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Lazarus Paperback – March 30, 2005


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Lazarus + The Clowns of God + The Shoes of the Fisherman (Vatican Trilogy, Book 1)
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 339 pages
  • Publisher: Toby Pr (March 30, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592641164
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592641161
  • Product Dimensions: 8.5 x 5.6 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #747,220 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The Vatican trilogy that began with The Shoes of the Fisherman (1963) and The Clowns of God (1981) reaches a dramatic conclusion in West's bold limning of a modern pontiff presiding in a time of terrorism and violence. Leo XIV, a pope physically at risk as well as spiritually troubled, is unlike his warmly remembered predecessor, John XXIII. Reactionary and forbidding, out of touch with the faithful, Leo undergoes bypass surgery that puts him at the mercy of "Brother Death" and in the care of a Jewish Italian surgeon with Zionist connections. Amid political intrigue and counterespionage, both pope and physician become prime targets of Islamic terrorists. Convalescing, Leo experiences a "change of heart," considering abdication in favor of a simpler life. West's authoritative knowledge of labyrinthine Roman society provides a credible background for the gripping climax. Timely and absorbing, this novel will appear as the two earlier books are reissued in both hardcover and trade paperback. 150,000 first printing; $150,000 ad/promo; Literary Guild dual main selection; author tour.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

An Australian writer with a well-deserved international reputation, West has published more than 25 books in his 40-year career. His new novel completes his papacy trilogy, begun with The Shoes of the Fisherman (1963) and continued with The Clowns of God (1981)--and both still great "reads." A tense and exciting thriller, Lazarus also explores world crises and theological politics quite as fascinating to non-Catholics as to Catholics. At its heart is reactionary Pope Leo XIV, who emerges a changed man in an unchanged world when he simultaneously undergoes coronary bypass surgery and deals with the threat of assassination. While the book can be read as a complement to the other two novels, it stands alone as a superb, absorbing novel. Literary Guild dual main selection; previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 12/89.-- Mary Margaret Benson, Linfield Coll . Lib., McMinnville, Ore. correction: The review of Sam Llewel lyn's Death Roll (Summit Bks.) inadvertent ly appeared under the heading for Carolyn Llewellyn's The Lady of the Labryinth (Scribner) in the February 15 issue of LJ. The two books, with their correct headings, are reviewed in this issue, above.
Copyright 1990 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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See all 9 customer reviews
In particular Lazarus which is one of many of his great work.
Fatima M. Fugate
The third and final entry in West's Vatican trilogy isn't as good as "Shoes of the Fisherman" or "Clowns of God", but it is still a compelling read.
K. Hamilton
One of the best books by Morris West, a truly great novelist of the 20th century.
Paul J. Baragona

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By David Rasquinha on October 11, 2003
Format: Paperback
Morris West's Lazarus is a cri de coeur in more ways than one. On a basic level, West has parlayed his own experience with life-saving cardiac surgery (and its impact on his life) into come up with an amazingly realistic account of the same transformation experienced by the Pope. On a deeper level, it is West's own plea for his beloved Catholic Church to break its self-imposed shackles of bureaucracy, rigid attitude and mechanistic rules and return to the basic metaphor of its founder : a shepherd caring for his flock of sheep.
This has been a consistent thrust of Morris West's writings, born out of his own experiences : a theme that is of course highly divisive. Many (like myself, admittedly) Catholics who considered the Second Vatican Council to be a long delayed awakening for the hierarchy, and the subsequent papal policies as a betrayal of the Council, will doubtless find ourselves in full agreement. I recognize at the same time that many persons of goodwill consider the Council as a step too far and view the retrenchments since then as advancements.
The Pope Leo of the book is not John Paul II of course, but his fundamental character is not far different. West envisages Leo as the stereotyped Curial bureaucrat who becomes a priest more from family expectations than any real calling, rises through the ranks and finds himself Pope with no real vision for the Church beyond the classical bureaucrat's respect for authority and rules. With this background, he (in all sincerity no doubt) rules with an iron hand, brooking no dissent and heedless of the human cost of his policies.
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on July 6, 2000
Format: Paperback
Again, the Vatican: The ageing pontiff faces death unless the famous, Jewish doctor performs surgery immediately. The risk? Nothing much - it's like getting into a car or a plane. You accept the risk, then forget it. Turning down surgery carries swift - and certain - death, so the heir of the fisherman accepts.
Being under the knife brings the iron-fisted hard-liner to a personal crisis, and he emerges another man after having seen death in the eye - thus the title. But the statistical risk of not making it through surgery is infinitesimal - compared to becoming the target of professional assassins as they gather around their prey.
As often is with West, he combines quick action with personal trauma. And once again, he does it well. The thrill and the thoughts are both essential, and the book is worth reading. And, not surprisingly, a twist at the end.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By "gilspat" on October 1, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I read this book on vacation. Many years ago I read "In The Shoes of the Fisherman" and "The Clowns of God." I enjoyed both of these books but not enought to search out and read the third book in the trilogy. What a mistake! This book contains the politics of power, the behind the scenes strugles and the fears and doubts as well as the faith and triumphs of the servants of the Vatican, as well as the Italian and international scene. The relationships both formed, forming and parting kept me glued to the book. The pace was fast and enthralling. Do not miss this book. The end was somewhat predictable, but never-the-less still shocking.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Jaye on February 14, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
While the story was slow to start - I am used to those modern fast reads - the character development was very satisfying and the story was thought provoking and inspiring. I often have trouble remembering the details of the many paper backs I read. This man and his story will stay with me. I look forward to reading it again in a year or so.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Fatima M. Fugate on November 23, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Morris West was a great writer and this is just one of his wonderful work. If you never read any of his book you should. In particular Lazarus which is one of many of his great work.

Fatima
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