The Power and the Glory

This prize-winning novel of a fugitive priest in Mexico is quite simply “Graham Greene’s masterpiece” (John Updike, The New York Review of Books).
 
In the Mexican state of Tabasco in the 1930s, all vestiges of Catholicism are being outlawed by the government. As churches are razed, icons are banned, and the price of devotion is execution, an unnamed member of the clergy flees. He’s known only as the “whisky priest.” Beset by heretical vices, guilt, and an immoral past, he’s torn between self-destruction and self-preservation. Too modest to be a martyr, too stubborn to follow the law, and too craven to take a bullet, he now travels as one of the hunted—attending, in secret, to the spiritual needs of the faithful. When a peasant begs him to return to Tabasco to hear the confessions of a dying man, the whisky priest knows it’s a trap. But it’s also his duty—and possibly his salvation.
 
Named by Time magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels written since 1923, The Power and the Glory is “a violent, raw” work on “suffering, strained faith, and ultimate redemption” (The Atlantic).


The Power and the Glory - Graham Greene Summary

The Power and the Glory (1940) is a novel by British author Graham Greene. The title is an allusion to the doxology often recited at the end of the Lord's Prayer: "For thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, forever and ever, amen." It was initially published in the United States under the title The Labyrinthine Ways. Greene's novel tells the story of a renegade Roman Catholic 'whisky priest' (a term coined by Greene) living in the Mexican state of Tabasco in the 1930s, a time when the Mexican government was attempting to suppress the Catholic Church. That suppression had resulted in the Cristero War (1927-1929), so named for its Catholic combatants' slogan Viva Cristo Rey (long live Christ the King). In 1941, the novel received the Hawthornden Prize British literary award. In 2005, it was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels since 1923...


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