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Far exceeded expectations. The breadth of historical background and contemporary info highlighted the importance of art and artists during the Renaissance period as reflected in religious and secular creativity. Impeccable research brings to life an engrossing real story that far surpasses a easy chronicle of events. The impact Michelangelo, Raphael, Da Vinci, etc. had on each other's work is explored as well as their competitive natures. Michelangelo seems to come to life ... genius, foibles, and all. Very detailed explanations of his techniques and inspirations are added bonuses.
I really enjoyed this book. I am not an art expert and I do not know anything particular about Italian reanissance art. But, I had visited the Sistine Chapel and wanted to know how Michelangelo painted the ceiling, and who painted the surrounding walls and hallways. This book answers those questions in a generally entertaining manner. I found this an wonderful story. I am now reading Ross King's book about the Latest Supper, which seems to have a lot more inane filler material than the Pope's Ceiling does. If you're just some common guy, like me, who has visited the Chapel and who wants to know the story of the ceiling, than you will search this book interesting. I can't speak for other interests.
Mr. King has done it again, writing a story, complete with contemporary accounts, of one of the world's greatest artistic masterworks. The ceiling of the Sistine chapel. I've been there several times to study the work, becoming quickly overcome with the magnitude, the fullness, the richness of the images. Now I am aware of the choice of figures, the pragmatic use of the scaffolding, and a time line of the four year process.....including political faldirah, family spats, and financial worries. Eminently readable, the pages fly by.
A amazing book about an epic story. A larger than life pope takes on a larger than life artist and one wins simply by living longer. I always have fun the unbelievable research King does on his subjects. Almost more than you wish to know, but created so interesting that, in facct, you do wish to know. I just want the paintings had been inserted along with the text about them. They are well-known, but not necessarily the method they are described in the actual painting of them. I've read this book before, but it bears re-reading because of the amazing detail and the amazing story behind the paintings.
I purchased this book on a whim. I was trying to locate a book with historical info on the Sistine Chapel and what I received was a book that expanded my mind. The selection of the fresh Pope peeked my interest in the Sistine r me, this was all fresh history and I took art history classes in college. The art of fresco, Pope Julius II, the Papal States, the amazing artist Michelangelo. To learn so much about his life, his skills, colleagues and relationships with his family was amazing. The gift for me was the historical info on Leonardo (I am now reading Ross' book on him) and Raffaello.I am grateful for the description on the art of fresco and also the background re: Michelangelo's sculptures. I did not skim through the book and it took me a few weeks to digest it, but trust me you will grow and learn with this book.
“Pope Joan” is a fictional acc based on the legend of a woman who served as pope under the guise of a man in the mid-ninth century. The book follows Joan’s entire life, from birth until death, and in a method serves as a tour of the early Middle Ages from a distinctly feminist point of e novel begins with Joan as the kid in the village of Ingelheim in Thuringia. There, we are introduced to the first of her a lot of misogynistic male adversaries. The worst one of all is her own father, a tyrannical English canon who sets the scene of the medieval view of women that Joan must overcome. Indeed, from the moment of Joan’s birth, he declares his wife’s labor was “all for nothing,” considering the birth of a girl to be a “punishment from God.” When Joan is a small older and wants to learn to read like her brothers, her father tells her, “You are a girl and therefore such matters do not concern you.” It only gets worse from an, however, refuses to accept the put her father would have her in life. Her older brother secretly teaches her to read, and when a Greek scholar named Aesculapius shows up in the village, he insists on tutoring Joan, recognizing her intelligence. Through his teachings, Joan develops a keen mind, forged from the writings of Cicero and other classics, which will eventually let her to outwit a lot of a man. But only if she can escape her father. When he finds her reading a copy of Homer in Greek, he deems it the work