The Power and the Glory
The last priest left in Mexico after a violent military takeover is...not your top pick. The unnamed "whisky priest" stumbles throught the jungle and bombed out villages, slipping away from the soldiers and his own conscience. Harrowing, fatalistic, illusion-less, this classic pre-figures Cormac McCarthy and Martin Scorsese and somehow remains life-affirming.
One of the greatest novels of the twentieth century, in a new edition commemorating its 75th anniversary
Seventy-five years ago, Graham Greene published The Power and the Glory, a moralist thriller that traces a line of influence back to Dostoyevsky and forward to Cormac McCarthy. Named one of the 100 best novels of the twentieth century by Time magazine, it stands today as his masterpiece.
Mexico, the late 1930s: A paramilitary group has outlawed the Catholic Church and is executing its clergy. Now the last priest is on the run, fleeing not just an unshakable police lieutenant but also his own wavering morals. As he scraps his way toward salvation, haunted by an affair from his past, the nameless “whiskey priest” is pulled between the bottle and the Bible, tempted to renounce his religion yet unable to ignore the higher calling he’s chosen. Timeless and unforgettable, The Power and the Glory is a stunning portrait of both physical and spiritual survival by a master dramatist of the human soul.
For more than seventy years, Penguin has been the leading publisher of classic literature in the English-speaking world. With more than 1,700 titles, Penguin Classics represents a global bookshelf of the best works throughout history and across genres and disciplines. Readers trust the series to provide authoritative texts enhanced by introductions and notes by distinguished scholars and contemporary authors, as well as up-to-date translations by award-winning translators.
Praise for The Power and the Glory
Named one of the 100 best novels of the 20th century by Time magazine
“Greene’s masterpiece . . . The energy and grandeur of his finest novel derive from the . . . will toward compassion. . . . It succeeds . . . resoundingly.” —John Updike, from the Introduction
“Brilliant . . . a splendid achievement.” —The Atlantic Monthly
“[Greene] captured the conscience of the twentieth century like no other.” —William Golding, Nobel Prize–winning author of Lord of the Flies
“No serious writer of [the twentieth] century has more thoroughly invaded and shaped the public imagination as did Graham Greene.” —Time
“Greene had wit and grace and character and story and a transcendent universal compassion that places him for all time in the ranks of world literature.” —John le Carré