2024 Reading Challenge

2024 Reading Challenge
Tina has read 0 books toward her goal of 39 books.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

REVIEW for Priest in Hell

Once again, a huge thank you to Sarah from ECW Press for sending me this book!

TITLE: A Priest in Hell

AUTHOR: Randall Radic

GENRE: Biography

RATING: 4 Stars

I was extremely intrigued by Priest in Hell. I could not phantom how a man could go from priest to jail. So reading Randall's experiences, thoughts and reasoning (no matter how confused) was very, very interesting.

In the first chapter, we discover his crimes. One day, Radic decides that he is tired of living in poverty and wants money (lots of it) so!!!! he has the brilliant idea to sell the parsonage and church he is responsible for. My first thought (and the one that basically followed me throughout the entire book was) "how stupid can someone be" and following this thought was "who, on earth, would be stupid enough to buy a church and parsonage without first making sure to double check ownership, etc.). So, basically I felt as though the stupid was leading the stupid here. Needless to say, I was even more intrigued now. I needed to know how on earth Randall Radic could have thought he could pull this off and more to the point, what happened to him after he discovered (obviously the hard way) that he could not! Also! can someone please tell me how the congregation and the people involved in the day to day management of the church never managed to get a clue about this???? until it was way tooooo late in the game?

For me, the most interesting part of this book was when we are privy to Radic's thoughts and emotions regarding a situation. As he described his act as the mother of all stupid acts!!! I would have to say "no kidding". It was enticing to me to be able to read about this man's inner turmoils. These thoughts and emotions become more present as the book details his incarceration and his feelings towards being in jail and more to the point, his feelings about some of his cell mates and their own goings on. Up until this point, very little is made about him being a priest, but in jail, this as well as his more advanced age will make him the "peson to confide in". He will end up listening to more and more jailhouse confessions which, in the end, will be his ticket out of jail - as he decides to "rat" out another inmate.

This book reminded me of a mixture of bravado, fear, self preservation and sheer stupidity. What was lacking was any sign of spirituality - which is what I would have hoped to see Radic seek. Yes, there are moments of "looking inwards" but they are usually overshadow by some external happening.

I loved the writing style here - very honest, direct and to the point. I don't get a strong sense of remorse here - but I don't think this was the point of the retelling of this story.

Radic manages to make me feel as though he is right there with him while describing some of the jailhouse events - and he does have a gift for detailing a situation.

For some reason, while I thought this man was, for the most part, an idiot, I also really enjoyed this book greatly. Go figure!


Wall-to-wall books said...

Wow, this book sounds great!
Very good review.
Definitely going on my TRB list.

cindysloveofbooks said...

I remember you talking about this book at one of the meet ups Tina. It does sound good. While I was reading your rview I was like you how stupid can you be but then again I guess if your desperate for money you will do anything.

Donna said...

Oh wow! Your review leaves me wondering what this man is doing now (aside from profiting from his crimes via a tell-all book??).

avisannschild said...

I've tagged you for the What's on Your Desk Wednesday? meme, if you're interested...

Natalie W said...

This sounds like an awesome read! Gotta get it!

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