of a “godless heathen” and nearly whips her to within an inch of her ings change, however, when Aesculapius arranges an invitation for Joan to study at a school in Dorstadt. There, she is sent to live with a count named Gerold and his wife. Gerold ultimately becomes Joan’s love interest in this tale, even though it’s creepy to think of a girl with, effectively, her foster father. But at least the author waits until Joan is fourteen (still a poor age for a modern audience, but probably more acceptable in the ninth century) for the affair to develop. Still, the love affair is more of a subplot, than the main plot, which all concerns Joan quest to succeed in the male-dominated medieval ter a series of happenings which I refuse to spoil, Joan decides to pose as a male, taking her brother’s name and calling herself John Anglicus. Disguised as a man, she joins the monastery at Fulda and, relying on her knowledge of Hippocrates, earns a reputation as a skilled healer. Eventually, the story takes her to Rome, where her healing arts bring her into the service of Pope Sergius, a prodigious eater and drinker, and one of my favorite characters in the novel. Sergius has taken ill, leaving his corrupt brother to run Rome, and Joan realizes that the only method to stop the corruption is to quickly heal the amazing as the novel was during Joan’s childhood in Thuringia and her time with Gerold’s family in Dorstadt, her time in Rome is where the novel shines the brightest. There, she is faced with all the intrigue, politics, and backstabbing that you’d except to search in the papal palace, along with a horde of misogynistic antagonists that Joan must outlast and outwit. The Roman scenes also involve some major historical events, including the Saracen sacking of Rome, the erection of the Leonine Walls around what today is the Vatican, and the war of Ostia. Rome also brings the return of Gerold, who is in the service of the Frankish emperor, and he is by her side when she’s ultimately elected Pope John. But by then, she’s created a host of risky enemies, which propels the novel toward its climax.Even though the book is only 434 pages, it seemed overlong at times. Each phase of Joan’s life could have been its own novella, but they were all engaging enough to hold me reading through the end. My one peeve was with the author’s shifting viewpoints. While at times the book seemed written in a third-person limited point-of-view, other times it slipped into a more outdated omniscient point-of-view, often in the middle of scenes. I would have preferred a more private point-of-view at said, I found “Pope Joan” to be a well-written, thought provoking, and fully engaging novel. An extensive Author’s Note at the end contributes to this by asserting that the legend of Pope Joan was widely accepted as real until the mid-seventeenth century when the Vatican expunged any reference Joan in the papal records. According to the author, the Church’s position on Joan “is that she was an invention of Protestant reformers eager to expose papist corruption.” Nonetheless, the author notes that until the sixteenth century, every pope elected after Joan had to confirm their manhood through genital inspection before they could sit on St. Peter’s Throne, complete with a image of the toilet-like seat used for the examinations. I found this beautiful compelling, but I encourage you to read the book and decide for yourself.
I did not know the "story" of Pope Joan and it's potential of actually being true so began the tale simply expecting a amazing historical novel. I loved it! Well researched, lovely period detail. More important, the writer creates an atmosphere of beliveability from Joan's perscpective. Joan simply wanted to be able to read and learn in a time when teaching girls was just not done. Since reading Pope Joan I have read innumerable articles about the potential reality and especially loved reading about the "special chair". Taken from Wikepedia - "As a consequence, certain traditions stated that popes throughout the medieval period were needed to undergo a procedure wherein they sat on a unique chair with a hole in the seat. A cardinal would have the task of putting his hand up the hole to check whether the pope had testicles, or doing a visual examination. This procedure is not taken seriously by most historians, and there is no documented instance. It is probably a scurrilous legend based on the existence of two ancient stone chairs with holes in the seats that probably dated from Roman times and may have been used because of their ancient imperial origins. Their original purpose is obscure."I really have fun a amazing historical novel (not the romancey stuff) and this was a amazing read, real or no. Highly recommend!
