Pope Patrick by Peter De Rosa
Inside Flap Description:
They year is 2009. America has its first Catholic president since Kennedy. The planet's other superpower is the Federation of Islamic Republics, stretching from Morocco to Pakistan. And in Rome, the ageing Polish Pope, obstinate and combative to the end, has died, and the conclave of cardinals must choose a successor. After a great deal of argument and debate, they choose the least controversial and least political candidate, the one least likely to upset the Vatican status quo -- Brian O'Flynn, a kindly old Irish priest who reads Yeats and publishes obscure academic theses. At the moment of his election, a three-hundred-pound ornamental pillar falls on his head
Then all hell breaks loose.
Pope Patrick is the riotous story of a mild-mannered country cardinal who--through a democratic election, a twist of fate, and a little help from his golden Lab, Charley--turns the Vatican upside down and throws the industrial world into chaos. He deals once and for all with the thorny issues of contraception, the celibacy of the clergy, and the infallibility of the Pope; sends the Down Jones tumbling and the hopes of the downtrodden soaring--and in the process brings the world to the brink of catastrophe.
By turns funny, tender, exciting, and controversial, Pope Patrick is a scathingly brilliant, delightfully droll novel of principles, power, and faith--the story of the holiest, bravest, and most likable pope since St. Peter.
My Rating: A
This truly is a delightful book, as it says above. Pope Patrick is never unlovable and I often wanted him to be my grandfather. He is quite full of love and joy and his own way of doing things. I especially enjoyed when he wanted certain things done and he thought they were grand ideas and moral ideas and they completely backfired, proving that while sometimes even the best intentions to change what's been done and what is wrong, does not always work out the way it's suppose to.
There are many secondary characters in this book. Charley, the Lab, is one of my favorite, and the two men closest to the Pope were well developed and very interesting.
One part of this book that is not a downfall, but must be pointed out, is that in the middle chapters it seems for a while like short stories about what the Pope is doing. You don't realize until the end of the book that these chapters really are moving the story forward. This isn't a bother, I think, unless you don't know it's going to happen. I was drawn away from the story because I was often thinking to myself, what's going on here? Where'd the big plot go? But don't worry, it comes back and it's better than before.
Oh, and there's a surprise ending, which the author, in a note in the back, explicitly asks me not to tell you the details of.
I do recommend this book, it's funny and tender, and turns out to be much more serious than I thought it would be when I first opened it.