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Cheap The Shoes of the Fisherman (Book) (Morris West) Price

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AUTHOR: Morris West
CATEGORY: Book
MANUFACTURER: Toby Press
ISBN: 1902881834
TYPE: Fiction, Fiction - General, General, Historical - General, Religious - General
MEDIA: Paperback
# OF MEDIA: 1

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Customer Review of The Shoes of the Fisherman
Excellent book and movie
This is the book on which the 1968 movie, The Shoes of the Fisherman, was based. The movie is vastly different than the book. It would have to be. Much of the book is introspective, reflecting the thought processes of Pope Kiril I after he is elected and is a much drier read than the movie is a view, naturally. While I found the book informative and interesting, because of my interest in the Papacy, it is not an easy read. It took focused concentration to absorb all it had to offer. <
> <
>In the year this book was originally published, 1963, the real world was full of fear, anger, and starvation (some things never change). The cold war was almost 20 years old, and the West's fear of its consequences unabated. Fear of a nuclear holocaust was rampant; we were getting closer to a ground war in Vietnam. President Kennedy was assassinated in November of that year. Things weren't destined to get much better. The year the movie came out, 1968, we lost Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy to assassins. The real Pope in the real world had his hands full. <
> <
>The Shoes of the Fisherman is the story of the election of a Russian to the Papacy, one Kiril Lakota, who had been imprisoned in Siberia for 17 years (20 in the movie) and tormented by his jailer, Kamenev, who later becomes the head of the Soviet state. Lakota's ascent to the Papacy, and his actions as Pontiff, are related in this story. We learn about some of the Pope's brethren, Cardinal Leone and Cardinal Rinaldi, for example, who impart their own histories and personality traits to one another and, hence, to the reader. The George Faber of the book is very different than the one portrayed on film. One desperate world situation is dealt with in the film. In the book, there are many. Pope Kiril I is reminiscent of Pope John Paul II as the first to see the importance of traveling widely outside The Vatican; to visit his people spread across the earth. <
> <
>One character worthy of mention is theologian Jean Télémond. In his intense internal struggle to justify God to man, he writes. His writings, often in conflict with his elders, offer his own passionate views of God, Jesus, and the Church--its leaders, tenets, practices, and views, as they relate to the people of the world, and to science. He spent 20 years in exile because of his views, only to have same put on trial after "coming home." <
> <
>The movie takes many liberties, simplifies and leaves out much, but doing so makes the whole of the book's message easier to digest. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. The movie is a thousand pictures, pictures that help the reader understand the content and context of this excellent and thought-provoking novel. <
> <
>Carolyn Rowe Hill <
>


Excellent Writer.....Poor Plot
West is without a doubt a superb writer, however I found The Shoes of The Fisherman to be a great dissapointment. In spite of the fact that most of the reviews I have read higly praise the book, it never really got to me. <
> <
>The concept seems quite interesting at first: an unknown russian, cardinal Kiril Lakota is elected pope. After being held prisioner for quite a few years, he steps up to lead millions of people around the globe in a new world which he basically has knowledge of only from his years in captivity. <
> <
>At the same time, Kamanev, the man who had been Lakota's prision guard in Russia, and who tortured him beyond belief, has become the head of the russian government. <
> <
>The fact that both men now need each other provides for a very interesting plot, which in my opinion is never fully developed. The main issue I have with the novel is that it is plotless...nothing really happens. A large portion of the book consists of a series of endless, and a bit boring, thoughts from Lakota. <
> <
>On the other hand, the reader is exposed to the way the catholic church funtions and thinks, which is an interesting way to humanize religion in he eyes of the reader. <
> <
>There are also a series of sub-plots dealing with what Lakota has to face as a pope, regading human cruelty, poverty, and most of all politics, which could have proven to be enough for a good novel. <
> <
>Unfortunatelly, the narration goes astray in many parts, which lessens one's interest in the book. Quite frankly, I had to make a great effort to finish the book, hoping that at some time it would pick up, which it never did. <
> <
>As I mentioned before, West is a very good writer, but this book is in my opinion, highly overrated. I can honestly say it never got my full atention. <
>


Prophetic and engaging
This book (and the movie which derives from it) is remarkable, all the moreso because of the the amount of inadvertent prophecy that takes place during the course of it. 'Shoes of the Fisherman' is a phrase that is sometimes used to refer to the office of the Pope, the Bishop of Rome; the See of Peter, the Chair of Peter, etc., various other historical and scriptural references are a kind of ecclesial shorthand. <
> <
>This story takes place during the height of the Cold War, when it was not primarily a two-way confrontation, but rather seemed to threaten to become a three-way contest with the seeming emergence of China as a communist power independent from the Soviet Union. This book sets a looming crisis between the United States and Soviet Union as the primary issue, and concludes with a major conference for peace being called (we do not get to know the outcome of this, however, from the book). <
> <
>Archbishop Kiril Lakato, longtime political prisoner of the Soviet Union, is released (the exact reasoning for this we are never told) by his long-time captors. He is released to Rome, where he is installed as a cardinal for his faithfulness to the church. In quick succession after this, the pope dies, and an election takes place. Remarkably, Kiril the Russian is elected pope, after giving a moving account of his time in captivity to assembled cardinals weary of the election process, and shortly thereafter commits the church to a risky idea of intervention between the major powers, to the dismay of many of the fellow cardinals, who believe the new pope is following a dangerous path. <
> <
>Subplots include a very timid (by today's standards), and to a certain extent a bit distracting. The main issue (rather than the plot) is to explore the theological issues behind the papal election and the use of theology and politics in the modern church. Despite being written in the 1960s, the book in fact still rings true with many of the facets of this slow-to-change institution. <
> <
>What makes this book and its attendant film so remarkable is that it was released a full decade before the election of another pope from the communist block. In the 1960s it was considered very shocking to consider a non-Italian pope, much less one coming from behind the Iron Curtain. This of course had the prophetic ring when Karol (not Kiril) from Poland became pope. <
> <
>Another prophetic instance is in the ecclesiastical trial of the radical theologian -- during his defense, this theologian even uses the words that later theologians would use, who were silenced by the Roman order, and who finally had to leave the church to remain true to their convictions in some instances. <
>Just how the author could have foreseen these so far in advance is a mystery. <
> <
>

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