THE TRAITOR by Lavr Divomlikoff


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A Darkness At Noon in the Russian Orthodox set, as a Stalinist intelligence agent ""takes Orders"" so as to betray and destroy the Church from within -- hopefully as a bishop. A dedicated spy and superb dialectician, Christ-hating Father Grigori impersonates belief so well (the better to eat you, my dear) that after twenty years it becomes indistinguishable from the real thing -- whether via logic, grace, or the mechanics of prayer, who can say? Arrested for the wrong reasons, he is ironically released (via the turnover of regimes, and ideology, and intelligence personnel) also for the wrong reasons -- reentering the world to serve a no less exigent and implacable if different master -- God's will, somehow or other, being done. This is a fascinating, compulsive, if slightly implausible tale that incidentally presents as good a picture of the workings of a priest's mind as any other novel, full of dialectics which are close to Pascal as well as Marx; it also conveys the nightmare quality that generally characterized novels about Russia in the '30's.

Pub Date: Aug. 3rd, 1973
Publisher: Doubleday