City of God
2 journalers for this copy...
It is really hard to summarize the plot of this book because there are a number of storylines some of which intersect but others just seem to be left hanging. I guess the main plot is the one involving Father Pembroke (known as Pem as I shall refer to him henceforth), a preacher in the Episcopalian (or what nonAmericans would call Anglican) church. He works out of a small rundown church in a poor part of New York City. His church is robbed and one of the things taken is the large crucifix from in front of the altar. Some time later Pem receives a call from a Jewish rabbi who has found the crucifix on the roof of the building which houses his temple and his home. This brings Pem into contact with the rabbi and his wife who is also a rabbi. The wife's grandfather had survived living in a Jewish ghetto during World War II where he was entrusted to smuggle out accounts of how the Germans treated the Jews in the ghetto. These accounts were hidden by a Catholic priest but after the war they disappeared. Pem and the two rabbis embark on a search for them.
There are many diversions from this plot. Some are about how the universe was created; some discuss the origins of the book we call The Bible; yet others are restatements of classic songs. There is also a thread about the author doing research for this book including discussions he has with Pem and other people. Overall, the theme is about different religious and non-religious beliefs and how modern life views these beliefs.
I'm not sure that all of the diversions add to the book and some, in fact, seemed downright distracting. For instance, there is a story about some unnamed man who meets a married woman at a party, has an affair with her, then takes over the identity of her husband who becomes a street person. I have no idea what that had to do with the book.
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