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The Clowns of God (Vatican Trilogy) Paperback – 1 Jun 2004

4.6 out of 5 stars 16 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 400 pages
  • Publisher: The Toby Press (1 Jun. 2004)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1902881842
  • ISBN-13: 978-1902881843
  • Product Dimensions: 14.3 x 3 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 391,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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4.6 out of 5 stars
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By A Customer on 31 Aug. 2003
Format: Hardcover
Now and then, authors decide to write books, going into great depth to outline their own religious beliefs, which are fundamental to the particular faith they belong to. One such book is Clowns of God by Morris West.
Outlining these beliefs and trying to bring it to the readers attention, can at times be very difficult for many writers. Obviously, not everyone has the same beliefs and this can be an underpinning hardship that needs to be overcome. Writers need to write in such a manner that draws its intended audiences attention but at the same time doesn’t overdramatise or try and force religious ideas upon someone.
Not just with its story or language but also with the passion it can engender, Clowns of God is one such book. Possibly the situation is rather out-of-date now, with geopolitical associations entirely reorganized. Nevertheless, when the novel was initially produced some decades before, the type of doomsday developments it pointed to was not all that improbable. Numerous people who lived throughout the Cold War will remember the prevalent apprehension caused as a result of the lunacy of “Mutual Assured Destruction - MAD” presumptions.
Situated in the heart of the Catholic Church, the novel dejectedly loses some of its power and forte when interpreted by other religious communities not familiar with the Catholic faith. Unfortunate but unavoidable, as the theological foundations are seen as significant contributions to the story. In short, while the Western World along with the Communist World compete for superiority, a grain shortage within the Soviet Union provides the West a salvation with the aim of being used to assist or obliterate.
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Format: Paperback
I am an out and out atheist who believes that the second coming is utter tosh but this is one of my all time favourite books.

Whatsup Beth is right when she(?) says the geopolitical situation of the plot has changed but I do not think that undermines the issues raised by the book, ie how would the Christian church authorities and self professed believers in Christ react to "the second coming", what would the likes of the TV evangelists, like Jerry Falwell, say when confronted with the son of god again incarnate? Would those who claim to claim to live their lives according to Christian values believe him? Would they take his message on board or would they condemn him and try to ignore or silence him because he is an effective and inconvenient political agitator who challenges their way of life? And, taking religion out of it, does humankind, believer, agnostic or atheist, have the ability to rise above personal interest when the very ground beneath his/her feet is in danger?

In itself it is a good story and, if you want to take it to another level, it asks some interesting questions about one's own openess.
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I first read this book many years ago, and it stayed with me a very long time. As the original copy was from the library I bought a copy for myself (along with the other two of the trilogy). In some ways, it's a book of its time, borne of the various issues but still very relevant. Of the three books, this is the most compelling and moving. It seems to be almost prophetic too.
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thought this was one of the best books i had ever read and have bought it for several friends and loaned it to others. i am not sure about the title or comfortable about children with downs syndrome being called clowns.
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I have read this book at least 4 times and every time found it hard to put down. There are several reasons. I love the characters, their contrasts, their struggles and ultimately for most of them, their small triumphs. The book touchingly and easily moves between global politics and eschatology down to the love of parents for a child with Down's syndrome. Passing back and forth between the great and the small, the plot twists in unexpectedly and the end is simply satisfying. I have recommended it many times over the years and had to re-buy it a couple of times from it not being returned when lent. I don't think that too many people would be disappointed by what I think must be one of the best popular novels.
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Morris West was a superior popular novelist and The Clowns of God shows him at his very best. The novel grips you from the first sentence and moves along briskly with excellently believable characters. It is set against the background of the cold war and nuclear confrontation between east and west: although this scenario no longer pertains in the same way the novel has lost none of its power as its themes are universal. This is the only novel I know where God himself makes a realistic appearance as a convincing character. The novel is quite superb, well beyond the norm and a really enjoyable and memorable read.
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A well constructed story. A new slant on nations attempt to do away with themselves. The characters have depth and the book holds your attention from first to last page.
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I love this book, an interesting story line. Have read and re-read it an number of times. I highly recommend it.
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