“The Power and the Glory” has been called Graham Greene’s masterpiece and after having read it I must admit I agree. I am hesitant to compare any novel to Conrad’s “Heart of Darkness” but I would be remiss to say that it did not remind me of what many scholars consider one of the greatest novels ever written.
Set in a remote part of Southern Mexico where the Catholic Church and priests have been outlawed and hunted down by a political/military group called the Red Shirts (Communists), it reveals the undying faith of the peasant classes and the corrupt leaders and fat cats who are suppose to be God’s representatives on earth (the church, priests, bishops, etc.).
The lone priest left in the area, a person all to human with a woeful record of debauchery, is hunted down throughout the book by the Red Shirts and a reward has been placed on his head. It is through the priest’s capacity to allude capture that we learn how the situation in this part of Mexico developed. This book is based on real life events and Mr. Greene’s analysis of the situation (he was a reporter during the upheaval) is both fascinating, enthralling, and heart wrenchingly accurate. As a Catholic, it had me cringing and yet I would strongly recommend this book to all Catholics and all people of different faiths. An amazingly powerful piece of writing.