PAUL: Envoy Extraordinary by Malcolm & Alec Vidler Muggeridge

PAUL: Envoy Extraordinary

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In 1971, BBC broadcast the account of a pilgrimage by Mr. Muggeridge and Dr. Vidler to the cities visited by St. Paul on his voyages through the Roman Empire. This book contains a distillation of the dialogue between Muggeridge and Vidler on that occasion along with a sampling of the photography. The photographs are stunning in both quality of reproduction and originality of subject. The dialogue between the two narrators is stunning, too, but in a wholly different sense -- perhaps it would be more accurate to say that it is banal to the point of being stupefying, with Muggeridge playing the straight man to Vidler's alternately jejune and pedantic commentary. No doubt the original telecast was successful, since attention was focused, as always, on the visual aspects of the program. In book form, however, where text rather than photography must carry the weight of the work, the result can only be, as it is, a fiasco.

Pub Date: May 3rd, 1972
Publisher: Harper & Row