Today’s book is the historical fiction novel Pope Joan by Donna Woolfolk Cross. It is a fascinating look at the life of a girl named Johanna (Joan) who lived during the 6th century. Joan’s father was a member of the clergy during the period in time when it was common for them to be married and have children. Unfortunately, it was also a time period where families wanted sons to carry on the family name, work the land, and follow in their father’s profession. Or in this case, to become priests and scholars. A daughter was considered almost worthless. Girls were only amazing for cooking, cleaning, sewing, and bearing children. To marry them off, a dowry required to be provided, so they were also considered a drain on a family’s meager finances. They were considered less smart and incapable of reason. In other words, while Joan was loved by her mother and brothers, she was not truly wanted by her father, who had hoped for another an, however, never understood why she was not supposed to learn the things her brothers did. She was very close to her eldest brother who secretly taught her to read and write, risking their father’s wrath in doing so. Joan was actually very intelligent and soaked up all she could learn from her brother’s teaching. It broke her heart when he became ill and died at a young age. Her eldest brother had been intended to become a scholar priest, and with his death, that destiny became her other brother’s. Unfortunately for him, he had neither the desire nor the aptitude for study that both the elder brother and his sister possessed.When a scholar passed through the zone with the potential to be hired by Joan’s father for her brother, Joan desperately hoped she would be able to learn from him. Like most men from that time, her father felt that education was only for the sons who were destined for the priesthood. The tutor, however, upon realizing that Joan was the more likely of the two kids to appreciate and learn from him, only agreed to teach her brother on the condition that she was to also be taught by him. Given no choice if he wished for his son to continue his education, her father reluctantly agreed.Eventually, the tutor gained a more prestigious position elsewhere. Before he left for good, he promised Joan that he would search a method for her to continue her studies. Where her brother had struggled with his education, she had soaked up the Latin and Greek as well as everything else she could and only wished to learn more. It was a few years before that promise was fulfilled. One day a group of soldiers arrived in the area. They had been sent to bring Johanna to the school to study with the other students. Unfortunately, her brother’s name was John and her parents convinced the soldiers that it was John, who had no desire to become a scholar priest, that they were supposed to retrieve and not Joan.Unwilling to remain in a household where she was unappreciated and her desire to learn brought her nothing but punishments as her father tried to beat this unnaturalness out of her, she ran away and followed the soldiers. At the school, the amused head of the school allowed her to remain and to study with the boys, though she clearly could not be housed in the school’s dormitory with them. A Knight who was in attendance at the time offered to let her to stay at his home with his family.During the time she was at the school, Joan thrived. Her brother John enjoyed the military training he received with the other boys, though he hated the academic studies he was forced to endure. He had only been allowed to remain because of his sister attending the school. It was considered unseemly for her to be there without some sort of family member in attendance as well, so he was allowed to remain even though he was not academically inclined. The main teacher there was one who believed that girls were incapable of reasoning. He hated the fact that he was forced to teach her and would have gladly done anything to be rid of a girl in his classes.When the knight who was Joan’s protector was away, his wife, who had realized the growing attraction between her husband and Joan, arranged for Joan to be married to a local boy and convinced Joan that it was her husband’s idea. The wedding was to take put before Sir Gerald would return, and there was no method for Joan to avoid it. Being married meant that she would belong to the man who wed her and she would no longer be allowed to study at the school. Her brother, who was only allowed there because of her, was to be sent to join a monastery by their father. He had hoped to become a soldier rather than a priest, but that would no longer be a chance for him. He would be forced to become a priest and he blamed his sister.During the wedding ceremony, the city was attacked by Viking raiders. As the whole city was gathered in the church and unarmed, there was no escape. Joan was lucky enough to search a put to hide that was not discovered by the raiders and was apparently the only survivor. As she knew she couldn’t remain there on her own, she changed into her brother’s clothing, chop her hair off, and travelled to the monastery to join the monks in John’s place. To all that had known her, Joan was considered to have been either killed or carried off as a prisoner by the Viking raiders that ere is much more to this story, but as usual I do not want to spoil the whole book for you. It is well worth reading about how a young girl who was considered worth less than nothing one day manages to rise to become the Pope in Rome without having been discovered to be a woman rather than a man. It is a tale I definitely consider worth reading and would gladly recommend to anyone.While this book is a work of fiction, there is a section at the end of the book where the author describes her research into this project. There is some debate as to whether there really was a female Pope. The author clearly believes there was and that a lot of tried to erase her existence from history. I found her reasoning very compelling and am inclined to agree with her, though others will disagree that Pope Joan ever actually existed. Take a look at this book, read the additional information at the end provided by the author, and decide for yourself what you think.
