Hot Best Seller

The Priest

Availability: Ready to download

Since his work first began to appear in the early 1960s, Thomas Disch has proven himself, again and again, to be one of the most prodigiously talented novelist/playwright/poets of our time. In Newsweek he was saluted by Walter Clemons as "the most formidably gifted unfamous American writer." But in 1991, with the publication of The M.D., Disch's remarkably various gifts co Since his work first began to appear in the early 1960s, Thomas Disch has proven himself, again and again, to be one of the most prodigiously talented novelist/playwright/poets of our time. In Newsweek he was saluted by Walter Clemons as "the most formidably gifted unfamous American writer." But in 1991, with the publication of The M.D., Disch's remarkably various gifts converged in a horror novel that propelled him into the mainstream even as it remade the genre in its own startling image. Now, in The Priest, Disch gives us an even more potent, darkly hypnotic, and fiendishly comic novel - a gothic romance like no other. At the center: Father Patrick Bryce, a Catholic priest with a present-day Minneapolis parish - and a pedophile past. He's spent time at a church-run retreat for priests of his persuasion and returned "rehabilitated": even better equipped to keep his vice active and hidden. Until the blackmail begins. It comes from three different sources (his own bishop being one), and each tops the next in imaginative proposals: Father Pat must head a militant (and probably illegal) anti-abortion campaign; Father Pat must apologize to each of his victims, face-to-face; Father Pat must read, and be ready to discuss, the work of a bizarre cult science fiction writer, and get the face of Satan tattooed on his chest. But the blackmailers and their demands are the least of Father Pat's problems. More dire is his increasingly incontrovertible sense that the nightmares in which he has been leading the life of a thirteenth-century bishop are not dreams at all. And that the Church, rife with corruption and scandal in both eras, is the only realistic sanctuary for him and his doppelganger, Bishop Silvanus de Roquefort, as they move - at once separately and together - through their own centuries-spanning maze of soul-killing horrors toward a distinctly hellish destiny. The astonishments, mayhem, and villainy they encounter along the way come brilliantly to life in an ee


Compare

Since his work first began to appear in the early 1960s, Thomas Disch has proven himself, again and again, to be one of the most prodigiously talented novelist/playwright/poets of our time. In Newsweek he was saluted by Walter Clemons as "the most formidably gifted unfamous American writer." But in 1991, with the publication of The M.D., Disch's remarkably various gifts co Since his work first began to appear in the early 1960s, Thomas Disch has proven himself, again and again, to be one of the most prodigiously talented novelist/playwright/poets of our time. In Newsweek he was saluted by Walter Clemons as "the most formidably gifted unfamous American writer." But in 1991, with the publication of The M.D., Disch's remarkably various gifts converged in a horror novel that propelled him into the mainstream even as it remade the genre in its own startling image. Now, in The Priest, Disch gives us an even more potent, darkly hypnotic, and fiendishly comic novel - a gothic romance like no other. At the center: Father Patrick Bryce, a Catholic priest with a present-day Minneapolis parish - and a pedophile past. He's spent time at a church-run retreat for priests of his persuasion and returned "rehabilitated": even better equipped to keep his vice active and hidden. Until the blackmail begins. It comes from three different sources (his own bishop being one), and each tops the next in imaginative proposals: Father Pat must head a militant (and probably illegal) anti-abortion campaign; Father Pat must apologize to each of his victims, face-to-face; Father Pat must read, and be ready to discuss, the work of a bizarre cult science fiction writer, and get the face of Satan tattooed on his chest. But the blackmailers and their demands are the least of Father Pat's problems. More dire is his increasingly incontrovertible sense that the nightmares in which he has been leading the life of a thirteenth-century bishop are not dreams at all. And that the Church, rife with corruption and scandal in both eras, is the only realistic sanctuary for him and his doppelganger, Bishop Silvanus de Roquefort, as they move - at once separately and together - through their own centuries-spanning maze of soul-killing horrors toward a distinctly hellish destiny. The astonishments, mayhem, and villainy they encounter along the way come brilliantly to life in an ee

