Reviews - What do customers think about El Sueno De Inocencio: Ascenso Y Caida Del Papa Mas Poderoso De La Historia (Spanish Edition)?
Well researched but disapointing Dec 29, 2007
Very well researched book but, in the end, a disappointment. A book written in the style of European historical fiction writes, but written by a Mexican author, normally associated with historical fiction about their country. The author shows that he did a lot of research in order to write the book and weaves a compelling story. Nevertheless it falls into some traps that detract from the story. While this is obviously fiction, almost all the characters mentioned existed and the book is based on almost all the events in the life of Pope Innocent III from youth to death (the appendix helps to keep track of who is who). As such it reads like a biography, although with significant use if the imagination. As a novel, it has no tension. Some of the liberties taken by the author are to be expected in such a work, but the fact that he aims to cover almost all the life and times of the life of the Pope, makes some of the liberties he takes unjustifiable. The most blatant is the description of sexual acts. They do not belong in the story and the coverage it gives to historical events. They seem to have been inserted to enhance the appeal of the book. They detract from it. It also presents Innocent III as a ruthless person, willing to have hundreds of thousands killed in order to achieve his goals, contrary to the historical verdict on his papacy. It makes a mockery of some of his accomplishments in order to enhance the popularity of the novel. It falls in the trap of other fiction writers of bending facts to make the novel more interesting. The assertion that Innocent III created the burial shroud of Jesus and that confession was instituted in order to spy on people are preposterous. It also fails to provide a sense of the life and times of his papacy. The description of the environment in which the events evolved is very week, you do not feel there. Timing of events is rather confusing, sometimes several years are dealt with in a page, sometimes a few days take a chapter, but there is no way for the reader to know, unless s(he) knows the history of the events (again, the appendix helps). Furthermore, the writing style is rather modern, even that of the letters supposedly written by some for the characters are written in the modern style. It even uses some Mexican words, not used in Spanish, like "platicar". Its virtue is that it make for entertaining reading, and provide some knowledge of history in the process, even in spite of all these flaws.
Good man turns bad thanks to the Church Dec 18, 2007
This the story of Lothar of Segni, an Italian nobleman who was, between 1198 and 1216, Innocentius III, probably the most influential and powerful Pope in History. It's not an academic biography, but a historical novel. I did some research and it seems to be pretty seriously based on historic facts, and the fictional parts work well with the context, at least for me. Lothar's story is a Catholic drama: he is a smart and learning-hungry young man. Although very rich, he devotes to studying, first Theology in Paris and then Law in Bologna, where (and this is fictional) he meets a young girl from a heretic sect called the Valdensians. Her name is Bruna and she makes him crazy with lust. But their love will be obstructed by religious differences, and it will haunt him for the rest of his life. His other great love is Ortolana, a rich Italian who marries another man but who remains his friend for the rest of his life.
Meanwhile, hisn uncle becomes the Pope Clement III. Lothar is appointed Cardinal at a very young age, and he successfully devotes to political and diplomatic tasks for the Pope. Little by little, the young, inquisitive, and liberal Lothar falls into the Church's cruel arms. He becomes convinced that the only way to eradicate war and social conflict is that all people share the same idea of Good and Justice, and that the Roman Catholic Church is the only institution capable of developing and enforcing such concepts. So, his lifelong mission will consist in leading and consolidating the Church's kingdom of this world. When his uncle dies, he becomes Pope Innocentius III. He invented confession (a devilish and masterful means of political control) and indissoluble marriage, as well as transubstantiation (the actual encarnation of Christ's body in the bread eaten at Mass), consolidated the institution of celibacy for priests, and instituted the Papacy not only as the succession of Peter, but as the direct representation of Chirst on Earth. So it's easy to see the enormous influence this man had on subsequent centuries, even to our day. He invented the Church as we know it. Innocentius III, in order to consolidate the Church, decreed the killing of all heretics, invented the Inquisition, and probably instituted the first truly Totalitarian regime in history. His journey is atrocious, criminal, demented, of a hair-raising coldness. It is the midwiving of a madness that lasts to our days. One of the greatest geniuses of evil.
Very devoted to history Nov 30, 2007
Very nice Book, thought it is kind of short (less than 400 pages) is contains a very nice depiction of the church at the time and of the conflicts between church and the Holy roman empire, French and English monarchs and Constantinople