Unbelievable historical novel . cjud not place it down . Shows the life of women n this period of history the class difference and the societal expectations women had to face. Smart women were thought evil and often suffered witchcraft trails .. They were property . Joan was fascinating. Highly recommend this for readers if historical novels . yes definitely a unbelievable film .Can't wait to see. One fact I did message the same in dark ages as now = a lot of men simply don't like smart perior read!!!!
One of my all time favorite books to read and reread. The story is well written with complex characters. When reading you feel you are there like a fly on the wall. One of the BEST books about Pope Joan, and the time period even if it is fictional. And most of all it is plausible that this could be exactly how a woman pope came to be nominated, and elected, during Church crisis after crisis because this woman wanted to serve her God, church and the community compared to the corrupt serve themselves other people who came before and sometimes after in the dark history of the Catholic church.
I read Pope Joan a lot of years ago when it first came out and just finished a re-read. I have been suggesting this book to mates for years but had forgotten some of the story line and wanted to refresh my memory. I am so glad that I did. The story has a lot of qualities of today's fiction including the too excellent heroine / superwoman but I must admit that this will never be a turn off to me regardless of believability. I am always willing to suspend disbelief for a powerful woman who defies the status quo! After some research into the history of the chance of a true "Pope Joan", I have to say that it makes a lot of sense to me. There is certainly much to help the claim and small to refute it other than lack of information. Regardless, it is a fabulous story that held my attention all the method through and has obviously kept me thinking on the topic for a lot of years. I will continue to recommend this book wholeheartedly.
Set in one of the most repressive times in human history, the darkest of the Dark Ages, this is the story of an smart young girl and her private war and journey to education and the freedom to pursue her dreams. It is a seemingly impossible journey and it is only by the recognition by some forward thinking men, that she is allowed to continue her education. Born to an abusive father and an abused mother, she has no desire to obtain married and often resents her unfortunate birth to the female gender that continuously creates problem for her. But she has an perfect survival instinct and a logical mind which saves her a lot of times. Through a series of circumstances, she begins her life as a man and lives that method for a lot of years. Apparently, there is disagreement about whether Joan was true or not, but the author at the end of the book lists a lot of women who disguised themselves as men in order to achieve their goals. It is a amazing story and it illustrates how hard society has created it for women to war the norm and war for the right to become who they wish to be. I enjoyed the book and recommend it to those who have fun historical fiction.
For those of us that love well-researched historical fiction this book is a must. Donna Woolfolk Cross has made a heroine that will overcome insurmountable odds to fulfill her destiny. Cross has resurrected Pope John VIII (Pope Joan), a figure that the Catholic Church has spent over 1100 years trying to eradicate from historical existence. Born the illegitimate daughter of a church cannon and the woman he took for his own during the Saxon conquest, Joan is reared by the cruel hand of her father and the love of a mother forced to convert to a religion she arlemagne is dead and the Carolingian dynasty is poised to war over their father's empire. It is a time of turmoil, illiteracy, poverty, plague, and ignorance. Women are treated as mere chattel, considered incapable of reason,and condemned as sinners at birth because, as the daughters of Eve, they were born accursed. Women are the cause of the Fall from Eden, it is a woman who succumbed to the devil's temptation, and it is all women that therefore are born with a deficient an,an anomoly among women of her time, is born with the seeds of brilliance, and the desire to learn. She is capable of abstract reasoning and excels at disputation. But, in order for her to fulfill her destiny, luck and fate will have to intercede innumerable times,and she will have to demonstrate unwavering perseverance in order to remain on the path of knowledge. This is the Dark Ages and almost all knowledge is confined within the Church, nearly in complete exclusion it is the priestly order that can read, write, and figure. In Joan's discriminatory globe it would take a tremendous amount of luck, daring, and destiny for a woman to become educated and powerful. This is a globe that functions in corruption and male domination.Pope Joan is the journey of Joan becoming John. It is a story of darkness seeking light. It is also the story of a fighter Count's devotion and protection of a young girl who defies the mold that women have been relegated to. Gerold and Joan share a forbidden love. A love so prohibitive, yet so deep and enduring that it will take this book from being merely an historical record to a passionate romance that will leave you breathlessly turning the pages.I recommend it strongly.
