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Had Robert Harris been a. lesser writer, this novel may have turned out to be deceiving and predictable at the same time. But he is not a lesser writer. His research, his detail, the fluidity of his prose, still work their magic, and even that soupçon of a trendy issue that the reader receives at the end of the novel is not followed through in a way to make having read the book an unsatisfactory experience. Once again, the characters that he invokes take on their own identity and force within the reader's imagination and mind, and through them, we gain an entrée into the human psyche and the omnipresent experience of the undertow of power. I, for one, could scarcely stop listening.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
I've enjoyed nearly all of Harris's novels, especially 'Pompeii', though I found the Cicero trilogy very tedious and gave up halfway through. 'Conclave' deals in minute detail with the election of a new Pope, plus a mildly thriller type plot. As usual, Harris has done his research and provides plenty of twists and turns to his plot, though for the reader who is not a Roman Catholic, and takes little interest in the Pope or the Church's internal affairs, the reaction might well be 'Does it really matter, and why should I care?' It's hard to give any more details of the story without committing some serious spoilers, so I'll leave it at that. It did strike me that the current outrage at the sins of the Vatican, covered-up child abuse, is given a very easy ride; in fact it hardly figures at all. No, not one of my favourites. The reader is excellent.
Would you listen to Conclave again? Why?
Yes, mostly cause I fell asleep during one passage, but also because the book is so good
Who was your favorite character and why?
None in particular, all were realistic and well defined
What does Roy Mcmillan bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Good pace, subtle changes in accent, great pronunciation
Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?
Yes, I did
Any additional comments?
Unusual book, well worth the credit
What did you like most about Conclave?
I cannot say what drew me to this book. However the story kept me enthralled. The twists and turns and the detail.
What did you like best about this story?
Factual about the Conclave and with an interesting storyline and ending.
What about Roy Mcmillan’s performance did you like?
Yes very well read.
Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Robert Harris is a fine writer but I was surprised at just how much tension he could put into the election of a fictional Pope. As someone with no real knowledge of Catholicism it was well sign posted and the end twist was unpredictable but signposted.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful