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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.

Critic Reviews

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

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 3.9 out of 5.0
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Performance

  • 3.4 out of 5.0
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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Overall
  • Performance
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Hard to hear

What didn’t you like about Bernard Mayes’s performance?

I found this performance difficult to hear. I could not enjoy the story while straining to hear the words.<br/><br/>I like listening to audiobooks in the car, which is admittedly a poor acoustical environment. However, I can hear all the other audiobooks i have purchased. If you are listening to in a quiet place it might be fine, but for my purposes it was not functional.

9 of 9 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Lousy recording quality of bad narration

What disappointed you about The Power and the Glory?

It was difficult to listen past the distortion of the recording and the awful voice of the narrator. Sounds like it was recorded in the 50's with a cheap microphone. Turning down all the bass and mid tones and turning up the high eq made it a little more bearable. Need to stop trusting audible and always preview the recording first....

What did you like best about this story?

The book itself is amazing have read it any times

Who would you have cast as narrator instead of Bernard Mayes?

Anyone with a more human sounding voice. Mr. Mayes sounds like a dying frog.

6 of 6 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • connie
  • Sydney, Nova Scotia, Canada
  • 02-06-11

at last!

I've been waiting years for this to come to Audible and wondered if it would succeed as an audiobook - it does.

The product description calls this novel a Christian parable-- and it is, but don???t expect a cute or motivational story, with a Joseph Girzone Christ-figure hero and a happily ever after (although there is an implied hope for faith enduring at the hands of materialism). The ???power and glory??? allusion is meant ironically . The novel describes people trapped in a country who ???were not hard hearted; they were watching the rare spectacle of something worse off than themselves??? in the whiskey priest hiding more rat-like than conventionally heroicly in the countryside. The characters' and their dialogue are more about internal struggle than the political struggle surrounding them. The style is more like Greene s Confidential Agent (individual trapped by impersonal forces of revolution struggling with metaphysical good and evil) than his more overtly political works which name political actions and forces as evil in themselves.

I think the narration very appropriate for the novel --a kind of British narration style (even though few characters are British) It's more read than narrated with many varied voices BUT that style suits the novel well. Green could use 5 colons in a paragraph when describing internal dialogue of alienated characters, so be prepared for a slow start to the listen.

12 of 13 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Catherine
  • Brooklyn, NY United States
  • 07-29-13

Impossible to understand

What disappointed you about The Power and the Glory?

I couldn't get past the first 20 minutes. Impossible to understand the narrator.

Would you ever listen to anything by Graham Greene again?

Love Graham Greene. A real disappointment

Any additional comments?

Getting a refund. I hope.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

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.

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story
  • Julie
  • la vernia, TX, United States
  • 12-31-12

Horrendous narration killed my interest

What could have made this a 4 or 5-star listening experience for you?

A better narrator. I could not get past the first 30 or 40 minutes.

Would you ever listen to anything by Graham Greene again?

Yes.

Would you be willing to try another one of Bernard Mayes’s performances?

NO WAY.

If you could play editor, what scene or scenes would you have cut from The Power and the Glory?

I have to pass on answering this as I didn't finish the book. I'll probably have to read it by the traditional method!

7 of 8 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Mr. Greene would be rolling in his grave

What disappointed you about The Power and the Glory?

The narration is deadly. No energy or dynamics, mid-Atlantic accent is stilted and inappropriate for the content.

What other book might you compare The Power and the Glory to and why?

With a realistic novel dependent on character and dialogue (accented) the narrator needs to be able to bring this to life in a naturalistic style.

How did the narrator detract from the book?

Since Greene was British, the British accent itself would not be inappropriate, but this narrator's style is stiff, cold and monotone.

What reaction did this book spark in you? Anger, sadness, disappointment?

I was very disappointed and dismayed that Audible would offer such an inferior production of a classic set in America. I could not finish it.

Any additional comments?

Wasted a credit.

10 of 12 people found this review helpful

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  • Performance
  • Story
  • Patricia
  • San Diego, CA, United States
  • 12-09-12

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.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
  • Performance
  • Story

Wow! I love this book!

I keep listening to this book over again something always gets to me that I didn't fully get before. The image of the nameless Father being continually pared down to his essence, which is so pure, is compelling and strangely comforting. The narration is striking and quite funny in parts. Mr. Mayes has unusual voice that drew me in right away. I highly recommend this book.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story
  • Charles
  • Harrodsburg, KY, United States
  • 06-11-12

The Power of the Tongue of Fire

Would you consider the audio edition of The Power and the Glory to be better than the print version?

Not better, but different aspects of the story were revealed. More portable.

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Power and the Glory?

The scene in the crowded jail cell.The cruel ambivalence of the jailer.

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

His dialogue inflections are clarifying.

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

I didn't just cry, I was haunted by the story for days.

Any additional comments?

This story resembles what I have often observed occurring in real life. It is sad that there are not many such novels. It tells of a wayward man committed to be better than he is by nature, because he is a priest.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful