Classics Club

Revealed – results of Classics Club Spin #4:

Graham Greene

The roulette wheel for the Classics Club spin-along finished with the ball landing on number 10.Which means I will be reading The Power and the Glory by Grahame  Greene. Phew! I said yesterday that I was hoping to avoid Robinson Crusoe so I’m pleased I avoided that – I will read it at some point but I’m not in the mood for it right now.

The Power and the Glory will actually be a re-read but it’s some thirty years now since I read it and I can’t remember much about it beyond the fact it was about a moral crisis suffered by a priest who is trying to avoid capture by the Mexican authorities. Grahame  Greene was one of the authors on the final year syllabus at university, a time when all our energies were going into revision for finals and had little time for scrutinising texts in much detail.

I’ve always felt since that I didn’t do justice to Mr Greene. Fortunately Simon of Savidge Reads gave me the impetus to put that right with the  ’Greene for Gran’ readalong he organised this summer as a tribute to his book-loving gran. I ended up re-reading The Heart of the Matter, one of his ‘Catholic novels’ which proved a superb experience.

The Power and the Glory is on the Time list of the best 100 novels published in English since 1923, in which it is described as a novel of “intricate moral landscapes, where corrupt characters might still be capable of goodness and virtuous ones indulge their virtues murderously.”

Sounds good doesn’t it?? Some leading figures in the Catholic church didn’t think so – the Cardinal of Westminster summoned Greene to a meeting so that he could read him a letter from the Holy Church condemning the novel and insisting he re-write it. Greene refused.

The rules of the spin-along give me until January 1, 2014 to read this which means I have a wonderful end-of -the-year reading treat in store.

Read more: Best Books of ALL TIME | All-TIME 100 Novels |


What do you need to know about me? 1. I'm from Wales which is one of the countries in the UK and must never be confused with England. 2. My life has always revolved around the written and spoken word. I worked as a journalist for nine years then in international corporate communications 3. My tastes in books are eclectic. I love realism and hate science fiction and science fantasy. 4. I am trying to broaden my reading horizons geographically by reading more books in translation

7 thoughts on “Revealed – results of Classics Club Spin #4:

  • I’ve not read Greene but he’s on my list! Hope you like the book as much on the reread as you did the first time around!

    • I’m not sure why it happened but it feels Greene fell out of the limelight for a while. If you get a chance, do give him a go. Brighton Rock, Heart of the Matter are two good ones to read from his ‘catholic novels’

  • The is one of the few Greene books I haven’t read and quite why I’m not certain as he’s a writer I love. Definitely one to be added to the tbr pile as quickly as possible. In fact I might chose it as one of next year’s book group reads to make sure I get round to it. Have you read ‘A Burnt-Out Case’? It’s not one of his better known novels but I think it’s certainly one of his best.

    • I’ve heard of it but don’t recall reading it and I just had a look in the boxes containing all my old university books (how pathetic is it that I kept them all!) but its not in there . So unlikely I did read it. I shall put it on my TBR list in your honour…


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