Power and the Glory, The

by Graham Greene

8/10 (Too short, too many similes, jarring narrative shifts)

This was about as gloomy as I remember his collection of short stories being, but at the same time I noticed a modicum of hope.  In other words, even if Greene’s “whisky priest” was fully conscious of his own sinfulness, he was also recognizing how close he could have come to sainthood (had he put forth the effort).

The characters, motifs, and events are memorable, and I think they would have benefitted from being even further fleshed out.  The writing itself is elegant, even if he uses too many similes for my taste.  My other main complaint is that it took me a while to get into the story because Greene kept switching between the perspectives of several different characters, most of whom ended up being very minor.

Overall though, it is a simple tale with many different layers and bits of complexity.  One of my favorite things about it is the directness and realism of the prose, in addition to the fairly penetrating psychological insight.  It doesn’t feel weighty enough to be one of my favorites, but it was a very satisfying read nonetheless and I recommend it to fans of literary fiction or classic literature.  I would also welcome recommendations for any of Greene’s other novels that people think I might like based on this review.

 

Original Review

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