If you aren't drawn in by the third chapter, go back to light entertainment reading. This was mind stretching and entertaining both. I can't support but think if it was written even 60 years ago,the "church" would have tried to repress it. It also brought back memories in style and subject of The Thorn Birds. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and to think that this hero could and probably was based on fact, is fabulous. Amazing job, and following the story up with the research involved and documentation of history, created it even more of a amazing book. Thank you, Ms Cross. And satisfied reading to any who are researching others opinions prior to purchasing and reading this book.
A delightful historical novel. I love historical fiction but I'm very picky. The fiction shouldn't be sacrificed for history and visa versa. Here's a amazing one. It is a fun and gripping read but alsoa historically accurate as the limited record allows. The writing doesn't dwell on the info of life in the ninth century just to prove the author did the research but neither are there inaccurate info to distract. Yes, the author uses the word "typhoid." It's a word and the Latin equivalent of the time wouldn't be understandable to modern readers. The complaint that the author should have chosen to repeat an ignorant term from the 18th century to emphasize the point that people in the ninth century didn't know the modern word typhoid is a thinly disguised grump. I like books with some brain that are also fun to read. This is one.
Extremely, extremely, extremely, easy game. You have cards that perform certain actions. There are various victory conditions. The goal is to meet one of the victory conditions before your enemy by using the card abilities. It is a lot of fun but the tactic is very thin. If you wish something fast, simple, and easy, this is a amazing android game to play.
The AI is absolutely pathetic and the rules are not even complete. The cards have no factions which means the Ascetic only moves one card instead of multiple. Speaking of which, "if you end your turn with the Ascetic in Avignon or Romes, move him one zone closer to Genoa". It's literally on the card, dudes. If you're gonna do it, do it right.
I'm enjoying the android game much more since adding the first expansion set. However the program is glitchy. Several android games have simply stopped working on the computer's turn and one card is repeatedly mistaken by the program for another card. If this items gets ironed out I'll be satisfied to give this a much higher rating.
I am not an art expert but I do have primary knowledge. When I started to read this book I was afraid that Ms. Storey would not be able to bring these artists to life for me. I was afraid it would be solely a history story with rather wooden characters. How wrong I was, I now have fresh insights into these two amazing artists, they are no longer just names but living breathing men. This is a amazing read and I thoroughly recommend it.
“Oil and Marble” delivers what I like best about amazing historical fiction. By breathing life into iconic historical figures, Ms. Storey reminds us that history didn’t just happen, but is the product of very human preferences, choices, and actions. The story itself was gracefully written, but also thoroughly entertaining. As a bonus, I also learned about Italian politics and Renaissance art. I especially appreciated the author’s knowledge of the “mechanics” of art, which gave this casual art observer better insight into the artistic process and what makes art great. I highly recommend this book.
Michelangelo and Leonardo DiVinci are my two favorite artist. I loved reading about their tournament in Florence. Yes, this book is historical fiction but it gave me a true feel for the artists. The ending was emotional for me. Real or embellished- I cried! A lot of people would have fun this book. Those interested in art, Italy, the renaissance, or history would all search enjoyment in reading Oil and Marble.
It is not possible to believe that this is from a first time author.If it were, I could say that I am very impressed. However, I no longer think I am qualified to be impressed. I mean that because I am certain that I am no longer one of the author's peers. Her peers are clearly well regarded authors and story tellers; peers who know the amazing skill and effort needed to make such a tale and can therefore, be impressed with the work.I can simply say that I really enjoyed the book and the method the author wove the process of the creation of art, art history, Italian history, and amazing 3 dimensional characters ing this book was time well spent. I am looking forward to future books from this author.- Stephen Turner
What a fun tale. Despite picking it up during a busy period,I kept making time for this book. I had to know how it turned out–even though I knew how it turned o masterpieces are made by two geniuses over the course of the novel and I have had the honor of admiring both up close. The author provides an interesting backstory to the possible rivalry of Leonardo and Michelangelo. Her fictionalized ver of their inspirations and trials breathes life into 1500 Florence with a read that seems both plausible and well-researched. Amazing job Storey, I liked your book.
