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Extended Audio Sample The Power and the Glory Audiobook, by Graham Greene Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (11,343 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Graham Greene Narrator: Bernard Mayes Publisher: Blackstone Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: August 2011 ISBN: 9781455169542
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In a poor, remote section of southern Mexico, the Red Shirts have taken control. God has been outlawed, and the priests have been systematically hunted down and killed. Now, the last priest strives to overcome physical and moral cowardice in order to find redemption.

Graham Greene explores corruption and atonement in this penetrating novel set in 1930s Mexico during the era of Communist religious persecutions. As revolutionaries determine to stamp out the evils of the church through violence, the last Roman Catholic priest is on the lam, hunted by a police lieutenant. Despite his own sense of worthlessness—he is a heavy drinker and has fathered an illegitimate child—he is determined to continue to function as a priest until captured. He is contrasted with Padre José, a priest who has accepted marriage and embodies humiliation.

A Christian parable pitting God and religion against twentieth-century materialism, The Power and the Glory is considered by many, including the author himself, to be Greene’s best work.

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Graham Greene had wit and grace and character and story and a transcendent universal compassion that places him for all time in the ranks of world literature.”

    John le Carré

  • “Greene’s masterpiece.”

    John Updike 

  • “The book should attract…not only those who read for diversion and excitement, but those, too, who read for the pleasure of superb writing and shrewd contriving of story.”

    Chicago Daily Tribune

  • “As brilliantly written as it is magnificently conceived.”

    Chicago Sun

  • “Greene has drawn this man—and all he encounters—vividly and viscerally…this brilliant theological thriller has far more mysteries—and troubling ideals—than certainties.”

    Amazon.com, editorial review 

  • One of Time Magazine's Best 100 English-Language Novels from 1923–2005

Listener Opinions

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Biancaducks | 2/14/2014

    " Always and forever one of my favorite books. Greene is a character driven writer, even though we know little of his characters inner monologue, their actions and back story are enough to solidify them. This is the story of a renegade priest being hunted down by communists in revolutionary Mexico. As he travels, he must deal with his sins and past, and also with the devout who view him as a saint. Classic Greene. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Caleb | 2/8/2014

    " Possibly the most powerful book I have ever read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hanaan | 11/25/2013

    " I have new respect for Graham Greene after reading this book. Unlike some of his other books, which have been called "entertainments", this one is serious and even nightmarish, no hint of a love story in sight. It is an exploration of humanity, and so its dark moments are interspersed with light and hope. It isn't the easiest book to read but it isn't too long and has lots of interesting vignettes, many (most?) of which are of children. Definitely worth reading. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 booklady | 11/12/2013

    " His best, or my favorite anyway. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adelyn | 10/19/2013

    " Quite possibly one of my favorite books ever... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jane | 10/13/2013

    " I may not have loved this book as much if I hadn't read it for an interesting class in college, but the distinction between compassion and altruism has really stuck with me. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bonnie Carruth | 9/27/2013

    " A wonderful book to show how sinners can bring grace to others "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Lakedra | 9/26/2013

    " I was eighteen when I read this book, and it completely changed the way I thought about faith, courage, cruelty, and most other things. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Riodelmartians | 9/25/2013

    " How is it that such a catholic country tried to become so secular in the 1930's. Misterio no.239. Beautiful ending and God always has the last word in a Graham Green novel. I still prefer End of the Affair over this masterpiece. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Rashid | 8/21/2013

    " Its a sad book..but the message is quite powerful . Find it for yourself. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Brett Boeh | 8/20/2013

    " Loved the plot and it makes you think about a whole system of social justice gone wrong. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bob Nardo | 8/16/2013

    " Long live the whiskey priest. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Reuben | 7/28/2013

    " As a work of literature this book is excellent, but its entertainment value is terrible. I found the protagonists endless musing about what a sinner he was interminable. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Emily | 6/14/2013

