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The Devil's Advocate Hardcover – Large Print, Jul 1 1974


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Hardcover, Large Print, Jul 1 1974
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--This text refers to an alternate Hardcover edition.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 529 pages
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books; Large Print edition edition (July 1974)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0854562745
  • ISBN-13: 978-0854562749
  • Product Dimensions: 22.9 x 15.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 626 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Lucille Walls on Nov. 30 2003
Format: Hardcover
I converted to Catholicism three and a half years ago. The discussion in this book regarding Christianity and communism were the most powerful yet simple arguments I have ever read. It brought me to tears to realize how well this author could explain the essence of faith. I read an average of 50 books each year, and have a read a majority of the 100 greatest books in history and believe this book should be among them. The author has a unique way of making characters that you don't even like understood and appreciated for their failures. It brought me to tears to know that I have just discovered this author and he died in 1999. His death is all of our lost.
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By "arunks" on Jan. 31 2004
Format: Hardcover
This is one best book I have read recently. I just cannot keep the book down, thanks for the narration & suspense it had all thru the book. Recently my friend gave me this old book. When I read it,I found how a book can shake you by its near-real life characters. The flashbacks told by Nina can be stilled seen in my mind.
I am not Catholic or Christian, but the soul of the story is universal - its faith.... It tells how faith can make a ordinary man to move closer to heaven. It can be just one more proof - for the beleif that the earth revolves on the axis of truth.Giacomo Nerone, proves his miracles are none other than faith. Faith in god, truth & himself.
The writer gives a moving picture of the Italian village, depth view of the happening in Church during early 20th century. The story moves in the eyes of Devil's advocate which gives us balanced view of Nerone.The letters writen by Nerone to the doctor, latter read by dev. adv. is the best part of the book. I recommend this book for those who like to be disture to their inner-soul.
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Format: Hardcover
Devil's Advocate is a deeply insightful novel about the psychology of sin and salvation. It traces the spiritual journeys of its characters in what I think to be an authentically Christian way-- frankly naming virtue as virtue and sin as sin, yet compassionate to those who find the first one difficult to achieve, and the second difficult to forego. For Catholics, it expresses in novel form the ancient mysteries of God's mercy and grace; for non-believers, it is a faithful portrait of the human soul. I strongly recommend it.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 38 reviews
48 of 51 people found the following review helpful
Faith And Foibles Dec 25 2005
By Vijay B. Kumar - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It is a fascinating tale of suffering, human failings, redemption and above all faith, set in Southern Italy during World War II. Monsignor Blaise Meredith, who is dying of cancer, has been assigned the most important task of his life to be a Devil's Advocate for beautification of Giacomo Nerone. He is sent to a small town in Calabria to investigate the life and death of this martyr. The story unfolds as the Monsignor interviews Nerone's widow, Nina Sanduzzi, Nerone's friend, Dr. Aldo Myers, a Jew among the Catholics, a wealthy Contessa, who was in love with Nerone and Contessa's guest, Nicholas Black, an English painter. Nerone's character comes alive through Dr. Myers and his widow's narration of events leading to his death by firing squad by the partisan mob. Nerone's life in the small town is revealed gradually like clouds parting to reveal the sun. He is a British officer who disserts his post after a horrifying accident where he kills an infant and the parents. With a bullet in his shoulder he runs away to find love, peace and God. He eventually finds all three.

It is beautifully written with characters full of human follies, sacrifices and dichotomy of good and evil. Meredith, who had spent his entire life in Rome, closeted in the ridged environs of the Church, is suddenly immersed among ordinary folks with human failings, some with unbound love and devotion, and some who possess qualities of equal measure.

Why do we act the way we do? What makes us believe in God and yet commit horrible acts? When Meredith unveils Contessa's evil plan of seducing Paolo, Nerone's young son, he admonishes her and bares her soul. Contessa then blithely asks him to be her confessor. Monsignor replies people go to confessions as if visiting their psychiatrist, not to repent and ask for forgiveness, but to unburden themselves of their shameful act, so that they can go on to their next folly.

The human riddle has no answer. Even the good hearted dying Monsignor fails in his bid to save Nicholas Black. Meredith, a cold hearted bookworm from Rome, discovers for the first time true love, hatred, jealousy, revenge, the essence of human heart. He is so moved by the events in the small town, which tugged at his heart for the very first time, that he requests the Church in Rome to be buried there.