30 review for The Priest

  1. 4 out of 5

    BlackOxford

    “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” The tragedy of the believer who loses his belief - especially a priest - is a lonely one. Only he cares. Other believers are appalled; and the rest of the world is amused by or indifferent to his suffering. Which makes the loss of faith an even deeper tragedy. There is no one from whom to solicit sympathy. Nowhere to find solace. Hypocrisy is compulsory in such a situation: “We preach one thing in public, but in the confessional it’s another story.” So the “Lord, I believe. Help thou my unbelief.” The tragedy of the believer who loses his belief - especially a priest - is a lonely one. Only he cares. Other believers are appalled; and the rest of the world is amused by or indifferent to his suffering. Which makes the loss of faith an even deeper tragedy. There is no one from whom to solicit sympathy. Nowhere to find solace. Hypocrisy is compulsory in such a situation: “We preach one thing in public, but in the confessional it’s another story.” So the lapsed of faith are likely to do some strange things in their isolated despair. They turn to others who have given up or been forced out of some previous life - like a tattooist who was formerly a corporate CPA, or UFO cultists who double as paedophilic-hunters - as an anchor in an unknown world. That such a move represents yet more faith in something equally unknown and equally implausible doesn’t really rise to the level of consciousness. Hence more tragedy can be expected. Faith, as well as tattoos, have an unexpected effect. They soon “get to be in charge. They ride us.” They are not worn, but wear their bearer. When the spiritual marks of faith on the soul are opposed to the inked marks of the tattoo on the skin, the elements of a cosmic drama are in place to tear a person to pieces. This drama is particularly interesting when the one being ridden to death is a twin, whose DNA, therefore, is not strictly his own. It could all be a Gnostic re-enactment of a flawed universe except that in The Priest evil is in the spirit and salvation is in the flesh. The Church, with its “gonzo theology,” officially represses and punishes, historically with the death penalty, human folly but unofficially engages in whatever perversion it can rationalise, that is, more or less everything done by its agents. The after-life is where things get straightened out. But that’s hardly a threat to believers whose primary belief is that they can cook the books at the last minute. Quite a deal this: favours for faith (or faith in favours, which is functionally equivalent) one might say. In fact just this has been said since the beginning of Christianity. The idea rarely takes hold all at once. As they say, it’s a process: “... do what we say, and the belief will come. We will own you. Not all of you, all at once. But piece by piece, in increments.” Eventually faith will be seen as an irresistible bargain. Amor et quod vis fac, Love and do as you like. A mobster’s code, this business of spiritual forgiveness for material wrongs. It keeps the bosses and. made-men in business and the party rolls on. Anyone talks and they’re out. Getting out alive is the problem. Faith comes with a pledge of omertà, meaning not just silence but self-reliance. Real men do their own dirty work. The bad news is that it’s not possible to buy one’s way out: “We don’t want your money, Father. We want your soul,” is the way the bad guys of the alternative faith put it. The fact that they believe in extra-terrestrials rather than incorporeal spirits is really not that big a shift in metaphysics. But it does lead from the ecclesial frying pan to the alien fire. Even worse, it turns out that hell is right here in River City, in this “Chartres of suburbia, the Notre Dame of Middle America, the Mont-St-Michel of fifties Catholicism when the spirit of the nation and of the Church were at their most congruent.” More generally, hell exists wherever and whenever the Church has been successfully peddling its supernatural superiority over the merely material world. “Hell’s cruelest punishment is just to be ourselves.” Pretensions of transcendence constitute the reality of evil in a society that would be much better off without them. “Their world is their prison.” Fortunately, such spiritual arrogance, when left to itself, politically combusts from within through claustrophobia and sheer bitchiness. Disch wrote The Priest in 1994, well before the truth of sexual abuse in the Church became widely known. Disch parodies himself as “... a fervent exCatholic of the sort that keeps tabs on every scandal concerning the Church and has to comment on all of them.” But I doubt that even he believed that paedophilia and institutional intransigence about it would be continuing and apparently incorrigible problems a quarter of a century later. Or perhaps he did understand the depth of the problem when he has a senior cleric attest the standard doctrine of the Church: “It’s in the nature of the Church that it can’t change.” Thus the real tragedy of the believer and his institutions: Religious belief inhibits learning... anything, except about itself. Ad majorem gloriam dei.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Lori

