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Cradle and All (Charnwood Library) Hardcover – Large Print, October 1, 2001

2.8 out of 5 stars 518 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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 an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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The latest book club pick from Oprah
"The Underground Railroad" by Colson Whitehead is a magnificent novel chronicling a young slave's adventures as she makes a desperate bid for freedom in the antebellum South. See more

Product Details

  • Series: Charnwood Library
  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ulverscroft Large Print Books Ltd; Large Print edition edition (October 1, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0708992803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0708992807
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 6 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 2.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (518 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #13,236,507 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By mellion108 VINE VOICE on May 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
I've been hooked on James Patterson since I read KISS THE GIRLS. He typically does a wonderful job with character development and suspense. CRADLE has all of the Patterson elements: notoriously short chapters, quickly defined characters, alternating first and third person narration. All in all this is a decent read.

The storyline revolves around the question of how the world would react to the news of a modern-day immaculate conception. Anne Fitzgerald is called in by the Archdiocese to provide an objective investigation into a reported virgin pregnancy. She walks in expecting an easy assignment and instead ends up testing her own faith. Along the way, we're introduced to Nicholas Rosetti, a strong priest sent in to unravel the mystery of two young women claiming to be virgins despite their pregnancies. He believes one will bear the saviour of man, the other will bear the child of satan. The story moves rather slowly through most of the book; it focuses on outlining the media frenzy building around one of the virgins as well as the scapegoating endured by the other virgin. The last quarter of the book builds to a quick climax with an ending that makes the reading worthwhile. It also leaves the question: when is the sequel? Overall, I enjoyed the book. It's a very quick, easy read (at just over 300 pages, I polished this off in a few hours), it addresses some rather heavy spiritual issues, but it delivers a story without being "preachy". I wouldn't qualify this as one of Patterson's best works; it's more like "Patterson-Lite". The novel exemplifies his earlier abilities, but overall, I enjoyed it.
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Format: Hardcover
As you may or may not know, Cradle And All is a rework of Patterson's 2nd novel called Virgin. Most likely if you read Virgin within the past few years and remember the ending you probably won't want to read Cradle And All -- even though there are differences between the two versions. But if you haven't read Virgin or read it like I did(when it first came out in 1980)and don't remember the outcome, you're in for a real treat. After reading an advance reader copy of Cradle And All, I'm sure that most Patterson fans will find many of the qualities that have made them devour his previous books. In typical Patterson fashion the plot moves along at a break-neck pace, the chapters are very brief with each ending on a note that makes you want to quickly turn the page, and the characters--while not developed in great depth--are interesting. While I'm not a particularly fast reader, I read this book in two days. Be prepared to be glued to your favorite reading place until you finish Cradle And All! You'll definitely enjoy this book.
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Format: Audio Cassette
Hearing the title of James Patterson's latest release, "Cradle and All", I expected the story of a missing infant, distraught parents, family secrets and an eventual tearful reunion. I was unprepared for the deception of the benign title; it belies a literal tale of apocalyptic proportions, mixing biblical prophecy, Virgin births, priests and nuns, the Vatican and holy miracles with enough world-wide plague and pestilence to create the ultimate battle of good against evil.
Annie, a former nun turned private investigator, is content with her present limited involvement with the Church, consisting of occasional investigations of sensitive matters. In the midst of an outbreak of "new polio", she is summoned by her old friend, a Cardinal, to handle a secretive and potentially dangerous crisis; she is told little more than it involves a pregnant teenager named Kathleen, who lives in Massachusetts and claims to be a virgin. Meeting and befriending Kathleen is a journey of faith and conscience for Annie, who must venture beyond her own skepticism, particularly when she learns of a second pregnant teen in Ireland, Colleen, who is also believed to be a virgin. Only then does Annie learn the magnitude of her assignment: to investigate whether the prophecy foretold by the Virgin Mother in Fatima in 1917 - that the child of God and the child of Satan would each be born to virgins - is becoming a present-day reality and whether the potential of such an event is behind the crises of sickness, famine and drought suddenly sweeping the earth. The resolution to this mystery shocks Annie (much as it does those of us following her pilgrimage), changes the course of her life and defines its purpose.
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By A Customer on May 29, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Read this book if you have read all of Patterson's books. If you liked "Where the Wind Blows" and were willing to let Patterson take you in a different direction from the usual detective/suspense novel, you will like his newest book.
If you like Mary Higgins Clark's abbreviated style of short chapters and dividing equal time among several characters, you will like this latest book. This book is very abbreviated. There is something like 200 chapters, each 1-2 pages long in this book. Much of these pages can be scanned.
If you liked "Rosemary's Baby" and "Damien" and that sort of thing, this is the book for you.
If you are a fairly religous person with a few doubts, this book will work for you.
If you want another Alex Cross book and hated "When the Wind Blows," then please don't read this book and then whine about it.
Mr Patterson has taken another chance with this book instead of churning out another detective book with familiar characters which would have been a sure fire hit with all his fans. He prob knew he would get pummelled for it.
I am still not sure if I liked this book, but I admired the effort it took to do something different. I am not sure if Patterson was confirming religous beliefs, or tearing them down. Whether he upholds the virgin birth of Christ or is having a field day tearing it all apart. Some of both I think. I think the question he made me ask if we can believe the virgin birth really happened 2000 years ago, why could we not believe it was all meant to happen again in our day and time? It's seems a bit easier to believe what long ago happened than to put the same circumstances into our day and time and believe the parallel events happened again.
Read this book and ask your own questions.
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