- Hardcover: 304 pages
- Publisher: Hutchinson (22 Sept. 2016)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0091959160
- ISBN-13: 978-0091959166
- Product Dimensions: 16.2 x 2.9 x 24 cm
- Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (344 customer reviews)
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 379 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
Conclave Hardcover – 22 Sep 2016
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"Harris’ superlative skill at depicting power politics makes this an irresistibly gripping papal page-turner." (Sunday Times, BOOKS OF THE YEAR)
"Robert Harris is incapable of writing a substandard novel." (Alan Johnson Observer, BOOKS OF THE YEAR)
"A master of producing thrillers of ever-tightening suspense, full of insider analysis of political power and the treatment of momentous events . . . gripping . . . more than a crime novel, it is also a psychological and political thriller . . . Conclave is a triumphant addition to Harris’ acclaimed output" (David Grylls Sunday Times)
"I am about to use a word I have never knowingly used in any review of any book ever. During my 25-odd years of writing about books I have done my best to avoid cliches, slipshod summaries, oracular pronouncements and indeed anything else that might appear emblazoned on a book jacket. Nonetheless, there is only one possible word to describe Robert Harris’s new novel, and it is this: unputdownable" (Ian Sansom Guardian)
"Gripping . . . like an ecclesiastical version of House of Cards" (The Times)
"Well-researched, intelligently observed and highly credible . . . Fast-moving and suspenseful, it’s elegantly written entertainment from a first-rate storyteller." (Mail on Sunday)
"Grips like a vice and manages to convey all the drama of an election without resorting to melodrama" (Jake Kerridge Sunday Express)
"An electric read, like a shot of adrenalin to the heart . . . rollicking and literate . . . an insightful and witty thriller" (Tim Stanley Literary Review)
"Britain's leading thriller writer" (Daily Telegraph)
"A master of pace and entertainment" (Observer)
THE POWER OF GOD.
THE AMBITION OF MEN.
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Top Customer Reviews
This particular book, based as it is around the election of a new Pope, might seem irrelevant, peculiar, or dull, depending on the reader’s sense of what drama is, and what their view of religious organisations might be. After all, 118 elderly men, the second tier of seniority in the Catholic church, gathered, from all over the world, to elect one of their number as the Supreme Head of their worldwide organisation, where is the drama in that? Where (some might argue) is its importance or relevance?
For the however-long-it-takes for one of them to get the requisite two-thirds majority winning Pope vote, the cardinals have to remain sequestered from the world, without either communicating with it, or receiving communications from it.Read more ›
We get a cocktail of race, sex, money and politics – all culled from a legion of conspiracy theories - set in precisely-researched Vatican geography and procedure. There is almost too much detail at times. We even get female participants – the nuns join in. And we see all this through the eyes of a Cardinal who is a man both of prayer and doubt, so that the story really does have a spiritual dimension, something lacking in previous Vatican-based blockbusters. Anyone remember "The Shoes of the Fisherman"? Finally after Harris has wound the tension all the way, real bombs go off, and our metaphorical bomb finally explodes in a delicious joke, which I entirely failed to see coming, though of course the clues are there. Great stuff.
The other, and a disappointing one for me, is the intrusion of simple errors which good research would have removed. This is surprising, given how scrupulous the research behind books such as "Imperium" and "Lustrum" is. Any good editor with a knowledge of Catholic practice should have pointed out, for example, that rosaries are never worn around the neck (by Catholics), that "pax vobis" does not appear in the Latin text of the Mass, that Lefebvre has never been considered heretical (schismatic perhaps, but that is not the same thing), that chasubles don't have sleeves etc.
Not major issues, but all easily avoided.
As expected, the cardinals fall into two major camps, the conservatives who want to undo the work of the previous liberal pope and the liberals who want to continue with the reforms. There are also regional issues: the African cardinals would like one of them to be elected, while the Latin Americans and the Italians are too divided doctrinally to form a block. All of them have of necessity to be politicians; some honourably so, concerned for the good of the Church; others are corrupt.
There are surprises. Shortly before the conclave opens Lomeli learns that one key cardinal had been dismissed from all his offices at the last audience the late Pope had given, and that another cardinal had recently been made in pectore – i.e.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a very captivating story insofar as it presents traits not far from reality. I have read it quickly and with great interest, somewhat surprised at the unexpected end.Published 1 day ago by domenico martusciello
This novel contains some pretty preposterous elements that just could not occur in reality, but it is a good page-turner. I read it on a holiday and was well-please. Read morePublished 1 day ago by Jim
I started it a bit reluctantly but ended unable to put it down.Published 2 days ago by Amazon Customer
Gripping from the first few page, as is to be expected from this author. Hardback cheaper than paperback (??)Published 3 days ago by ANDREW D'ARCY
The book has a mysterious yet inciteful tone throughout. The behavior of the protagonists is enigmatic and (great trait for a novel) excites the readers' curiosity. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Rob Peach
A wonderful page turner with a most credible involvement with the rites and passages of the curia. Not as compelling as Fatherland or Archangel, and the nature of the ending... Read morePublished 6 days ago by j.p.bowden
This surely can't have been written by the same author as Enigma , An Officer & A Spy , Pompeii etc ... ? Read morePublished 7 days ago by SG
One of the most compelling books I've ever read. Could not put it down and finished it in one sitting.Published 7 days ago by Chalfont