This is the definitive account of one God that failed. It describes a man's loss of faith during the 1930s in the international Communist movement. Wanted as a terrorist, he slips back into southern Italy where he hides as a Catholic priest recovering from tuberculosis. Fascism is rampant and war with Ethiopia has given national purpose to Italians suffering from economic stagnation. His priestly duties involve offering forgiveness to Catholics saddled with a primitive and uncompromising faith. His contacts in the Comintern underground demand his obedience to party dogma from Moscow that he now sees as meaningless. While Silone offers no grand solution to the dilemna that loss of faith presents, the book presents an uncompromising and wonderfully written portrait of the strength and weakness of humanity in the Godless world of the 20th Century.