In the closing years of this Pontiff’s reign, Morris West tells the story of the next Papal election and of certain characters who may well have a part to play in it. Most important of these is the eminence of the title, Luca, Cardinal Rossini, a man who suffered torture and degradation as a young priest in Argentina, who lived in exile in Rome and was promoted to high office in the Vatican. By his own admission he is a flawed man, but he is still a man of power and a possible candidate for election. There is, however, much more to this novel than Vatican politics. Love and passion, tenderness and intrigue, heady suspense, and high drama all are here.
©1988 Michael R. Phillips and Judith Pella (P)2002 Recorded Books, LLC
I am on my 3rd (or 4th?) listen to this book. It is by no means a topic or an author that I would have expected to become one of my "old favorite" reads. It is well written -- a basic requirement of mine. The reader, Graeme Malcolm, could probably read a phone book and be mesmerizing. The plot is interesting, though not realistic; and in fact is an optimistic look at what COULD have happened (but didn't) at the last papal election. But the main character, his growth, his relationship to the woman he loves, and his ability to place that relationship where it belongs (for both himself and the woman) is both believable and inspiring.
Descriptions of Rome, Vatican City and the intrigue of the Papal government were intriguing and entertaining. And the narrator did a fantastic job. However, I was disappointed that the only interesting entries in the Pope's diaries had to do with Luca Rossini. His story was strange and dramatic, but his suffering at the hands of the Argentine militia and subsequent convalescence in the arms of Isabel Ortega were retold ad nauseam. I was waiting for additional information to be revealed, but instead the same facts were reiterated throughout the book. The proverbial
I don't think my friends would be impressed by this book.
Confident, entertaining and seductive.
I can definitely see this book being made into a movie. In fact, I feel it would have done better as a 90 min screenplay than a 10 hour book. Antonio Banderas or Javier Bardem could play Rossini. Gary Oldman should play Piers. Isabella Rossellini could play Isabel, and Marion Coilltard to play Luisa.
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