Item description for The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris L. West...
The pope has died, and the corridors of the Vatican hum with intrigue as cardinals from all over the world gather to choose his successor. Suddenly, the election is concluded - with a surprise result. The new pope is the youngest cardinal of all - and a Russian. Shoes of the Fisherman slowly unravels the heartwarming and profound story of Kiril Lakota, a cardinal who reluctantly steps out from behind the Iron Curtain to lead the Catholic Church and to grapple with the many issues facing the contemporary world.
Citations And Professional Reviews The Shoes of the Fisherman by Morris L. West has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Library Journal - 03/15/2004 page 112
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More About Morris L. West
Morris West (1916-1999), an Australian novelist, was one of the most popular Catholic writers of the twentieth century. Many of his twenty-nine novels were best sellers, including "The Shoes of the Fisherman," "Lazarus," and "The Clowns of God."
Morris L. West lived in Avalon, New South Wales. Morris L. West was born in 1916 and died in 1999.
Morris L. West has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about The Shoes of the Fisherman?
Explore the inner trauma of our first Ukrainian Pope. Sep 30, 2007
Even if you saw the movie, you should read this book which opens up a variety of spiritual questions. You might be especially surprised, since viewing the movie is often seen as a Roman Catholic rite, that there is a strong homosexual element that is dealt with in the book which is not at all obvious in the movie. It's also a book about victoms and predators: the Pope and the dictator of the Soviet Union are comapared as opposites but also alter-egos.
It all makes for an engrosssing story for anyone regardless of religious affiliation.
Other Books Sep 3, 2007
The pope is dead. Always a cause of a bunch of shenanigans and nastiness. They go through all the rigmarole that surrounds finding a new bloke. Amazingly enough he turns out to be a russkie, and a halfway decent guy, to boot. All in all, sounds pretty unbelievable all around.
Mysteries to Ponder in Your Heart Jul 1, 2007
"The Shoes of the Fisherman" is a novel first published in 1963 which centers on the election and early reign of Pope Kiril I, a Russian, recently released from prison, whose secret appointment to the College of Cardinals was revealed by his dying predecessor upon his release from prison. The novel begins with the preparations for the conclave and the mechanism of Kiril's election.
In the course of this novel, author Morris West weaves an intriguing collection of characters and themes though the book and into each others lives, all centering on Pope Kiril. The characters include a German-Jewish, American-Catholic widow trying to find meaning in her life in Rome, an American reporter, an Italian politician, the woman torn between them, a suppressed Jesuit theologian and assorted Curial officials. Summit correspondence channeled through Kiril adds a touch of diplomatic tension to the tale.
The story which each of these characters brings to the novel grasps the attention of the reader One is tempted to try to find recent Popes in the person of Kiril. Is he Paul who started the tradition of Papal travelers? Is he John Paul the Wander, another "Light from the East", whose involvement in international power politics will be studied for years? The reader is well advised to resist the temptation to see history in this novel. The ultimate story is Kiril himself, Kiril the priest-counselor, the priest-confessor, Kiril the pastor, the Vicar of the Prince of Peace, but mostly the soul searching for God's will and reaching within himself for the courage to follow it. Through the book you will wonder about the characters who flow in and out of it. At the end you will focus on Kiril as he fathoms the mysteries of God. This is what you will keep in your mind and ponder in your heart.
Archaic, Yet Elegant Sep 25, 2006
Raised Protestant by former Catholics, my view of religion has been a swirl of orthodoxy and free-thinking. With no regrets, I was hooked into the fiction of Morris West. Although "The Clowns of God," "The Tower of Babel," "Proteus," and others provided thrillers rich in theological and political ideas, nothing quite captured me in the way of my first encounter with "The Shoes of the Fisherman."
West was a writer of Old World elegance and, sometimes, stiffness. His characters rarely spoke like actual people; they spoke like people trying to convey concepts that would be written down for the ages. Although somewhat archaic, there was a grace and richness to this perspective that always left me satisfied. In "The Shoes of the Fisherman," more than any other West novel, I was challenged with questions of what the true gospel of Jesus is all about, and the true purpose of ministry in a world of hurting people. When the Pope decides to disguise himself so that he may enter the lives of normal people, we see an example of the Son of God coming to earth in the form of a man to touch human lives. With characteristic beauty, using fictitious papal journal entries, West gives us glimpses into the mind of those called to serve God.
I, for one, miss the writing of Morris West and hope to one day see him on the other side. Until then, I hope his books are not lost to future generations. He has much to say that still applies to our modern world.
Excellent book and movie Apr 4, 2005
This is the book on which the 1968 movie, The Shoes of the Fisherman, was based. The movie is vastly different than the book. It would have to be. Much of the book is introspective, reflecting the thought processes of Pope Kiril I after he is elected and is a much drier read than the movie is a view, naturally. While I found the book informative and interesting, because of my interest in the Papacy, it is not an easy read. It took focused concentration to absorb all it had to offer.
In the year this book was originally published, 1963, the real world was full of fear, anger, and starvation (some things never change). The cold war was almost 20 years old, and the West's fear of its consequences unabated. Fear of a nuclear holocaust was rampant; we were getting closer to a ground war in Vietnam. President Kennedy was assassinated in November of that year. Things weren't destined to get much better. The year the movie came out, 1968, we lost Martin Luther King and Bobby Kennedy to assassins. The real Pope in the real world had his hands full.
The Shoes of the Fisherman is the story of the election of a Russian to the Papacy, one Kiril Lakota, who had been imprisoned in Siberia for 17 years (20 in the movie) and tormented by his jailer, Kamenev, who later becomes the head of the Soviet state. Lakota's ascent to the Papacy, and his actions as Pontiff, are related in this story. We learn about some of the Pope's brethren, Cardinal Leone and Cardinal Rinaldi, for example, who impart their own histories and personality traits to one another and, hence, to the reader. The George Faber of the book is very different than the one portrayed on film. One desperate world situation is dealt with in the film. In the book, there are many. Pope Kiril I is reminiscent of Pope John Paul II as the first to see the importance of traveling widely outside The Vatican; to visit his people spread across the earth.
One character worthy of mention is theologian Jean Télémond. In his intense internal struggle to justify God to man, he writes. His writings, often in conflict with his elders, offer his own passionate views of God, Jesus, and the Church--its leaders, tenets, practices, and views, as they relate to the people of the world, and to science. He spent 20 years in exile because of his views, only to have same put on trial after "coming home."
The movie takes many liberties, simplifies and leaves out much, but doing so makes the whole of the book's message easier to digest. Like they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. The movie is a thousand pictures, pictures that help the reader understand the content and context of this excellent and thought-provoking novel.