I am fascinated with the every day lives of the Masters of the Renaisance. I learned so much about these 2 amazing artists who were in the same put at the same time. Stephanie is aptley named (Storey) as she makes you feel like you are truly witnessing history. I am certainly going to read more of her works.
A terrific hero development of three of the more interesting people in history- Leonardo DaVinci, Michelangelo, & Niccoli Machiavelli- who all posses such various qualities. The conflict between the characters and the factual happenings of Rome and Florence are expertly interwoven into a story of triumphs and brilliant artistic accomplishments .
The remarkable personality and impact of Pope Francis is such that even a Jewish reader -- such as I -- instantly was intrigued by the prospect of learning more about what shaped this man and how he emerged from Argentina to become the Pope that he is.With an exemplary combination of in-depth reporting and private reflection, Tag K. Shriver has done an outstanding job exploring the origins, influences, conflicts, and spiritual evolution that transformed Jorge Mario Bergolio from a stern, pedantic Argentinian priest into the extraordinarily loving and inclusive Pope Francis who has captivated the globe -- and also enriched and rejuvenated Shriver's own Catholic faith, which had faltered in the wake of the scandals that engulfed the Catholic Church in latest river provides fascinating insights into the factors and experiences that have created Pope Francis a spiritual leader whose notice leaps across religious, national and cultural boundaries in ways that seem as unprecedented as they are a veteran reporter and author myself (most recently of "The Unique Field: A History of Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins"), I was impressed by how Shriver conducted more than 100 interviews with people who have known the Pope over the past half-century, from clergymen to trash collectors. The interviews elicit anecdotes and observations that enable Shriver to unravel the mystery of how this pontiff came to be who he is. This book should be of interest to and prompt reflection by readers of any faith -- and even those with no religious affiliation.
A sensitive book about further examining faith and the movement from an authoritarian style as a Jesuit to a benevolent Pope who has charmed millions with his kindness and love of a easy life rather than the trappings of the Papacy. Tag Shriver has managed to gain an necessary insight in his writings of the current Pope. A amazing read.
Pope Francis' visit to the US a couple of years ago was the first time I felt compelled to watch as much coverage of him as I could. I quickly surmised his holiness but I know not how. Tag Shriver's book launched my endeavor to learn more about this man who took on the leadership of the very troubled Church that was my spiritual home for most of my life.
The Pope of Palm Beach is the 21st in the Serge A. Storms series of novels by Fresh York Times bestselling author Tim Dorsey. In this installment, Serge and Coleman are on a whirlwind “literary tour” of Florida as they visit historical websites of interest for a lot of authors who at one time or another have called the Sunshine State home. The tour does contain the usual “side trips” to correct an injustice here or there and culminates with Serge in his hometown of Riviera Beach as he seeks to locate the latest known address of his favorite author. Small does he know that Kenneth Reese is alive, if not completely well, and in dire need of Serge’s unique brand of justice. As I mentioned, he is a serial killer, but he is so darned creative it is hilarious the things he comes up with!While this is the 21st in the series involving the loveable Floridaphile serial assassin Serge and his stoner sidekick Coleman, this is not the first one I have read. In fact, I was first exposed to Serge when I moved to Texas for a short time in 2008 and 2009. At the time I left, I was so sick of Florida, hurricanes and the general nutjobs that inhabit the state that I was dead set on never coming back. Tim Dorsey changed that. While reading these books, I found myself in tears laughing at the very things that used to annoy me and I became so homesick for the Freakshow state that I jumped at the first possibility to come back. To date, I have read every installment in the series, some of them twice, and Dorsey is one of the very few authors whose fresh books I drop everything for when they are released.I’m beautiful sure that the main thing that drew me into these books aside from the whole serial assassin thing is the sheer amount of Florida history that Dorsey packs into each fresh adventure. At first, I thought that he was making some of the weirder items up, but then I started researching and soon discovered that all the historical tidbits, festivals and weird current and former residents are 100% real. The novels alone could easily read as a “what to see in Florida that’s not Disney, I-Drive, and the Beaches” type tour tutorial and I understand that a lot of a fan have actually used some of the prior novels to embark on Serge themed “night tours” of their own.While Dorsey’s brand of humor is not for everyone, if you like madcap comedy, sometimes crude humor and murder all set in the backdrop of paradise pick up any Tim Dorsey novel. You will not look back.
