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Cradle and All [Mass Market Paperback]

James Patterson
2.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (364 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2001 Alex Cross Novels
In Boston, a young woman finds herself pregnant--even though she is still a virgin.

In Ireland, another young woman discovers she is in the same impossible condition.

And in cities all around the world, medical authorities are overwhelmed by epidemics, droughts, famines, floods, and worse. It all feels like a sign that something awful is coming.

Anne Fitzgerald, a former nun turned private investigator, is hired by the Archdiocese of Boston to investigate the immaculate conceptions. Even as she comes to care about and trust the young women, she realizes that both are in great danger. Terrifying forces of light and darkness are gathering. Stepping into uncharted territory where the unknown is just the beginning, Anne must discover the truth--to save the young women, to save herself, and to protect the future of all mankind.

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From Amazon

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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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent April 25 2004
By A Customer
Format:Audio CD
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. It is the only book by him that I have ever cared to read, probably because it is so different from the rest of his work. I thought I had the book all figured out until the end. Those are the kind of books I love. This is one that you definetly do not want to read the end first, for it will ruin the whole book!
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1.0 out of 5 stars I should have seen this coming March 22 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. Had I paid attention, I would have realized that Cradle and All would be too religious for my liking. Frankly, I did not like it; therefore, I feel compelled to warn others like me who, as I did, might not fully digest the preview on the back cover. However, if you like stories with religious subject matter, try this book; *you* might like it. Beware, though, that the story is quite predictable.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Wake me up when it's over. March 15 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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. It seems like all the characters are just driving around and circling the globe going back and forth between the "virgins". And, some characters are so useless they could have been completely left out. This is the only James Patterson book I've read, and if any of his other ones are like this one, it will be my last.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Not his best Feb. 16 2004
Format:Mass Market Paperback
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 throughout the entire book. This novel, on the other hand, pretty much tells you the catch and simply repeats itself over and over from Part 2 until the ending. It was so messy that the act of reading it gradually became annoying. It is, however, a quick read (I finished it in less than a week) so even if it is a terrible novel, it doesn't waste too much of your time. By the way, the only reason that I give this book 2 stars and not 1 is because it did have a mildly ammusing epilogue.
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1.0 out of 5 stars A STINKER BY ANY OTHER NAME... Jan. 17 2004
By Lawyeraau TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Turtleback
This is a bad book with a fairly simple story line. There are two young girls, both pregnant and both claiming to be virgins. One, Kathleen, rich and privileged, lives in the United States. The other, Colleen, lives in a small country village in Ireland. According to a secret missive from Our Lady of Fatima, one virgin will give birth to Satan's child, the Anti-Christ, while the other will give birth to the child of God, a new Messiah.
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.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Everything in one book! Dec 24 2003
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is the second book I read by James Patterson. The first book I read was Kiss the Girls, and I was interested in some more of his works, so I read this after discovering I had it for about 2 years and it had been missing. I can't recommend it enough! This book has a little comedy, drama, mystery, action, suspense, and it is based on events in the Bible. This book taught me about the Blessed Virgin Mary. The book couldn't have a more surprising ending, and when I finished it, I wanted to read it again. I last read this book during June, so I have to do this book from memory. That's the best thing; I can remember all of the events from beginning to end, that's how memorable this book is. Anyway, on to the overview of the book and the final judgement.
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.
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Most recent customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars How Will The Cradle Fall?
When you think of a James Patterson # 1 New York Times Best Selling novel, you, as a fan, would think of a mystery, and a little humor. Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003 by Kevin, Mr. H's class.
4.0 out of 5 stars Short but good
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 more
Published on Oct. 16 2003 by Michael A. Newman
5.0 out of 5 stars Incredible Novel
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 more
Published on Sept. 22 2003 by T. Watson
5.0 out of 5 stars Every now and again, a rediscovered book is a best book
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 more
Published on Aug. 21 2003 by david e. meadows
2.0 out of 5 stars Read this one last
Vaugely entertaining and highly predictable, this was quite a disappointment. I love the Alex Cross series and most of Patterson's books. Read more
Published on July 18 2003 by Back to Basics
5.0 out of 5 stars A quick read.
I've read the other reviews and believe that people are being a little too hard on this book. I really enjoyed it. Read more
Published on July 17 2003 by "jailblazrs"
2.0 out of 5 stars Characterization? I think I'll pass!
James Patterson does a passable action story, and I can see that his books would translate well to film. On the other side, characterization is almost non-existent. Read more
Published on May 20 2003 by pjenning
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