    Hmmm. I find it interesting how 2 stars can mean different things to different books. In the case of The Priest, 2 stars is my way of saying - Hey! I finished you! You weren't completely horrible! But man, oh man, did you miss the mark! Here- we have a book that is just trying waaaay to hard to be something it's not. Something it just wasn't meant to be. Something that is (perhaps) a little more complicated than the author can handle. We are tossed back and forth between numerous character storyl Hmmm. I find it interesting how 2 stars can mean different things to different books. In the case of The Priest, 2 stars is my way of saying - Hey! I finished you! You weren't completely horrible! But man, oh man, did you miss the mark! Here- we have a book that is just trying waaaay to hard to be something it's not. Something it just wasn't meant to be. Something that is (perhaps) a little more complicated than the author can handle. We are tossed back and forth between numerous character storylines, which initally did not bother me.. I could see that they were all going to tie in together towards the end. But as we got farther along, I realised that Disch was trying to spice it up, throw out some curve-balls, keeping the reader on their toes. Only, it didn't keep me on my toes. It started to frustrate the hell out of me. There was already too much going on to begin with. We start with a naughty priest. Father Pat Bryce. Hi, nice to meet you Pat, I hear you like little boys, how lovely. What a shocker, it seems to be a prerequisite of those who take the collar, doesn't it? (ohhh shut it! You all know I'm right!) Then we realise that the naughty priest is being blackmailed for his naughty sins. By more than one person. Awwww. Poor Father Pat. I'm so sorry to hear that you're sins are catching up to you. Such a shame. A bit further in, things start to disinegrate. Rapidly. There's some satanic tattooing, some kidnapping of underage girls who wanted to get abortions, some time warping back into the middle ages... I can't say anymore, lest I spoil things for you. And I wouldn't want to do that. In case someone out there has the urge to read this little anti-priest, anti-church nugget of a novel. All I can say is that, in the last -ohhhh- twenty pages or so, one of the characters puts the whole entire story into perspective, throwing you what SHOULD have been a curve ball, but actually fails, because it really doesn't make any sense to me at all, and then the last chapter... oh goodness to that last freakin chapter. Dude shoulda put down the pen and left well enough alone. That last chapter was just awful. Really. ugh. Don't get me wrong. I love me some church hatin'. I really do. But this was just poor. poor. poor. And I've read reviews where this book is considered an updated version of "The Monk" by Matthew Lewis. Pa-Tooie! That's what I say! Don't compare this novel to a classic gothic tale. Just don't. Like I said before.... this came across as soooooo something bigger than the writer ever could have made it. The Priest tryed. And failed.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Randolph

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Never Trust the Clergy This book, like all the Supernatural Minnesota series (this is volume 3), has so much going on in it at so many levels that that it is hard to distill it much less deconstruct it. On the surface it is a trashing of the Catholic Church, Scientology, and Pro-Lifers. Disch also takes a few swipes at his sf brethren who he considered insane or just plain con men (L. Ron Hubbard, Philip K. Dick, and Whitley Streiber). The tone of the book is more pessimistic than the others in Never Trust the Clergy This book, like all the Supernatural Minnesota series (this is volume 3), has so much going on in it at so many levels that that it is hard to distill it much less deconstruct it. On the surface it is a trashing of the Catholic Church, Scientology, and Pro-Lifers. Disch also takes a few swipes at his sf brethren who he considered insane or just plain con men (L. Ron Hubbard, Philip K. Dick, and Whitley Streiber). The tone of the book is more pessimistic than the others in the series, but like the others pretty much everyone ends up dead, except the pedophile main character Father Bryce himself who ends up in the big house, although he may really be 16th century inquisitor Silvanus de Roquefort and Father Bryce may just be getting his just desserts on the rack back in the 16th century. Or maybe Bryce is just another crazy. Anyway, Silvanus/Bryce sees the 20th century as just a dandy place for sinners to hang out. At the same time it's hard to find a Catholic clergyman or nun who can keep their dick/pussy in their pants be it straight, gay, rape, or toddler sex. Oh, and the so-called pro-lifers/anti-contraception nuts are ironically the most murderous of the lot in their fanatical desire to save unborn fetuses and prevent spilt seed.As in the other volumes of the series, what goes around comes around and you can either call it fate or coincidence although I think Disch probably just believes that shit happens to the guilty and the innocent alike and there isn't a lot of reason to try to take any meaning out of all of it.One truly normal average unmarried pair, however in no way innocent, manages to crawl out of this cesspool/nightmare and actually have the child they were originally going to abort, just another of Disch's ironies not some spiritual or moral message. Disch is always winking at us, daring us to read something into spaces where he doesn't mean to imply anything other than to get love where we can. That's the only point of course.

