One novel on the list:
The Power and the GloryRead about the other books on Firth's list.
by Graham Greene
This is about a man—the whiskey priest—on the run in a Mexican state during a purge of religious figures. The most poignant thing in the story, for me, is that the priest has had a child. He wants to repent, but how can you find salvation when you can't hate the sin? He's stuck in that paradox: The one thing that prevents him from repenting is love. That so interests me—the idea of looking for spiritual salvation in what is otherwise an impossibly compromised life.
The Power and the Glory also appears on John Mullan's list of ten of the best episodes of drunkenness in literature.