    " Beautifully written, except, y'know, for how it was racist and boring. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sergio Tacorian | 5/3/2013

    " I got to admit it was better than I expected, but it is not the kind of book I enjoy. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Bing | 4/22/2013

    " Yiheng gave this one to me about a year ago and I just got around to reading it. She mentioned something about a drunk priest... "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jason Williams | 1/27/2013

    " Eh, ok. Quite poetic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 1/21/2013

    " While this book is significantly different from Crime and Punishment, I believe it will be enjoyed by those who liked it. Graham Greene gives us a view deep into the soul of the 'whisky priest', a character that I will not soon forget. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Billcorcoran | 10/29/2012

    " I learned a little something in this novel. I had no idea the Mexican government outlawed Catholicism in the 1930's and went as far as executing priests in large numbers. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Hélène | 10/14/2012

    " Very good book re the complexity of religion & politics....it is as pertinent as when it was written. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Sam | 9/24/2012

    " An incredible book. Probably the most 'catholic' of all Greene's novels, and a gripping portrayal of two very flawed 'heroes' - the priest and the Lieutenant. I was a little surprised to find it a page-turner, but that's exactly what it turned out to be. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Sarah VanWagenen | 8/16/2012

    " Pretty troubling book about a complicated Catholic priest in Mexico when religion was illegal and priests were executed for treason. The priest's perception of himself and God is so distorted... It reminds me that my small capacity for understanding the infinite is just so pathetically... small. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Milt | 7/26/2012

    " dbg 1001 predemise #589 "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Cathy | 2/18/2012

    " Reading for my trip to Mexico this summer. And also into Graham Greene after reading Heart of the Matter. The Power and the Glory is a great novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Anneliz | 1/12/2012

    " A very powerful book I still remember from high school. I recommend it to lots of people! LOVE Graham Greene! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Tara | 5/18/2011

    " Recommended by Sophia. We read it as a book club book in Jumby Bay. Only Hoffman, Oline and I could finish it "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Yasmine | 5/17/2011

    " For being his most acclaimed novel "The Power and the Glory" was quite average compared to "The Quite American". At no point did I feel completely engaged with this novel. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Craig | 5/14/2011

    " I thought it was a realistic personality study between the priest and the lieutenant who's hunting him down. I've heard of Greene writing more suspenseful, spy-related stuff, and I'm eager to read those. This book was very different from that, but very good. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Michael | 4/21/2011

    " Took me ten attempts to get past chapter 2 and then discovered it was well worth trying. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Kathy | 4/15/2011

    " I hardly know know what to say about this book. It was not exactly vacation reading, but it was also beautiful, disturbing, thought-provoking and back to beautiful. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Andrew | 3/19/2011

    " Troubling book. Cooped up on a couch with a freak knee injury, i read much of this in two days. It makes me wonder about Catholicism, about pain, about the messed up martyrs who've gotten me where I am today, and about my own (un)sacred journey. And thank God I'm not a Catholic. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Adelyn | 3/14/2011

    " Quite possibly one of my favorite books ever... "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Doug | 3/10/2011

    " Hang with this. It's worth it. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Nathan | 2/23/2011

    " Liking this better so far than other Greene. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Jason | 2/11/2011

    " A great and easy read. I'd recommend if you're on a trip to Mexico, as that is where it's set. "

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About the Author
Author Graham Greene

Graham Greene (1904–1991) was an English novelist, short-story writer, and playwright. He was an ardent convert to Catholicism, and religious themes are at the root of much of his writing. He served with the Secret Intelligence Service during the Second World War. His novels are set in places in a state of seedy decay, and many of his locations, such as Vietnam in The Quiet American and Cuba in Our Man in Havana, became international crisis spots.

About the Narrator

Bernard Mayes is a teacher, administrator, corporate executive, broadcaster, actor, dramatist, and former international commentator on US culture. He is best known for his readings of historical classics.