  4. 4 out of 5

    byAx

    Astenersi chierichetti Se avete fatto i chierichetti, non leggetelo, potrebbero riaffiorare ricordi sepolti e dimenticati. Se credete nella Chiesa, non leggetelo, potrebbe farvi riflettere. Se provate simpatia per i preti, non leggetelo, vi lascerà l'amaro in bocca. Ops. Se siete omofobi, non leggetelo, potrebbe piacervi... e tanti saluti alla vostra autostima. Per tutti gli altri invece, leggetelo, Disch è un autore intelligente e capace di trattarvi da adulti, portando all'estremo situazioni che la Astenersi chierichetti Se avete fatto i chierichetti, non leggetelo, potrebbero riaffiorare ricordi sepolti e dimenticati. Se credete nella Chiesa, non leggetelo, potrebbe farvi riflettere. Se provate simpatia per i preti, non leggetelo, vi lascerà l'amaro in bocca. Ops. Se siete omofobi, non leggetelo, potrebbe piacervi... e tanti saluti alla vostra autostima. Per tutti gli altri invece, leggetelo, Disch è un autore intelligente e capace di trattarvi da adulti, portando all'estremo situazioni che la maggior parte della gente finge di ignorare. Acuto, efficace e tagliente.

  5. 5 out of 5

    Ignacio Senao f

    -Historia: 5. Primero decir que entiendo que tenga tan poca puntuación global, pues le da caña a la religión cual martillo pilón. Mucha cantidad de creyentes lo habrán leído por múltiple razones y como no cabe duda le pondrán 1 estrellita (lo entiendo). La historia es muy atrayente: Un cura pederasta, borracho y homo sexual que se dedica a disfrutar de sus gustos, pero hay alguien que se entera y se la juega… a partir de ahí este cura viaja a la edad media mediante un tatuaje que se estaba hacie -Historia: 5. Primero decir que entiendo que tenga tan poca puntuación global, pues le da caña a la religión cual martillo pilón. Mucha cantidad de creyentes lo habrán leído por múltiple razones y como no cabe duda le pondrán 1 estrellita (lo entiendo). La historia es muy atrayente: Un cura pederasta, borracho y homo sexual que se dedica a disfrutar de sus gustos, pero hay alguien que se entera y se la juega… a partir de ahí este cura viaja a la edad media mediante un tatuaje que se estaba haciendo. Como veis muy jugosa la trama, pero no nos dejemos engañar. Después se vuelve muy monótono todo, con un desarrollo que no pasa nada. Y el final de lo más previsible y facilón para el autor. Lo mejor: las primeras 100 páginas y como le da caña a la religión aprovechando cualquier momento e incluso sin venir a cuento. Todo sabemos que una novela es la plasmación de la personalidad, miedos y gusto de un autor. Queda claro que este es ateo. -Narración: 8. Muy buena traducción, de eso no cabe duda. -Ambientación: 2. No hay, la omite para esas palabras emplearlas en dar cañita. -Personajes: 5. Un cura así da mucha facilidades. -Acción: 0. -Terror: 0. -Edición: 7. Rustica con buena hoja, bastante robusto en general.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Nigel