I'm no stranger to Tim Dorsey - I've read every novel he's place out since discovering him on a (ironically enough) trip to Tampa a lot of years ago. I've watched the evolution of Serge and Coleman over the years. In the past couple of years, I thought Dorsey losing his touch with the series - were Serge and Coleman headed for that final sunset?I was wrong - oh, I was so wrong. Mr. Dorsey, my humblest apologies indeed.I'm not even halfway through this recent chronicle of Dorsey's dynamic duo (apologies for the alliteration) and I'm as in love with those characters as I ever have been. However, what's really gripping me this time around is the introduction of the "Pope of Palm Beach" - a friendly surfer by the name of Darby. There's no mystery to Darby yet there's something mysterious about him. He's a former soldier who currently works as a ship welder and spends all his free time surfing. The local children look up to him, the adults love him - because "the Pope knows everyone." He never lacks a mate nor does he ignore anyone else when they need one themselves. Most importantly, to me at least, Darby is a prolific reader. He reads everything from the classics to modern Florida crime novels. In one scene, Darby encourages his protégé, a twenty-something, jaded beach bum, that reading is actually fun. Kenny, of course, was taught (and I use this word on purpose) that reading is all Bronte sisters and regency drama. Darby re-introduces him to reading by giving him a "light gateway drug" in the form of Kurt Vonnegut's "Breakfast of Champions." In one night, Darby creates a reader and a dies and gentlemen, I have an English degree and have taught both high school and college level English. I have never appreciated one person's approach to a reluctant reader more in all my life. Certainly, I would have never place Vonnegut and the words "gateway drug" in a sentence together and yet...they fit. Anyway, I could easily obtain on a soapbox here about literature in schools (I'll spare you). Suffice to say, I'd vote for Dorsey in a local Board of Education ever, Dorsey's writing remains as madcap and topical as ever - weaving current happenings into instances of fictitious chaos. One such occurrence takes on an happening that caused major headlines latest year and deals with frustration that a lot of us experienced. If you ever doubted that Serge wars the amazing fight, allow it be known that he proves it with fervor in this book. Sadly, I can see Serge making a few trips for justice in the next book based on latest events. However, I think more than a few of us would cheer his the Serge and Coleman I've missed the latest couple of years, I'm so glad to see you again. To Tim Dorsey, thank you, thank you, thank you for your tales of madness. I often tell people I read murder mysteries because they hold me from committing them. Though there's no mystery here and the murder can be argued as justifiable, Serge Storms' crazy sanity will always bring me back from the A: Never underestimate the A (again): After further reading - oh yeah; definitely betting on Serge and Coleman doling out some of their own kind of justice in the name of the Floridian public in next year's book.
It's a book that will create you laugh. It has the bizarre behavior associated with Florida criminals, along with a Florida flavor. It's an simple read. This would be a amazing book for a day at the beach. This book in one hand and a cool drink in the other.
Actually, I couldn’t place it down, excepting when Dorsey created me laugh so hard that it was place it down, or wet myself laughing.Another wild ride of unexpected twists, turns, murder, and eco-revenge, with a genuine Florida literary history tour thrown in for fun.Tim Dorsey’s best work yet. A great, fun, read, with real Florida woven in by a real native.
