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"Superbly comic" — Nancy Pearl, Book Lust
"Each sentence tends to be an event; yet every event, like every firm but fluent sentence, is an open door into the next half—expected, half—shocking encounter….Morte D’Urbanis [J.F. Powers’s] supreme fiction." — F.W. Dupee
"…[Powers’s] priests were creatures of a vivid, sympathetic, and unerring imagination…." — Andrew Greeley, Commonweal
Posted January 26, 2005
Morte D'Urban is one of the finest novels ever published in America. Thank goodness The New York Review chose to have it reissued as one of its classics in its series devoted, among other things, to literary rescue and, hopefully in Powers' case, prevalence. Powers' great novel about the Roman Catholic priest, Father Urban, finds that immensely talented soul in Rome (as now Minnesota, Chicago and other American places) and trying to do as the Romans do--even for awhile thrivingly caught up in doing so--but in the end not quite losing his soul. The Place in the novel is that of the American Catholic priest in the early to mid 20th century but the much older World is, it seems to me, America/Everywhere/All Times writ large in the endless human conflict between idealism and materialism. The writing is simply superb. I urge you to read this masterpiece. It will please you greatly. You will carry its story with you always.
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Posted March 1, 2013
A mildly amusing story of another Catholic priest. It's actually a comfort to know that these guys are a lot like us. I can keep my beer, and still be a priest. Less depressing than 'Edge of Sadness', it has a similar theme - downsizing the church by shedding the older, less productive veterans.
I enjoyed the read.