The Shoes of the Fisherman

The Shoes of the Fisherman

4.6 9
by Morris West

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A pope has died, and the corridors of the Vatican hum with intrigue as cardinals from all over the world gather to choose his successor. Suddenly, the election is concluded with a surprise result. The new pope is the youngest cardinal of all--and a Russian!


A pope has died, and the corridors of the Vatican hum with intrigue as cardinals from all over the world gather to choose his successor. Suddenly, the election is concluded with a surprise result. The new pope is the youngest cardinal of all--and a Russian!

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Library Journal
Welcome to West's two vastly different pontifical portraits. Clowns (1981) finds the pope under fire for declaring to his intimates that the four horsemen of the apocalypse are in full gallop. In the better-known Shoes, a young Russian cardinal struggles with being elevated to pope and having to lead the church. Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.

Product Details

Toby Press LLC, The
Publication date:
The Vatican Trilogy
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Product dimensions:
5.54(w) x 8.54(h) x 0.76(d)

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The Shoes of the Fisherman 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 9 reviews.
me2MD More than 1 year ago
I have always loved this story and now, with the actions of Pope Francis, it has a new life. Morris West wrote many excellent stories but this one touched me more than any other. If only the world could take a lesson for the history that prompted him to write about the problems within the Church and it's role in the crises facing the world in the 1960's maybe there would be a chance for the Pope to take the steps that would finally bring peace within and without the Church and in the world. I can only hope.
nanasummers More than 1 year ago
One of my favorite movies. I liked the character representation in the movie better, but can understand the reasoning. I am glad the book was written as it translated into a more understandable cast of characters. I am glad I read it just for that reason.
glorybe33 More than 1 year ago
read before lost copy hence this new one; also purchased the other two books in West's trilogy on the papacy great writer so much more than the movie
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A full eleven years before Cardinal,Karol Wolylta was elected as The next Vicar of Christ I saw a wonderful film about the election of "a non Italian who was a political prisoner,from a Communist country" In 1977,Cardinal,Karol Wolylta was elected Pope~and I knew I'd seen this somewhere before? Then I thought back to "The Shoes of the Fisherman" and it's storyline. It was like "Life had copied Art" not Art copying Life. The names were similar,Karol Wolylta/Keril Lakota, him coming from a Communist country/Poland, He being a political prisoner~ok,I'll give them a point for original idea? The other thing that I've always loved about the film was the fact that it showed what the Election of a Pope or a Conclave was like~somewhat? Now I'm chosing to read the book,as I've seen the film countless numbers of time. Marlene Ferraro Emmett,West Palm Beach,FL.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is outstanding but so difficult to read! I started it thinking that it could be read for entertainment. I was so mistaken! The story is somewhat simple: a tormented man is elected Pope, and has to deal with his inner demon in the form of the premier of the former Soviet Union. As simple as the story may be, the plot soon takes a difficult path and makes the reader pay closer attention under penance of missing the whole picture. In short, not a beach read but very rewarding and worth the effort.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Rereading this book in 2005 reveals much that was fiction in 1963, yet now is history. Fascinating to see how much has changed, how much remains the same in world events. A timely look at the role of the Pope in the church and in the world.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book goes inside the Vatican and behind the senes. It shows how one Pope tries to reach the people.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is the book on which the 1968 movie, The Shoes of the Fisherman, was based. It is a much drier read than the movie is a view, naturally. I saw the movie first, then read the book. While I found the book informative and interesting, because of my interest in the office of the Pope, it is not an easy read. It took focused concentration to absorb all it had to offer. It is the story of the election of a Russian to the Papacy, one Kiril Lakota, who had been imprisoned in Siberia for 20 years (17 in the book) 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 Lakota's brethren, Cardinal Leone and Cardinal Rinaldi, for example, who impart some of their own history and personality traits to one another and, hence, to the reader. Then, there is George Faber, the newsman, and others. We learn from each of them. There is also a desperate world situation with which the Pope must contend. He is in a unique position to do so. Another 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 was eventually put on trial for his theories. The movie, of course, takes many liberties, simplifies and leaves out much, but makes the whole of the story 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 book. Carolyn Rowe Hill