Balanced yet uncompromising, an urgent call to action for believers and a fitting capstone to a fruitful career.

THE TRUTH AT THE HEART OF THE LIE

HOW THE CATHOLIC CHURCH LOST ITS SOUL

A deeply personal exploration of what has broken the modern Catholic Church.

Using his own vast experience, former priest and accomplished religion journalist Carroll, author of such landmark works as An American Requiem and Constantine’s Sword, demonstrates to readers why the Roman Catholic Church is in a state of international crisis. The author’s detailed, honest, and brutal treatment of his subject matter is consistently captivating. He identifies the primary issue as “clericalism,” a dysfunctional, exalted view of the clergy that has led to systemic, generational misogyny and, ultimately, to the reprehensible child molestation crisis that has become, over decades, horrifyingly widespread. Carroll looks back on centuries of warped theology and abuses of power while also telling his own story of growing up in the pre–Vatican II church and finding disillusionment later. He describes 21st-century corruption as stemming from the work of thinkers who died centuries ago. Augustine of Hippo (354-430) and Anselm of Canterbury (circa 1033-1109), both of whom were later designated as saints, advanced theological beliefs about sex, the body, and women that celebrated the sanctity of the priesthood in damaging ways. Augustine, writes the author, formed an “anti-human theology,” and through Anselm’s influence, “death trumped life in the Catholic imagination.” Over time, the ossified, male priesthood became an exceedingly powerful force, featuring extraordinary abuses of power and a distorted view of Christ and his church. Carroll saw this firsthand in his interactions with priests and monks throughout his youth and early adulthood. Disenchanted with the church after it ignored the attempted reforms of the Second Vatican Council, the author left the priesthood and, eventually, almost left the faith. He is still a believer, however, and urges others to join him in enacting “an anti-clericalism from within,” delivering a book that seamlessly combines moving, forthright autobiography and searing critique.

Balanced yet uncompromising, an urgent call to action for believers and a fitting capstone to a fruitful career.

Pub Date: March 23, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-593-13470-2

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Random House

Review Posted Online: Feb. 4, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: March 1, 2021

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A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

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GREENLIGHTS

All right, all right, all right: The affable, laconic actor delivers a combination of memoir and self-help book.

“This is an approach book,” writes McConaughey, adding that it contains “philosophies that can be objectively understood, and if you choose, subjectively adopted, by either changing your reality, or changing how you see it. This is a playbook, based on adventures in my life.” Some of those philosophies come in the form of apothegms: “When you can design your own weather, blow in the breeze”; “Simplify, focus, conserve to liberate.” Others come in the form of sometimes rambling stories that never take the shortest route from point A to point B, as when he recounts a dream-spurred, challenging visit to the Malian musician Ali Farka Touré, who offered a significant lesson in how disagreement can be expressed politely and without rancor. Fans of McConaughey will enjoy his memories—which line up squarely with other accounts in Melissa Maerz’s recent oral history, Alright, Alright, Alright—of his debut in Richard Linklater’s Dazed and Confused, to which he contributed not just that signature phrase, but also a kind of too-cool-for-school hipness that dissolves a bit upon realizing that he’s an older guy on the prowl for teenage girls. McConaughey’s prep to settle into the role of Wooderson involved inhabiting the mind of a dude who digs cars, rock ’n’ roll, and “chicks,” and he ran with it, reminding readers that the film originally had only three scripted scenes for his character. The lesson: “Do one thing well, then another. Once, then once more.” It’s clear that the author is a thoughtful man, even an intellectual of sorts, though without the earnestness of Ethan Hawke or James Franco. Though some of the sentiments are greeting card–ish, this book is entertaining and full of good lessons.

A conversational, pleasurable look into McConaughey’s life and thought.

Pub Date: Oct. 20, 2020

ISBN: 978-0-593-13913-4

Page Count: 304

Publisher: Crown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 27, 2020

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Dec. 1, 2020

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For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

THE DEFENSE LAWYER

THE BARRY SLOTNICK STORY

The Patterson publishing machine clanks its way into the nonfiction aisles in this lumbering courtroom drama.

Barry Slotnick made a considerable fortune and reputation as a defense attorney who had a long list of controversial clients, including mob boss John Gotti and Panamanian strongman Manuel Noriega. An “urbane lawyer known for his twenty-five-hundred-dollar Fioravanti suits, he was not unacquainted with violence,” write Patterson and Wallace. One of his early cases, indeed, involved a group of Jewish Defense League members who allegedly blew up a Broadway producer’s office, killing a woman who worked there. Slotnick’s defense was a standard confuse-the-jury ploy, but it worked. He put similar tactics to work in his defense of Bernhard Goetz, the “subway shooter” whose trial made international news. The authors open after that trial had concluded in yet another Slotnick win, and with a sensational incident: He was attacked by a masked man who beat him with a baseball bat. The evidence is sketchy, but it seems to place the attack in the hands of organized crime—perhaps even Gotti himself. No matter: Slotnick, “who saw himself as the foe of the all-powerful government” and “liberty’s last champion,” was soon back to representing clients including Radovan Karadžić, the murderous Bosnian Serb who was eventually imprisoned for having committed genocide; Dewi Sukarno, the widow of Indonesia’s similarly bloodstained president, “arrested for slashing the face of a fellow socialite with a broken champagne glass at a party in Aspen”; and Melania Trump, who had chosen Slotnick “to handle her prenup.” In the hands of a John Grisham, the story might have come to life, but while Patterson does a serviceable if cliché-ridden job of recounting Slotnick’s career, he fails to give readers much reason to admire the man.

For Patterson fans who can’t get enough.

Pub Date: Dec. 20, 2021

ISBN: 978-0-316-49437-3

Page Count: 416

Publisher: Little, Brown

Review Posted Online: Oct. 13, 2021

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Nov. 1, 2021

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