    The Supernatural Minnesota books are just so damned good. The MD will remain one of the greatest literary horror novels of all time, but the other three are in no way to be sneezed at. The Priest seems like an appropriate read at the moment. When it came out the various scandals that were rocking the Catholic Church were pretty bad, but few could have imagined the deluge to come. Well, Disch did, in a kind of murderous, tragic, apocalyptic way. Now there's a new pope and the taint of scandal has The Supernatural Minnesota books are just so damned good. The MD will remain one of the greatest literary horror novels of all time, but the other three are in no way to be sneezed at. The Priest seems like an appropriate read at the moment. When it came out the various scandals that were rocking the Catholic Church were pretty bad, but few could have imagined the deluge to come. Well, Disch did, in a kind of murderous, tragic, apocalyptic way. Now there's a new pope and the taint of scandal has been irrevocably ingrained into the substance of the Church, and Disch's gothic vision of conservative Catholic values run amok in the modern world is pretty much a spot-on piece of savagely satirical entertainment. In The Priest, a paedophile priest - an ephebophile, really - is blackmailed into, amongst other things, getting an enormous tattoo of Satan on his torso. Passing out while under the needle, he wakes up in the time and body of a medieval bishop in the throes of the orgy of torture and slaughter that was the Albigensian Crusade. Worse still, the medieval bishop wakes up in the priest's time and body. Hi-jinks ensue. Oh, what a tangled, nasty tale. Disch's trenchant anti-catholcism is in full flight. With anyone else that might have led to something rather unsatisfying, but Disch's focus on the documented evils, while taking a side-swipe at a thinly disguised cult founded by a science fiction writer that's half Hubbard, half Streiber, and his merciless dissection of human vanity, means that even with the supernatural body and time jumping elements, this is a meditation on all-too-human and all-too-banal acts of evil. It's also a gut-wrenching exercise in mounting suspense, and the moment when the bishop is loosed on the pregnant girls trapped in the cells under the cathedral is agonising. In the ongoing series of where-was-I-when-I-first-read-this, I borrowed The Priest from Cork City Library and read it on breaks and during lunches while working in Dunnes Stores in Douglas sometime in the mid-nineties. Hell of a book.

  7. 4 out of 5

    R.

    1. Disch wrote some sci-fi during the New Wave 60s; also a collaboration or two with John Sladek (see review of "Tik-Tok"). According to the Library of Congress data, this book contains...the catholic church, clergy, extortion, minnesota, minneapolis, child molesters, rehabilitation, minneapolis (again), and time travel. This...this dude also wrote, "The Brave Little Toaster" and "The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars". And dude has a livejournal. 2. Half-way thru as of July 23rd. I suppose some o 1. Disch wrote some sci-fi during the New Wave 60s; also a collaboration or two with John Sladek (see review of "Tik-Tok"). According to the Library of Congress data, this book contains...the catholic church, clergy, extortion, minnesota, minneapolis, child molesters, rehabilitation, minneapolis (again), and time travel. This...this dude also wrote, "The Brave Little Toaster" and "The Brave Little Toaster Goes to Mars". And dude has a livejournal. 2. Half-way thru as of July 23rd. I suppose some of the suspense of a time travel novel is not knowing what time the book will leave you...at the end. 3. Finished July 28. A rollicking read, delightful ending. I was expecting something darker, along the lines of M. Lewis' The Monk which this book, obviously, nods towards (to the point of whiplash). The Priest is part of an unofficial series, "Meta-Minneapolis" which began with The Businessman and ended with The Sub. 4. According to his Livejournal, Disch has a book on the way in summer 2008..."Word of God: The Holy Writ Rewritten"...and, apparently, involves time travel, Philip K. Dick, alternate realities and etc.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Erin

    This was weird. I usually like weird. This was OK, not great, and the constantly shifting perspectives, while important to the plot, made the novel hard to follow, probably especially because I was only mildly interested. The author does manage to make a pedophile priest (no spoiler there) a fairly sympathetic character, but only in a very odd sense. I can see that it might have a cult following of some sort, but I'm not drinking the Kool-Aid.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Guy Salvidge

    Disch is one of those authors I've managed to collect about ten books by over the years without ever being sure that I even like his writing all that much. He's a good writer, just quirky. The Priest is especially quirky. I thought the first hundred or so pages to be strong and well written, but after that I thought the plot degenerated into a big goddamn mess that someone ought to have put down.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Tom Mueller

    Disch slams the Catholic Church like no other author I've read. This has not gone unnoticed by the Church; another of his works, "The Cardinal Detoxes", a one act play "has been vigorously protested by the Catholic Church". The sub title of "The Priest" is "a Gothic Romance", but that is far from all it is. Facets of Medieval Historical Fiction of early Catholicism are intertwined with later day happenings in the Church. They are connected by the protagonist(s?), who may have a split personality Disch slams the Catholic Church like no other author I've read. This has not gone unnoticed by the Church; another of his works, "The Cardinal Detoxes", a one act play "has been vigorously protested by the Catholic Church". The sub title of "The Priest" is "a Gothic Romance", but that is far from all it is. Facets of Medieval Historical Fiction of early Catholicism are intertwined with later day happenings in the Church. They are connected by the protagonist(s?), who may have a split personality with three or more characters. I will read more by Thomas M. Disch

