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Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Enigma and Fatherland turns to today's Vatican in a ripped-from-the-headlines novel and gives us his most ambitious, pause-resisting thriller yet - where the power of God is nearly equaled by the ambition of men.

The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next 72 hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.

©2016 Robert Harris (P)2016 Random House Audio

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

Overall

  • 4.3 out of 5.0
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Performance

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Story

  • 4.2 out of 5.0
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  • Story

What a twist

Some may find this slow at first, but I was fascinated.

The twist at the end was well done. Highly recommend it.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Excellent book, spoilt by its ending.

Excellent story, excellent narrator. The story had a excellent flow and wonderful balance of real details and literary drama. Unfortunately I felt it had one plot twist too many. I found the ending unbelievable.

4 of 5 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

An unusual mystery

The pope has passed away. A conclave must be convened to appoint a successor and Cardinal Lomeli is responsible for organizing it. Almost immediately things begin to go wrong.

Conclave is the latest thriller from the reliable pen of Robert Harris. It has an unusual premise and I was worried that the static environment and the level of detail might overwhelm the narrative. As it turns out, I need not have been concerned. Harris has done his research, but he does not allow it to overwhelm the narrative, which is pacy and engaging throughout.

Roy McMillan gives a slick, dynamic reading, skilfully navigating a large international cast of characters. The book ends well, and though the final twist is improbable it is bizarrely satisfying. A good, solid story, well told.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Ed
  • 03-29-17

Great story to the very end

Loved the twists and turns that reflects the church that I have come to know.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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A Papal page turner

A wonderful read. Keeps your attention and works the imagination full speed. Excellent plot and very well written book.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Amazing

Excellent. I read a review that someone couldn't put it down and I couldn't imagine how a book on conclave could be unputdownable but I could NOT put it down. The twist at the end was brilliant causing me to write my first review ever

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Another great Robert Harris novel

Well plotted, great word pictures, quick, educational read. Unlike most novels, this author knows how to write good endings. Reader was good, but alas, not John Lee.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Story

Microscopic look at Power


I've not read anything by Harris before so I tried to research him a bit before I joined the fan club. And the author does seem to collect readers. In my brief study, it became clear that this is an author that is impeccably informed on any subject he tackles, far beyond any precursory due diligence. This commitment is a force that shapes his characters into complex personalities that are knowable to the reader. He writes an intensely detailed story, melding the history with the psychology to produce thrilling dramas. Conclave is an insider's look at a "papal conclave," the process and the powers that elect the "Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God" -- the Pope.

That is the story in a nutshell, the Holy Father passes away and the cardinals assemble from around the world to vote on his successor. I've seen the gathering to elect a new Pope, and witnessed the black smoke emerging from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel -- no new pontiff; white smoke and Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis. It is the details contained in this nutshell of a plot that are so hugely fascinating, the personalities of modern day cardinals operating under the ordained guidelines that have undergone almost two millennia of development.

Harris is a remarkable author. Conclave is superbly written, and clearly painstakingly researched. Some of the histories of the deaths and burials, the spiritual guidelines and requirements of these men (and women), were extraordinary.

This is detailed. The minutiae could be a challenge to some readers. No matter how you feel about it, and I'm sure it will be a bombshell to some readers, the ending is an interesting paradox that brings a centuries-old process into the modern age. Highly recommend for readers interested in the subject, especially those that want every little detail.

7 of 11 people found this review helpful

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Excellent Concept Weak Execution

The plot was brilliantly conceived but was too "neat" in the way all the puzzle pieces fell together at the end. A surprise ending is more successful if looking back at the story, it could be anticipated. In this case, the ending came from left field.

Narration was excellent though the dropped volume at times made it difficult to catch all words.

2 of 3 people found this review helpful

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Wow! Better than Don Brown.

If you could sum up Conclave in three words, what would they be?

Intrigue Inspiration Wow

What was one of the most memorable moments of Conclave?

The ending :)

What about Roy McMillan’s performance did you like?

His voice added depth, emotion and character development to the story. Also very wonderful on the ear.

If you could take any character from Conclave out to dinner, who would it be and why?

The Pope

Any additional comments?

What a great read/listen. I was hooked from the very start. I read and listen to a lot and this is one of the best. How wonderful that I have a new author to get to know by serial reading :)

5 of 8 people found this review helpful