A MUST read in any body's list.
23 of 23 people found the following review helpful
An engaging novel that offers an examination of ourselves. Oct. 12 2006
By Christian Engler - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
Morris West's--The Devil's Advocate--is a perennial literary classic thriller that is an intermixture of politics and religion, which explores the behind-the-process investigative scenes of Catholic saint making. But that is really only the backdrop to the totality of the story, for the real narrative deals with the world weary and cynical English devil's advocate, Fr. Blaise Meredith, a man who has been informed that due to an illness, his life expectancy has been shortened. With such a blow, he submissively complies to that which he can not prevent from happening: death. He passively waits for it, dismissing his environment and the people contained within it, thus causing a premature emotional death, stunting him before actual physical death seizes him. As such, his 'boss' Eugenio Cardinal Marotta, tries to get him out of his self-made rut, something created long before his illness came into the scene. And it is an observation duly noted by Marotta, when he states on page 37, "...Part of the problem is that you and I and others like us have been removed too long from pastoral duty. We have lost touch with the people who keep us in touch with God. We have reduced the faith to an intellectual conception, an arid assent of the will, because we have not seen it working in the lives of common folk. We have lost pity and fear and love. We are the guardians of mysteries, but we have lost the awe of them. We work by canon, not by charity..."

Over the course of time, Blaise Meredith lost something within himself, the mystery of what brought him into religious life in the first place, that spark of Divine influence which ignited his actions, the excitement, the possibility, the allure; what he clung to was a partial illusion instead of the reality, and so, bit-by-bit, he gradually crumbled until his feelings became ashes and dust rather than his body. Yet, that is the beauty of humanity, for we each raise each other up when necessary, and Fr. Meredith is no exception. But he is raised up not by a living soul, but a departed one, a martyred witness whose cause for canonization he must investigate. But for him, it is yet another albatross around his neck, for he is of the belief that the world could do with more churches and better attendance than another holy rollar saint. However, the man whom he must investigate--Giacomo Nerone--appears anything but saintly, which in its own right is quite refreshing. But his adherence to the doctrine of the Church, even onto death, is what elevates him to the possibilities of the honor of the alter. The story surrounding Nerone and those who knew him slowly and intricately revives the devil's advocate's own faith. And his soul is gradually restored.

West's novel can be dissected on many levels and the characters that are gradually introduced are by all accounts flawed in their own very unique manner, for nothing is held back. But no matter how reprehensible some of the characters and situations may be, there is corrective redemption that is available; some take it and others do not, but for those who do, one can not but sigh with a degree of relief. As noted in the author biogrphy, The Devil's Advocate was awarded the Royal Society's William Heinemann Award, the National Brotherhood Award from the National Council of Christians and Jews as well as the James Tait Black Memorial Award. And for me, upon completion of the book, an understanding of the universal acclaim that it has received since its publication.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Outstanding Oct. 11 1999
By Madhavi P - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read this book over a weekend and it's helped me make some major changes to my attitude towards others and towards my own ambitions. It's a touching book - there are people at the extremes here- the Contessa living her life out in loneliness, decadence and revenge, the effeminate painter, the doctor torn between right and wrong, wanting to do good but not being able to reach out, the teenage son and beautiful and wise lover of Nerone - Nina, the "devil's advocate" dying with library dust on his lungs - he hasn't done any bad but he hasn't done any good either. He finds his peace among these peasants at last - in understanding others and living with them. The imagery is subtle but startling - Nerone grew from the muddy ground and blossomed into a tree, his fruits were the changes he brought in the characters in the book and the priest himself was the gardener! Nerone is the central character of the book - he loses God and then God brings him back to his own path. I particularly like the way Nina describes her lover. So, was Nerone a saint. I believe in "worship the creator, not the created"! Nerone was NOT a saint, but he found God and that's all that matters. A leader among men!!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
A book to remember Nov. 1 1999
By Miguel-Angel - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
I read this book ages ago and I remembered it was very enlightening about the methods used by the Catholic Church, in the process of accepting or rejecting individuals being postulated for sainthood. Then I recently attended a representation of G. B. Shaw's "Saint Joan" together with a Mormon lady I was dating. As said play finishes with a mockery of the process by which Joan of Arc was accepted among the Saints, I wanted this lady to read "Devil's Advocate", to realize that the Church is very strict in this process and doesn't just go around handing out sainthood to whoever, in order to further their goals. I believe she was as impressed with the book as I originally was. It is very clear, beautifully written, interesting as it is full of facts and data not easily become otherwise and also very entertaining, even for someone who's native language is not English, like me. I thank amazon.com for having searched for months for this book, as it was already out of print.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Required reading for all Catholics Nov. 30 2003
By Lucille Walls - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
I converted to Catholicism three and a half years ago. The discussion in this book regarding Christianity and communism were the most powerful yet simple arguments I have ever read. It brought me to tears to realize how well this author could explain the essence of faith. I read an average of 50 books each year, and have a read a majority of the 100 greatest books in history and believe this book should be among them. The author has a unique way of making characters that you don't even like understood and appreciated for their failures. It brought me to tears to know that I have just discovered this author and he died in 1999. His death is all of our lost.

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