The story begins 30 years after Francis's death, when Father Leo, Francis' closest friend, is dying. Bound to a vow of silence, Leo sends a cryptic message to Conrad, his own favorite student, connecting him with an unlikely companion, 16-year-old Sister Amata. The two begin to search for the truth about St. Francis, a truth that will shake the faith of the masses to the core and bring into question the foundation of the Franciscan Order.
©2005 John Sack; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
Narrative makes the world go round.
I disliked the "movie-script like" Dan Brown novel but I did enjoy this listen. It is a quiet "mystery," quietly told -- more about the setting and times (and underpinned with a love of Franciscan spirituality and legends) rather than a fast paced whodunnit. It's more in the tradition of "The Name of the Rose". There may be some anachronisms of character, but "Franciscan Conspiracy" is a work of historical fiction with religious undertones, and like most novels, not for everyone.
I must admit, the plot was a surprise, a bit suggestive of Dan Brown's DaVinci Code. None of the high speed thrills & chases, but I still think I enjoyed this one more. It is full of some delightful imagery of the times and of the motivations for the religeous communities of the next generation of St. Francis' teachings. I recommend it without hesitation, but don't expect the 20th Century speed and energy. This is a moderately paced but delightfully rewarding story for those who like a bit of mystery and a lot of historical fiction. I think most will enjoy it just as I did, especially if you are familiar with the story of St. Francis and the politics that troubled him unto his death, and, it seems, beyond.
Enjoy it. I did.
The first and worst problem is the narration. If there was any appeal to this story, it was smothered by the dull delivery by the narrator.
The author's attempt at creating suspense failed-- I never really cared whether the characters suffered or got killed, and took no joy in their successes.
Worst of all, the "mystery" that they are bound to discover ends up being totally prosaic and even the characters don't seem to care a whole lot by the time they figure it out.
I think a spirited narration can sometimes save a mediocre book, but this one had no such salvation.
I think that the title alone, "The Franciscan Conspiracy" had me thinking that this would be a book similar to The DaVinci Code in pace and style and intent. It is not that, the book is less adventurous, less intriguing and ultimately less successful. It took A LONG time for me to get engaged with the book, but about half way through then characters and pacing began to mesh. In a sense, the book became more a love story than a novel of intrigue -- and St Francis himself did not really hover as a presence in the way, to make the parallel, that DaVinci himself does in the "Code." As historical fiction I'm no expert on Franciscan times, but I didn't quite...trust the content-- no reason why, just discomfort with motivations, characters. I did end up enjoying the last half of the book- - but come away with an ...it's okay, perhaps I would have been more favorably disposed if I hadn't read the title and the descriptive paragraph and figured I was in for a more gripping adventure.
The book spoiled by a very poor narration; good story and plot, could have been much better with a different narrator or different of narration style perhaps!? AVERAGE
If you like historical fiction, especially with a religious twist, this is an interesting story. If not, might not be the best for you--I happen to really like historical and religious stories so I found this fascinating. The downside was that there are some very strange things in the recording quality--spliced in bits that almost sound like a different reader.
"The most irritating reader I have ever come across"
This may be a fantastic story, it certainly sounded like it from the write-up. Unfortunately, I barely managed to get through twently minutes of it, before abandoning. The reader has the most irritating voice and delivers every sentence with an affected drawl that distracts the listener from what is being read. I have been a devotee of audio books for years and have rarely come across such an infuritating rendition.
"I've given up"
Unlike the previous reviewer I made it past the 20 minute mark. I'm either more stubborn or more of an optimist. Either way, I eventually abandoned this book, which is not like me at all.
Yes, the narration is a bit of a dirge, but the story itself is not really up to the publishers hype which is disappointing as it sounded very good indeed.
"The Franciscan Conspiracy (Unabridged)"
I would like to add that there is no clear definition between scenes.So it may be a different time or even a different group of characters but you wouldn't know until you anr told whose speeking.
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