This is my 21st review in this series. This book, as usual, is a superb read by the best American author of the comical crime/adventure novel. The plot, like the character Serge, is convoluted, full of twists and turns, a historical trip through Florida websites and loaded with laugh out loud scenarios. Hiassen has met his challenger and lost the battle! Wish number 22 ASAP!
The pope, referred to in the title, is a surfer named Darby Pope. Serge Storm, and his sidekick Coleman, are taking a literary tour of Florida’s authors when they explore that the legendary surfer, Darby Pope, inspired one of those authors. Pope was murdered while assisting his author mate with some research. Serge solves the mystery surrounding Darby Pope’s death and finds justice for his killers. He also delivers his lethal form of game-show vengeance to two individuals messing with nesting sea turtles and a guy dumping toxic medical waste in the Everglades. As usual, fictional poor guys obtain their just deserts while Serge and Coleman uncover interesting info about Florida’s history. Like all of the books in this series, The Pope of Palm Beach is another humorous look into the Sunshine State's history and geography. I can't wait for the next one.
I so look forward to when i can obtain my next Tim Dorsey fix and this book kept me hooked. I have to say that half method through I thought you really screwed the pooch so to say(I don’t wish to ruin it for anyone) but you brought it home and my man Serge rides again! Engaging, educational and just amazing old fashioned fun. Thanks for letting us be a part of your creative mind.
I've been reading Tim Dorsey "Serge" series ft or years and this is one of his best. Its main theme is a Serge Storms "Six Degrees Of Separation". Of course, you'll be happy with Serges sense of justice throughout the book. I Highly Recommend this Book.
Love Tim Dorsey and ALL of his work. He really has an eye and ear for what "Old Florida" must have been like.What happen to the proposed television series. A young Alan Arkin would have been excellent as ame he only turns out one book a year. I could easily accommodate a monthly subscription and still not obtain tired of his antics. Not to mention I seem to obtain somewhat aroused when I go in a Florida souvenir shop. Seems to affect Serge as well.Tim Dorsey ROCKS..
Tim Dorsey has struck gold again with Serge Storms, Coleman, and the platoon of hapless evildoers who have the misfortune of crossing Serge’s path. Dorsey has made one of the Sunshine State’s most unforgettable heroes, and in this outing, we see glimpses of Serge’s childhood. Recommended for fans of Carl Hiaasen, Donald Westlake or Elmore Leonard.
A "must read" before visiting the Sistine Chapel ; otherwise, like myself, you will miss so very is is definitely a book that could easily be read a second time for interesting facts/ideas that weremissed the first time with the reading or actual visit.
wow, Wow, WOW!! I had studied this in art courses in art history, but not the truth of this. I REALLY enjoyed it and have told a lot of to by it. I have learned so much that was hidden in the ceiling!!! The Torah, the old testament is hidden there and more, you read it and see!
You need to have a virtual Sistine Ceiling while you read this book, but it is worth the effort. I sometimes felt that some of the interpretations were far fetched but extremely interesting & innovative.
I had high hopes for this book. It should have been an interesting examination of Peter Morrine, Pope Celestine V, but there are multiple flaws which created it a true disappointment. The writing is simplistic, for example, “He watched them with interest. He shared some of their ideas. But he was not one of them.” The style is more of a historical novel than a scholarly work, and the author makes numerous statements which, by his own admittance, cannot be verified through basic documents. Yes, documents from the medieval era are somewhat scarce, but you simply cannot create up entire scenarios to give your book historical gravitas. In the introduction Sweeney states, “Peter wrote an autobiography, which was unusual for that era, and we can trust it for some of the info of his early life.” First, scholars agree it’s a hagiography, written over 30 years after Celestine’s death, and, in the Notes, the author does not list this book as a source. Nor is there a bibliography where it is listed. Sweeney also states that there is no physical description of Peter Morrone, yet he freely imagines what he looked like, what his presence was like, and even imagines conversations he might have had. The book is full of inconsistencies, dramatizations, over-generalizations, and historical errors which seriously undermine its value as history. Perhaps it would have worked better as historical fiction. Ultimately, it was disappointing and a waste of money.