  11. 5 out of 5

    Sarah Rigg

    "The MD" was my introduction to Disch, but I enoyed this one even more.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Traummachine

    Continuing in the quiet, slow-burning vein of The Businessman and The M.D., this time Disch tells the tale of a blackmailed priest. He's originally presented as a good enough guy, but very soon it's revealed that he's had relations with boys in their tweens. The blackmail isn't for money though, it's for his soul, and the story winds a very strange course as it progresses. Our hero(?) blacks out and wakes in Europe during the Inquisition. He's apparently switched bodies with a Bishop from that ti Continuing in the quiet, slow-burning vein of The Businessman and The M.D., this time Disch tells the tale of a blackmailed priest. He's originally presented as a good enough guy, but very soon it's revealed that he's had relations with boys in their tweens. The blackmail isn't for money though, it's for his soul, and the story winds a very strange course as it progresses. Our hero(?) blacks out and wakes in Europe during the Inquisition. He's apparently switched bodies with a Bishop from that time, and he now oversees the local tortures and purges. Meanwhile, the Bishop wakes to find himself in the body of our priest, and believes the modern world to be Hell. There are a lot of twists and turns above and beyond the basic plot I've outlined, and it's interesting to see both men retaining their faith while trying to cope with the new horrors they've been thrust into. Nobody is quite what they seem, and yet I sympathized with most of the main characters. Disch writes some very strange tales, but he does them well. These books have good pacing, thought-provoking themes, and the feel of a good drama that just happens to deal with horrific events and ideas. I'm really looking forward to the final Supernatural Minnesota book, but I'm also itching to jump back into Disch's sci-fi.

  13. 5 out of 5

    Niklaus

    chi scrive non solo non è credente ma vive di scienza e dati e non è laico a giorni alterni (come tanti intellettuali un tempo anticlericali e oggi attenti a non offendere anche il più oscurantista tra gli islamici). Non sono tacciabile di filoclericalismo se dico che dopo un po' il racconto diventa pesante. Vero che nella seconda parte del libro si vira verso temi più attinenti la fantasia però più che un libro SF mi sembra un pamphlet. E se guardo il cv dell'autore qualche sospetto sui suoi sec chi scrive non solo non è credente ma vive di scienza e dati e non è laico a giorni alterni (come tanti intellettuali un tempo anticlericali e oggi attenti a non offendere anche il più oscurantista tra gli islamici). Non sono tacciabile di filoclericalismo se dico che dopo un po' il racconto diventa pesante. Vero che nella seconda parte del libro si vira verso temi più attinenti la fantasia però più che un libro SF mi sembra un pamphlet. E se guardo il cv dell'autore qualche sospetto sui suoi secondi fini (o solo sull'ideologia sottostante) mi viene. Una cosa è certa. Negli USA il problema è stato nettamente superiore che in Europa, soprattutto nella generazione a cavallo degli anni ' 60 quando come dice uno dei personaggi i seminari si sono andati riempiendo di persone più spiccatamente sensibili al sesso e apertamente omosessuali rispetto al passato. Effetto di una società che stava cambiando, forse. Sta di fatto che dalla fine degli anni '80 in poi l'impatto sociale è diventato evidente. A mio parere l'autore ha cercato di maneggiare temi importanti senza la lucidità e il distacco necessari anche per farne satira sotto forma di SF.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Eli Bishop

    Reading through the Supernatural Minnesota series again, I was struck by how well they go together in spite of their different premises and contradictory events... and also by how incredibly much better this one book is than I remembered. Maybe it's that it feels less detached; Disch's irony is always ten feet deep, and so it is here too, but he's writing about the Catholic Church and he clearly had some very, very strong and complicated feelings about it, so there's a little more sweat visible. Reading through the Supernatural Minnesota series again, I was struck by how well they go together in spite of their different premises and contradictory events... and also by how incredibly much better this one book is than I remembered. Maybe it's that it feels less detached; Disch's irony is always ten feet deep, and so it is here too, but he's writing about the Catholic Church and he clearly had some very, very strong and complicated feelings about it, so there's a little more sweat visible. The horrible things are horrible, the love is real, and all of it is uncomfortable and hilarious. You'll need some extra-strong suspension of disbelief as it veers from one type of gothic tall tale to another, but somehow it all holds together, I think. (Speaking of which: if you get the new edition with an introduction by Gregory Feeley, read the intro after the book. It's interesting in a sort of dry theoretical way, but it gives away a big plot twist.) Also, I was just very happy to see Bing and Queen Mab from The Businessman again.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Jessica Donohoe

