Title: Monsignor Quixote
Author: Graham Greene
Page Count/Review Word Count: 256
I feel kind of harsh about awarding this book a 6 out of 10 – after all, I usually reserve this rating for books that are riddled with typos, and there’s nary a typo in the whole novel. It’s just that Greene is capable of so much better than this, and even some of his non-fiction on subjects as ‘dry’ as the life and times of John Wilmot (the second Earl of Rochester) and Omar Torrijos, the former ruler of Panama, are more interesting.
Sure, Monsignor Quixote it easily readable, and it won’t pose any serious difficulty if you plan to get from cover to cover – it’s just that it’s also quite forgettable, a sort of odd pocket in Greene’s extensive bibliography which feels incompletely filled, as though he failed to live up to his potential. Not even the fact that it’s a pastische of Don Quixote by Miguel de Cervantes is enough to save it, but it probably didn’t help that I’d never read the original.
That said, I try to judge the books that I read on their own merit, and I just found Monsignor Quixote to be boring, too focused on religion and with a plot that I struggled to relate to, despite the fact that it was written towards the end of Greene’s career (and, indeed, his life) in 1982. It wasn’t for me, but perhaps you’ll enjoy it – just tread carefully, and consider some of Greene’s other work instead.