces his execution.

    I've seen many movies based on novels by Graham Greene, but this is the first I've read.

    Based on the presidency of Plutarco Elías Calles. Calles' regime was known for its represive anti-Catholic phase.

    Quality of the audio book was horrible. I listened at 1.5x speed, which seemed to help.

    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
  •  
    C. Sand 08-09-12
    C. Sand 08-09-12
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    "Greene's Greatest Novel; Poor Recording"
    Is there anything you would change about this book?

    The narrator's accent is difficult to pick up. The recording itself is very poor.


    If this book were a movie would you go see it?

    The book was made into a movie, The Fugitive, with Henry Fonda playing the priest. Yes, I would go to see it.


    0 of 0 people found this review helpful
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