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CONCLAVE by Roberto Pazzi


by Roberto Pazzi & translated by Oonagh Stransky

Pub Date: May 15th, 2003
ISBN: 1-58642-066-6
Publisher: Steerforth

A high-concept, seriocomic tale from the prizewinning Italian author.

A Conclave of cardinals assembled in Vatican City to choose a new pope degenerates into a “carnival” of conflicting priorities and ludicrous mishaps. Along the way, Pazzi (The Princess and the Dragon, etc., not reviewed) gives an overload of information about church ritual and politics, but does offer such entertaining and provocative particulars as infestations of rats, scorpions, cats, and chickens, an African monsignor with purported supernatural powers, a defilement endangering Michelangelo’s fresco The Last Judgment, and the credible and moving moral and spiritual crises experienced by humble Cardinal Ettore Malvezzi, whose sturdy humanity memorably meets all the tests prepared for it. A mixed success, but a work of genuine ingenuity and charm.