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The Power and the Glory
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. 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 s, a time when the Mexican government was attempting to suppress the Catholic Church. In , the novel received the Hawthornden Prize British literary award. In , it was chosen by TIME magazine as one of the hundred best English-language novels since The main character is an unnamed 'whisky priest', who combines a great power for self-destruction with pitiful cravenness, an almost painful penitence, and a desperate quest for dignity.
The germinating idea behind this class was to form a forum not just to read great books together, but to investigate whether or not they have any practical bearing on our modern lives — if they can help us live more connectedly and well. At first glance — with its overt theme of Catholicism, sacrilege, and sainthoods — it can seem dated. The best novels transcend time and place, granting a universality to the human experience — showing us what it means to be here, now, reminding us of something we knew but have somehow forgotten. Henry Graham Greene was a British novelist, enjoying fame and notoriety for his work and life that spanned nearly a century: — Many of his novels take place in exotic locations, all of which he visited firsthand, from Cuba to Haiti to Vietnam to Africa. During WWII Greene was actually recruited by MI6 and worked as a freelance intelligence officer under the direction of super-spy Kim Philby later revealed to be one of the worst Russian double-agents in British history stationed in Sierra Leone. In order to escape a convoluted court case, Greene accepted a newspaper assignment in Southern Mexico.
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At the beginning of the novel, the priest is waiting for a boat that will take him out of the capital city. He is on the run from the police because religion has been outlawed in his state and he is the last remaining clergyman. While talking to a man named Mr. Tench, he is summoned to a dying woman's house and misses his boat. He hides out in a barn on the estate of a plantation owner, befriending the owner's daughter.
Look Inside. Mar 24, ISBN Named one of the best novels of the twentieth century by Time magazine, it stands today as his masterpiece. Mexico, the late s: A paramilitary group has outlawed the Catholic Church and been executing its clergy. Now the last priest is on the run, fleeing not just an unshakable police lieutenant but also his own wavering morals. Timeless and unforgettable, The Power and the Glory is a stunning portrait of both physical and spiritual survival by a master dramatist of the human soul.