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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 14, 1998
I purchased a paperback copy of this book in an airport several years ago. The flight I was meeting was nearly 2 hours late, but I didn't mind because the book was very entertaining. So entertaining, in fact, that airport security was on the point of calling an area mental hospital to request an ambulance, straitjacket, and a couple of nurses to relieve them of the solitary woman who kept startling their paying customers. I roared over the Doomsday chair, but I positively shrieked at Father Duddleswell's violation of the confessional. I have actually purchased 2 copies of the book, but loaned them to borrowers who turned into thieves - neither copy was returned to me. If only I could remember who borrowed them....
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on June 20, 1997
The hilarious trio of St.Judes parish is back again: The irascible but most lovable Father Duddleswell, salty-tongued Miss Pring and poor Curate Boyd go through
a bunch of incredible catastrophies and also heartbraking stories :
For instance: When they are called back publicly from a Footballmatch, because they have forgotten a marriage ceremonie is waiting.(and of course everything that can go wrong goes wrong.)
"Is the corpse a catholique" is another chapter in Father Duddleswells compedium of catastrophies.
The corpse in question is to be buried at sea and no none knows whether the father and his seasick Curate will ever be back again.
The will be back but almost only to run into other complications like those in
"The pious prisoner" and "the Pig in Court" they are the best!
And do not miss, when the Curate is supposed to explain everything about the birds and the bees to the primary class.
I hope the "Bless me, Father" Series will soon be republished!
(Please forgive my poor English, but I am German)
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
. . .of a young, newly ordained priest in his first assignment -- to be the assistant of an elderly eccentric. This book is "All Creatures Great and Small" in a religious setting! The characters are hysterical, from the acid-tounged housekeeper, Mrs. Pring; to the truly frightening "The Reverend Mother Stephen" to the constantly tipsy doctor -- and of course, to the delightful and witty Father Charles Duddleswell.
Believe me, you don't have to be Catholic (or even religious) to enjoy "Bless Me, Father".
As an aside, I also enjoyed the British TV series by the same name -- but not nearly as much as the book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
on September 16, 2005
Neil Boyd's charming autobiographical tale about his time as a curate at St. Jude's parish in London, circa 1950, is an underground classic. Basis for the HILARIOUS 1970's BBC series (that still runs daily in Ireland) Boyd describes the challenges on his patience and energy that went hand in hand with his assignment as new priest at a parish run under the watchful eye of cantankerous, highly capable and brilliant Father Duddleswell, the kind of priest they just don't make anymore. The very fact that Boyd is an Englishman working at a parish largely composed of immigrant Irish is enough in itself for some amusing cultural differences, but dwelling as understudy to the masterfully witty, compassionate and egocentric Father Duddleswell amplifies everything ten-fold. From mishaps at parish festivals, to confrontations with Africa witch doctors, presiding at wakes and dealing with (GASP!) the horrors of Protestant-to-Catholic mixed marriages, this peek into life as it apparently was in the last decade before Vatican II is a pretty hilarious and heartwarming book!

(Thanks, Grandma, for getting this book, so many years ago, for me to read over there.)
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on March 31, 2003
This book is so adorable and filled with a spirit of laughter and sunshine! I highly recommend it to everyone!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on January 29, 2007
Misunderstand regarding this book involves the authors use of a pseudonym. The author of the book is Peter DeRosa not, as stated on the cover, Neil Boyd. Yet when one explores the fascinating history of Mr. DeRosa one readily learns of his studies for the Catholic priesthood, and his subsequent authorship of both church history, and the history of Ireland. Mr. DeRosa is an illusive figure, and it is quite difficult to discriminate between what are his experiences in this book, and what are his contrivances. That said, it is an outstanding read, and it did inspire an outstanding BBC series. I only wish I had that old paperback today I read in my youth, Enjoy it, a fantastically fun read.
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on March 27, 2015
This is a re-release of a book that inspired a hit BBC comedy in Great Britain. I adore that part of the world and have been known to enjoy various BBC sitcoms. So, reading this book, I expected hilarity to ensue with dry, British humor, and I was not disappointed. I laughed out loud and I don’t think I stopped smiling from the first page!

The book played out like a television series, so it is not surprising that it later was made into one. Each chapter was very episodic, introducing a new conflict which was overcome through the hilarious antics of the scheming Father Duddleswell. The story was told mainly through witty dialogue between the characters. The conversations flowed well and were punctuated with humorous remarks and sarcastic commentary. British humor is very dry and sharp and at times the comedy was made through remarks which would be profane to some; which I would refer to as British profanity. The shock factor of “hearing” a Catholic priest curse at unlikely times was not lost on me, and I found it very funny, but I could see where some may find it offensive.

The story was told through the point of view of the young and much more conservative, Father Boyd. This served to highlight the quirky Father Duddleswell and Mrs. Pring who proved to be more than just secondary characters, but instead, moved the story along with their antagonistic yet loving relationship with one another. They truly bickered like a long married couple which again added to the humor of the relationship in fact being that of a celibate Catholic priest and his housekeeper. For me, it made the characters very human, representing them in this light rather than the stoic, serious light Catholic Priests are usually cast in. It made them all very endearing to me and showed that everyone has their imperfections, even a “Man of God.”

The story flowed with a good pace and, like I stated before, was very episodic, making it a book that I didn’t feel like I had to rush through, but I could instead put it down and come back to it. The hilarious antics of the priests and their housekeeper left me laughing throughout the entire book. The “conflict” in the book revolved around problems the churchgoers needed help with, trying to raise money for the church, and trying to uphold the word of God despite secular mishaps. While the story revolved around this small Catholic church and their congregation, the book never fell into preaching or conveying any spiritual messages, which I did not expect as it is not labeled as Christian Fiction.

The humor in this book comes from the fact that Father Duddleswell does not act as a conventional Catholic priest is expected to act, and, along with the British profanity peppered throughout the book from the many colorful characters, I could see how this book maybe offensive to some extremely conservative readers. However, this book brings a hilarious inside look into the life of a priest who does not take himself too seriously. So, I think this book absolutely would appeal to Christians and Non-Christians alike who aren’t afraid to laugh out loud at the quirky imperfections of a supposedly perfect man.

This was an absolutely delightful, fun read. It kept me laughing and kept me wanting more. There, luckily, are more books in this series, so I may find myself tangled up in this comical world again.
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on June 23, 2015
I love this book, it leaves a smile on your face whilst reading it - the ups and down of the newly ordained priest being steered by the classical Irish priest who pulls no punches. I don't think you need to be catholic to get enjoyment out of this. The characters are very likable and I have met priests like Fr Duddleswell, so must have Neil Boyd because he takes them off to a tee.
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on June 8, 2015
Very entertaining!
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on April 21, 2015
A nostalgic, hilarious romp through Fr. Neil's first adventure, with wit and charm and grace just flowing through every page. Maybe you have to be of a certain age to enjoy this type of story, maybe they don't write them like this anymore. I will most certainly get the other books in the series.
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