by Graham Greene
"In a poor, remote section of southern Mexico, the Red Shirts have taken control. God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest is on the run." -- From the back cover of the Penguin Classics edition of The Power and the Glory.
I have an issue when I read classics that I know nothing about other than the book is considered a classic and it looks really good. Do I read some background information first and get a handle on what the book is about and the themes to look for? Or do I go in cold and just see what I get out of it all on my own? I go back and forth with this decision, because the resulting experiences are very different and you can read a book for the first time only once.
I chose to go cold into The Power and the Glory. I had a hard time with it. I didn't get it, but I kept at it. And I'm glad I did. While I can't say I was blown away, there were moments that gave me pause, captured my thoughts. I'm glad I hadn't read previously about the scene in the overcrowded jail, because I was able to let it move me without thinking, "Oh, this is the part that's supposed to be so fantastic". I found out after I finished the book that, yay! I got it!
Graham Greene's writing got to me even when I wasn't exactly following the point, and that has fed my curiosity for more. Looking over a list of descriptions of his other books, I have a lot of exploring of human nature to do. Excellent! The next one I pick up by him I will faithfully read while I am fully conscious, not nodding off after a Timberwolves game.
NOTICE: (Updated March 5, 2010)
Beginning December 19, 2009, Books 'N Border Collies will be posting but only intermittently while I pursue personal goals. I plan to share some reading I'm doing, but there will be no reviews. I will, however, be sharing my exploration of vegetarian cooking and the cookbooks and websites I use to educate myself. I hope you enjoy it!