    Better than imitators, more [disjointedly, dream-disruptingly] populous than predecessors. This is the first Disch book I've put down before finishing, then half-heartedly picked back up to see how it all ended. Fundamental to the story is a visceral iconic trope, but the visceral bits are horribly misrepresented: it reads like sexist* shallow teenaged [tattoo] fantasy. Most Disch characters are wrought such that you might feel grateful or dirty for having tiptoed around in their shoes for a whi Better than imitators, more [disjointedly, dream-disruptingly] populous than predecessors. This is the first Disch book I've put down before finishing, then half-heartedly picked back up to see how it all ended. Fundamental to the story is a visceral iconic trope, but the visceral bits are horribly misrepresented: it reads like sexist* shallow teenaged [tattoo] fantasy. Most Disch characters are wrought such that you might feel grateful or dirty for having tiptoed around in their shoes for a while; follow faithfully, here, and you might feel a bit dizzy. I just felt annoyed. *As always, though, the best-realized internal-dialog belongs to a geriatric female character.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Peter

    Thomas M. Disch was a great SF writer, excellent theatre critic and all around intriguing individual. This novel, an account of a pedophile priest living life simultaneously as a perverse 13th century bishop is both surreal and an intriguing commentary on the unfolding sexual scandal amoung priests in the United States in the 1990s.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Micah Parker

    It seems like people either get Disch or just don't, and there's no middle ground. This book is amazing, read it if you like religious mythology and don't offend easily. It's in my top ten, but I can't really describe it more than that. Just read it and go along for the ride.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Caleb.Lives

    Another novel praised solely for its (ever so marketable and fashionable) subject matter, and not for its actual quality. To be avoided, unless prospective reader has some axes to grind with certain group.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Fer Mariscal

    Una historia que parece ser muy buena ya que como tema principal tiene a las dos palabras que mejor se llevan en una oración: pederastía - religión. Sin embargo, después de un cuarto del libro o la mitad, todo se vuelve aburrido y siempre ocurre lo mismo. Ya quedara a tu opinión.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Heidi Kirsch

    This book actually gave me horrible, wake-up-sweating nightmares.

  21. 5 out of 5

    La Espada en la Tinta

    Reseña en: http://www.laespadaenlatinta.com/2012... Reseña en: http://www.laespadaenlatinta.com/2012...

  22. 4 out of 5

    Cierra Wilfong

    So good! I need to read the other books that are part of the Supernatural Minnesota Series.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Stacy Croushorn

    Really didn't care for the story. To difficult to describe, but don't waste your time.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Luis Tovar

    It started off strong. It became a multi-layered-casserole to confuse us The ending was deflating. Disch is still a good writer but not to my liking.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Jim

    A much more difficult book to read than I had imagined. The story is a realistic view of 1994 of the Catholic Priesthood, but then ends up in a supernatural place (or is it?) where Satanists and Catholics don't out and out battle, but the war is waged within. THE PRIEST is a troubling book on many levels as well as thoroughly thought-provoking. Warnings on this book --even I found a bit hard to stomach: rape, incest, torture, pedophilia, sadism, (I may be missing some), but ALL of these have thei A much more difficult book to read than I had imagined. The story is a realistic view of 1994 of the Catholic Priesthood, but then ends up in a supernatural place (or is it?) where Satanists and Catholics don't out and out battle, but the war is waged within. THE PRIEST is a troubling book on many levels as well as thoroughly thought-provoking. Warnings on this book --even I found a bit hard to stomach: rape, incest, torture, pedophilia, sadism, (I may be missing some), but ALL of these have their point within the story. They are not there just for shock value. In some ways they are humanity fighting itself between good and evil and what we may see as good, may in fact be evil. This is considered book three of the Minnesota Supernatural books by Disch. I have not read the other two, but may be picking those up shortly. Well written, yet emotionally hard to read at a times, the book's ending tricks you into believeing one thing, only to throw you back again (kind of like the end of the original CARRIE movie). Highly recommended.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Palimp

    El libro en sí me ha parecido farragoso y con momentos bastante aburridos, a pesar de que tiene algunos ingredientes muy atractivos. https://liblit.com/tomas-m-disch-el-c... El libro en sí me ha parecido farragoso y con momentos bastante aburridos, a pesar de que tiene algunos ingredientes muy atractivos. https://liblit.com/tomas-m-disch-el-c...

