View from the choir

I am a Catholic layperson and Secular Franciscan with a sense of humor. After years in the back pew watching, I have moved into the choir. It's nice to see faces instead of the backs of heads. But I still maintain God has a sense of humor - and that we are created in God's image.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Ah, sweet mystery of life ...

With all that has been going on lately, I've been feeling a bit like that Monty Python character complaining in a strained voice, "My brain hurts."

Reading is normally my standard treatment in moments such as this, but I was "hurting" too much for heavier fare - Mother Theresa, theology, Dante, poetry, even my beloved Chesterton.

So while at the library I grabbed a Father Dowling mystery.

Ah. Popcorn for the mind and soul.

Enjoyable - but I've always liked mysteries. Especially ones with a subtext of morality and faith.

Maybe some Hillerman next?

Or more Ralph McInerny?

Or perhaps Father Brown? Got to sneak in some Chesterton!


Blogger Rich Leonardi said...

Try Donald Westlake's comedy capers; I especially like What's the Worst That Can Happen?

I'd be curious to know what you think of McInerny's series.

10:37 PM  
Blogger Lee Strong said...

Thanks for the suggestion of Westlake - I've never read him, but I'll give him a try.

I've actully read some of the Father Dowling stories before - though years ago. I've also read some of the Sister Mary Teresa stories he wrote under the pen name Monica Quill.

At the time, I enjoyed them, but after a while they began to run together and I moved on to Tony Hillerman - a better writer.

When I spotted "The Prudence of the Flesh," a more recent Dowling book, I decided to give him another try. The book was not bad, but it seemed kind of perfunctory. The ending was not very satisfying and the plotting and writing were not not as good as I remember from the earlier Dowling books I read.

But then, in the mood for Chesterton, I decided to give McInerny's Notre Dame mysteries a try with "Irish Tenure" (involving a Chesterton manuscript). I haven't finished it, but so far it's a better book than "Prudence."

I don't know if it's true, but the thought crossed my mind that it almost seems as if he's bored with Dowling and more interested in the Notre Dame series. Of course, I would have to read a few more of both to see if notion holds up. It may that "Prudence" was just an off book, and there are others among the more recent Dowlings that are great.

Any McInerny fans out there?

8:24 PM  

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