The Power and the Glory by Graham GreeneRead about the other entries on the list.
Through his nameless “whisky priest”, Greene asks us to decide between virtue and vice in this 1953 novel. A drunk and a sinner, the clergyman picks his way through Mexico, ministering God’s will as best he can, while fighting self-condemnation and overpowering guilt. Chased by the Lieutenant, who believes the church to be fundamentally corrupt, the priest is eventually trapped by his own compassion. The novel caused controversy when first published, but in 1965 Greene was told by Pope Paul VI: “Mr Greene, some aspects of your books are certain to offend some Catholics, but you should pay no attention to that.”
The Power and the Glory also appears among Michael Arditti's top ten novels about priests, and on John Mullan's lists of ten of the best nameless protagonists and ten of the best episodes of drunkenness in literature. It is one of seven books that made a difference to Colin Firth.
Also see: Top ten novels about priests; Top ten wicked priests in fiction.