  27. 4 out of 5

    Xavi Aznar

    Me lo recomendó una compañera de trabajo diciendo que "tenía que leerlo hasta el final". Si no hubiera sido porque insistió en ello varias veces, probablemente habría dejado el libro a medias. La mayoría de los personajes son curas homosexuales y/o pedófilos, marujas obtusas ultra-religiosas y chicas adolescentes embarazadas que quieren abortar. Por tanto, nada en el libro me atraía, aunque el autor escribe con soltura, en un estilo que hace fácil la lectura a pesar del tema. Afortunadamente, el Me lo recomendó una compañera de trabajo diciendo que "tenía que leerlo hasta el final". Si no hubiera sido porque insistió en ello varias veces, probablemente habría dejado el libro a medias. La mayoría de los personajes son curas homosexuales y/o pedófilos, marujas obtusas ultra-religiosas y chicas adolescentes embarazadas que quieren abortar. Por tanto, nada en el libro me atraía, aunque el autor escribe con soltura, en un estilo que hace fácil la lectura a pesar del tema. Afortunadamente, el libro no se entretiene en detallar los encuentros pedófilos, sino el submundo de los bares de citas gais, en los sentimientos de culpa del protagonista y en humillación impuesta por una de las víctimas, en el pasado, del cura protagonista. A partir de esta "penitencia", un tatuaje que cubre todo el torso del cura, el libro cambia. La trama se enrarece cuando el protagonista sufre un desplazamiento temporal hasta la edad media, donde "despierta" en el cuerpo de un obispo. En esa "realidad alternativa" se encuentra con las "versiones medievales" de sus víctimas de abusos y de otros personajes de su vida en el siglo XXI. Del mismo modo, el obispo encarna al padre Bryce en su "yo" actual, por lo que primero asume que está en el infierno, y después decide aprovechar las ventajas de un cuerpo más joven. Aunque estos cambios temporales son, inicialmente, pasajeros, después acaban siendo permanentes, y los dos personajes se encuentran atrapados en una época ajena. Algunas situaciones resultan cómicas, en particular las del obispo medieval enfrentado a la tecnología y costumbres modernas, pero el trasfondo continua siendo oscuro, agobiante. Hacia el final del libro el autor parece olvidarse de los "intercambios temporales" y se centra en el enredo que se produce alrededor de Derecho a Nacer, la organización antiabortista ligada al protagonista. Por tanto, el libro acaba dando tumbos hacia el único final posible: todo es un delirio del cura protagonista, que asume personalidades múltiples para sobrellevar su sentimiento de culpa. Pese que el libro no me ha gustado, hay que reconocer el mérito del autor para crear personajes con entidad propia y la habilidad para confundir al lector y nunca dejarle entrever que Silvanus y Pat Bryce son la misma persona. La escena final, con Bryce despertando en la cárcel en otra de sus personalidades sobra, en mi opinión. O quizás es que, una vez expuesto el asunto de la locura del protagonista quería acabar el libro para poder devolverlo y acabar con él de una vez. Así pues, un libro que me ha hecho sentirme estafado e incómodo de principio a fin. Aprovecharé la experiencia para explorar otros libros del autor, cuya manera de escribir es una de las pocas cosas positivas que puedo destacar del libro. 29/10/2014

  28. 4 out of 5

    Bruce

    Disch is a master of highlighting the foibles (and much worse) of humanity. Here his target is the catholic church, with some swipes at Whitley Streiber along the way. His prose is top notch as usual. The ending is a bit odd, maybe too clever or not as well executed as the rest, as he reframes, twice, the events of the novel. I would say a lot of bad things happen to good people in this book, but it's hard to find anyone truly good here.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Pompeia

  30. 5 out of 5

    Thomas Burchfield

Add a review

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Loading...
We use cookies to give you the best online experience. By using our website you agree to our use of cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.