“The Power and the Glory” by Graham Greene

I just finished reading this book for a (Evelyn)Waugh/(Graham)Greene seminar I’m taking at UofT (the University of Toronto) and my oh my was I bored out of my mind reading it. The first novel by Graham I read (post below) was “Brighton Rock” and I was in love with that book … crime, evil, and suspense. That’s the kind of read that keeps you wanting more. So of course when I had to read “The Power and the Glory” I had high expectations. Expectations that weren’t met.

The novel follows a priest who’s on the run from the law. He’s in a part of Mexico where religion is illegal, but he refuses to flee because, as he claims, he has too much pride to just leave and be a priest somewhere else. To find the priest, police and tearing down villages and taking hostages in hopes that the priest will come forward and go to jail willingly. Obviously if this happened, there wouldn’t be much of a novel.

The priest eventually does cross the border into safety and resumes his work as a priest; however, he doesn’t find the job fulfilling anymore.

The police are also looking for a gringo, a criminal that speaks English. He is mentioned throughout the novel, but never seen until the end when a mestizo, a young man, tricks the priest into coming back across the border because the gringo has been shot by the police and needs to confess his sins before he dies. The priest does as his duty calls him to do and crosses the border with the mestizo and is captured by the police.

It sounds like an exciting novel, but it’s very slow moving. Maybe if you try reading it with some dramatic music playing in the background it might make for a better read. I’m hoping that the next Greene novel I read is as exciting and well written as “Brighton Rock.”


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