Cradle and All Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1 2001
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James Patterson's Cradle and All pits the intensity of faith against the certainties of science within an arena of Millennial tensions. A reworking of his 1980 apocalyptic thriller Virgin, this remodeled version boasts a genuinely unnerving premise, amplified with Patterson's fast-paced, uncluttered prose.
In the midst of a series of unexplained plagues and famines, two teenage girls are heavily pregnant, despite being virgins. According to the sacred prophecies of Fatima, one will bear the child of Christ and the other, the spawn of Satan. Both Anne Fitzgerald, a former nun turned private detective, and the Vatican's Father Rosetti are sent to investigate. But which girl carries which child? The possibility of a miracle will be tainted with great suffering before the awful, unexpected truth is revealed. As the action moves speedily from the hallowed halls of the Vatican to the media frenzy of America to the small-town hysteria of Ireland, Patterson divines considerable suspense from the novel's central premise, tackling issues of faith with admirable aplomb:
"All over the world, after all the years of difficulty, decades of diminishing spirituality, so many people still believed.... Everywhere, people talked of the Apocalypse, perhaps the end of the world. Which explained why so many people were suddenly going to church."
A relentless pace culminating in a superbly twisted ending won't disappoint Patterson's faithful followers, and may even convert some new members. --Danny Graydon --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
From Publishers Weekly
His Alex Cross series (Pop Goes the Weasel, etc.) has made Patterson a top-selling author, but his most interesting work lies elsewhere: in his debut mystery, The Thomas Berryman Number; in last year's SF thriller, When the Wind Blows--and in this exciting and moving religious thriller about two pregnant virgins, one of whom may carry the Son of God and the other the Son of the Devil. If that plot line sounds familiar, it should. The novel is a reworking of Virgin, Patterson's second novel, published in 1980 by McGraw-Hill and long out of print. The narrative features the first-person/third-person narrative mix that's Patterson's trademark. The "I" belongs to ex-nun Anne Fitzgerald, now a PI. Her latest case for the Church involves investigating--and guarding--Newport, R.I. (i.e., rich), teenager Kathleen Beavier, who's eight months pregnant but, by expert medical testimony, a virgin. The Church is particularly anxious about Kathleen's condition because the Third Secret of Fatima (a real-life secret guarded by the Church since the Virgin Mary allegedly revealed it in 1917) prophesied two pregnant virgins: one bearing the Savior, the other the Devil's child. Anne eventually learns that indeed there's a poor girl in Ireland who's also pregnant, yet a virgin. Which girl carries which child? For texture, Patterson throws in some romance between Anne and a priest, but the novel's considerable suspense arises from his treatment of the central question as he speeds the action from America to Ireland to the Vatican, complicates it with a media frenzy over Kathleen, sharpens it as supernatural forces come into play and spins it with a wicked twist. While not subtle, this novel tackles issues of faith with admirable gusto. It could be a massive bestseller, appealing not only to Patterson's fans but also to those of the apocalyptic thrillers of LaHaye and Jenkins. 1 million first printing; $1 million ad/promo; Literary Guild main selection; author tour. (May)
Copyright 2000 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
It all starts as Polio breaks out among kids across America. Soon, virgin teenage girls are becoming impregnated with the son of christ and the son of satan. See, I told you that Patterson keeps on the edge. Vatican City priests try to help these girls out. Only one way to solve this mystery. Read this book. Cradle and All by James Patterson. New York Times # 1 best seller. You can't go wrong there. Five out of five stars. I give this novel my Full recommondation. Truely a mystery that cannot be missed.
Meanwhile, all over the world apocalyptic manifestations are sprouting up. Pestilence, drought, famine, and other evil portents seem to dominate the global landscape. Something strange is going on, and it appears as if the forces of good and evil are gathering about, girding themselves for one final battle.
Father Rosetti, an emissary from the Vatican, has been entrusted with a secret mission by the Pope relative to these two young virgins, and it is one that will sorely try his faith. Meanwhile, former nun turned private investigator, Anne Fitzgerald, has been retained by the Archdiocese of Boston to look into the phenomena of a possible immaculate conception with regards to these two young women who inhabit disparate worlds. Anne must not only confront the unknown in order to assist these two young women; she must also confront her own powerful emotions and a destiny she could not have imagined.
The book is riddled with ridiculous cliches from the horror genre and lacks any real tension. First released in 1980 under the title "Virgin", this book has been updated by the author to make it appear as if it were a more contemporary work. It has now resurfaced under the title "Cradle and All" in order to capitalize on the author's success with his Alex Cross series of thrillers. Unfortunately, it is not cut from the same bolt of cloth and lacks the quality of both writing and plot that earmarks his Alex Cross novels.
The book is about a nun who joined the police force and gets a call from her friend Cardinal Rooney. There is apparently a plague that is going around the world. Meanwhile, there are two virgin births on opposite sides of the world. One in the U.S and one in Ireland. Kathleen Beaver is seventeen years old, Colleen Galagher is fourteen years old.
I won't ruin any surprise twists here, because 1)it would ruin the book, and 2)there are too many surprises. I was so shocked, which adds to the lasting factor and the memorable factor. I would highly recommend this book to anyone 18 and over because of the strong sexual content and language. I am 12, and this book was a little strange to me, it even grossed me out a little, so I think you should be at least 18.
Definitely the least good Patterson book out there. If it wasn't written in Patterson's short chapter style it probably would be a lot harder to want to finish it. Unless you're into religion and believe the plot could maybe happen this book will probably be a bit far fetched for you although it does come down to earth near the end.
Most recent customer reviews
I am not a James Patterson fan, but a friend was reading this book, and it sounded very interesting to me. I bought it, and loved it. Read morePublished on April 25 2004
My dislike of this book was a result of my neglect to really pay attention to the preview on the back cover when I read it. Read morePublished on March 21 2004
This is one of the most boring books I have ever read. Like another reader, I read the whole thing, just HOPING it would get better. No such luck. Read morePublished on March 15 2004
I've read practically every James Patterson novel, and this was certainly not his best. I love the Alex Cross series and most of his other works because they keep you guessing... Read morePublished on Feb. 15 2004 by Joseph Daniilidou
The forces of good and evil converge. Two young virgin girls are both about to have a baby. One for good and one for evil. Read morePublished on Oct. 16 2003 by Michael A. Newman
Cradle and All is the best novel I've read in a long while. It had me guessing all the way and the ending just shocked me. Read morePublished on Sept. 22 2003 by T. Watson
James Patterson is one of the world's most prolific and mind-bending authors whose works twists and turns and captures the reader's mind and thoughts. Read morePublished on Aug. 21 2003 by david e. meadows
Vaugely entertaining and highly predictable, this was quite a disappointment. I love the Alex Cross series and most of Patterson's books. Read morePublished on July 18 2003 by Back to Basics
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