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The Gentle Traditionalist: A Catholic Fairy-tale from Ireland Paperback – November 23, 2015

5.0 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

"This is one of the most unusual books I've ever read ... written throughout with passion and engagement, with a touching and deep-seated love for Ireland."--MARY KENNY, author of Goodbye to Catholic Ireland

"As brilliant a guide for the perplexed as this age is capable of producing."--CHARLES COULOMBE, author of Everyman Today Call Rome

"The Gentle Traditionalist is a book with a 'strange magic,' like unto the Ireland it loves and mourns. With unforgettable images and a wry sense of humor, Roger Buck unfolds a tale of whimsical fantasy, melancholy realism, and supernatural joy."--PETER KWASNIEWSKI, Wyoming Catholic College; author of Resurgent in the Midst of Crisis

"Writing with great wisdom, insight, and a most warm sense of humor, Roger Buck offers us a contemplation of the religious predicaments of our time in the spirit of Chesterton and Belloc. He takes on everything in a charming (and disarming) manner ... a wonderful book."--MICHAEL MARTIN, author of The Submerged Reality

"To read this work was a joy, and I thank the author for helping me realize that, despite the passing of three generations and 150 years in the Irish-Australian diaspora, my heart is still Irish."--GERARD O'SHEA, University of Notre Dame, Australia; author of As I Have Loved You

"This striking novel by Roger Buck, set in Ireland, is composed with extraordinary sensitivity and insight."--COLIN MAWBY KSG, Choral Director of Radio Telefis Eireann (RTÉ)

"An unusual book: part love story, part theological dialog. Roger Buck is that altogether too rare Catholic who understands the importance of the geo-cultural forces that have shaped the modern world."--THOMAS STORCK, author of From Christendom to Americanism and Beyond

"The Gentle Traditionalist is a tremendous book: moving and humorous, opening up the most profound issues, engaging the most strident of polemics with the lightest touch."--JOSEPH SHAW, Chairman of the Latin Mass Society of England and Wales

About the Author

ROGER BUCK is a Catholic convert, who once resided at Findhorn, Scotland--probably the most renowned New Age community in the world. He is also the author of Cor Jesu Sacratissimum (forthcoming from Angelico Press) and a traditional Catholic website of the same name. He is very happily married and lives in the rural northwest of Ireland.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 194 pages
  • Publisher: Angelico Press (November 23, 2015)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1621381579
  • ISBN-13: 978-1621381570
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.5 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #871,618 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

By Mary G on December 9, 2015
Format: Paperback
This was a delightful surprise. I'd seen a blurb about the book in an Ignatius Press flyer and it sounded interesting. I ordered it for our Catholic high school library (as I'm always looking for fiction that portrays the good, the true and the beautiful ... NOT twaddle). I was wonderfully surprised by how well written ... how well plotted ... how well thought out this book was! I immediately passed it on to another teacher for her to read/review and can't wait to have someone with whom to discuss the great insights ... great philosophy ... great theology ... great story packed into this volume.

Sincerely hope this is not the only fiction book Roger Buck has in him!
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Format: Paperback
What a charming and important book this is! If you're a Catholic and trying to help a secular-minded friend understand "where you're coming from," this book is a great start. It's rather akin to "My Dinner With Andre" in that the bulk of it consists of a conversation between two men, one an old Catholic, and one a secular--minded soul who's fallen in love with a woman who's embraced Catholicism. Her embrace of the Faith has our protagonist frustrated and puzzled, but his deep conversation with the old man helps him to understand the woman he loves -- and helps open his eyes to things he'd never before considered.

I don't want to say much more so as to not give away the "magical bits" (as it were), but suffice it to say that "magic" there is, along with romance and philosophy -- the philosophy delivered gently, with wit, and a tasty spoonful of sugar. There is also mourning for a world that for too many is "bygone," but which needn't be bygone at all. And that last is the point of the book. Give this book to an agnostic or atheist friend and help him to see that he has a decision to make! Help restore Christendom and bring about a renaissance of a world filled with meaning, "magic," and Mystery!
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Telling truths that need desperately to be told, but truly in a gentle way, uniquely delivered… half exposition, half conversation, Roger Buck has managed to weave together a story of hope and relief for the post-modern, post-Christian restless heart. Perhaps precisely because he has occupied both worlds / world-views, Buck paints a credible picture of the angst and confusion wrought by the loss of Sacraments and Mystery, particularly in the Anglosphere (not to mention – in the micro - in the hearts, minds and lives of individual persons, increasingly troubled by a chaotic world). Somehow the book achieves both lightness and urgency, with quite a bit to say to the lost-but-searching, as well as to the already-convicted traditionalist. Highly recommended.
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I really enjoyed this book. It is, as the title suggests, a gentle read ... so gentle that coming to the end can be a bit of a surprise! It has a serious message wrapped in a somewhat whimsical package that is a delight to unwrap. It is also hard-hitting without being offensive and presents deep ideas in a very easy to digest fashion. I'd recommend this book to Catholics and non-Catholics alike.
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Roger Buck has presented a ‘story’ that creatively portrays profound Truths that live in the depths of the Catholic Mystery – within the power and magic of the sacraments, especially within the Holy Eucharist. His book is a rare find, for he is an author of courage, offering mind-expanding contexts based on his extensive knowledge of history, including clear insight into the geo-political, and geo-cultural events that have supported the quest for the obliteration of the knowledge of the Christ Mystery that has led to the arising of the “steel” character of our modern world. It will quite probably offer a tremendous enlightenment, and a renewed sense of the responsibility we have as citizens of the earth. I recommend it as a gift, and a point of departure for worthwhile conversations! And it is an easy, pleasurable read with unexpected dry humor that made me laugh out loud.
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This is a perfect-sized Saturday read that lifts the soul, broadens the mind, delights the heart. The Gentle Traditionalist re-enchants the world in its own light-yet-profound way, facing serious problems without flinching and clarifying just how dangerous is the reckless ride that late modernity has been taking us on. It sweeps away the excuses many of us offer for not accepting the call to embrace the mystery of being, sacramentality, and divine presence. Here is a path to a better enlightenment than rationalism has ever been able to hawk. There is humor and no coercion. The celestial atmosphere is richer not thinner than what we usually breathe. Can we see through the cardboard world we have constructed that disses and dismisses our ancestors? Can we believe again? I found myself ordering extra copies for friends before I was two-thirds of the way through this touching novel. I am an older, very experienced reader. Most books now weary me quickly even when I am interested in the themes. This one carried me along swiftly to the end in half a day. Far be it from me to declare books to be classics, but I would not be surprised if this book is already becoming one, despite all of its modesty. I recommend this especially to young adults who are trying to size up the messages that are swamping them through the media. Listen to the Gentle Traditionalist before you go making any rash decisions. Your very life is at stake!
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