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Graham Greene – The power and the glory

December 20, 2010 1 comment

I could have mentioned any number of Graham Greene novels. The power and the glory is one of his greats. It’s about a priest in some hot South American country which is in a state of turmoil and political transformation being brought about by some tin-pot military regime, and the Church is being flushed out. The priest is having huge doubts about his Faith and vocation. As the oppressed faithful in the villages through which he flees from the authoritys turn to him for guidance and support, he turns to whisky for support.

Photograph of Penguin paperback edition of The Power and the glory by Graham GreeneIt’s classic Greene. I think he was going through the process of becoming a catholic when he wrote it.

During my charity shop trawling days I amassed a large collection of the penguin edition of his books which feature cover illustrations by Paul Hogarth. They had been in my possession a long time before I read them and they provided a rich seam when I began.

Of course, the title’s taken from the Lord’s Prayer: “For thine is the kingdom, the power and the glory.” At least, the version of The Lord’s Prayer I was taught. The version my children have been taught, and the version I heard last time I was in a church (a long time ago), has had this line removed.

Also, the Prefab Sprout song ‘Don’t Sing’ is a take on the ‘whisky priest’ in The power and the glory.

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Categories: books