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by Piers Paul Read

eBook Monk Dawson (An Alison Press book) download ISBN: 0436409712
Author: Piers Paul Read
Publisher: Martin Secker & Warburg Ltd; First UK Edition edition (January 5, 1987)
Language: English
Pages: 219
ePub: 1440 kb
Fb2: 1383 kb
Rating: 4.1
Other formats: doc mbr azw lit
Category: Literature
Subcategory: Contemporary

Piers Paul Read, third son of poet and art critic Sir Herbert Read, was born in 1941, raised in North Yorkshire, and educated by Benedictine monks at Ampleforth College

Piers Paul Read, third son of poet and art critic Sir Herbert Read, was born in 1941, raised in North Yorkshire, and educated by Benedictine monks at Ampleforth College. His first novel, Game in Heaven with Tussy Marx, was published in 1966. His fiction has won the Hawthornden Prize, the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Somerset Maugham Award, and the James Tait Black Memorial Prize.

Piers Paul Read tells a good story and writes with distinctio. he Junkers is full of wit and coldly compelling realis. r. Read is one of the most promising writers of his generation. Chills the blood and makes the hair stand on end.

Piers Paul Read FRSL (born 7 March 1941) is an award-winning British novelist, historian and biographer. He was first noted in 1974 for a book of reportage Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors, later adapted as a feature-film and a documentary. Read was educated at St. John's College, Cambridge where he studied history. Among his most popular works are The Professor's Daughter, A Married Man, and A Season in the West.

Witty, even cynical, observation leads to a conclusion profoundly moving. Graham Greene 'Read is undoubtedly one of the most talented novelists of our generation. Francis King ' profoundly serious contemporary writer whose merits. are consistently underrated.

Piers Paul Read's third novel, Monk Dawson (1969), was a tremendous critical success, winning both the Somerset Maugham Award and the Hawthornden Prize and confirming his reputation as one of the outstanding novelists of his generation.

Piers Paul Read is a well-known journalist and the author of several acclaimed and bestselling works of fiction and non-fiction, including the phenomenal bestseller Alive!. He is married to Emily Read and they have four children. He is a regular contributor to the Daily Mail, the Mail on Sunday, the Evening Standard, The Times and the Spectator.

Monk Dawson, is a novel by English author Piers Paul Read, published in 1969 by Secker and Warburg in the UK and in 1970 by Lippincott in the US, the year it won both the Somerset Maugham Award and Hawthornden Prize. It was adapted into a film of the same name in 1998 Reception.

Monk Dawson, is a novel by English author Piers Paul Read, published in 1969 by Secker and Warburg in the UK and in 1970 by Lippincott in the US, the year it won both the Somerset Maugham Award and Hawthornden Prize

Monk Dawson, is a novel by English author Piers Paul Read, published in 1969 by Secker and Warburg in the UK and in 1970 by Lippincott in the US, the year it won both the Somerset Maugham Award and Hawthornden Prize. profoundly moving" - Graham Greene.

Find nearly any book by Piers Paul Read (page 3). Get the best deal by comparing prices from over 100,000 booksellers. ISBN 9781857994100 (978-1-85799-410-0) Softcover, Orion Pub Co, 1996.

Dust jacket worn, owner's inscription, some foxing and marking to page edges. Shipped from the U.K. All orders received before 3pm sent that weekday.
Comments: (4)
It's so easy
He never disappoints, this is deep book . A spiritual journey and a critique of decadent and dying western culture. Honest and compelling . I was happy for monk Dawson, the rest were sad lost souls
An interesting story with a great philosophical extent
Piers Paul Read's third novel, Monk Dawson (1969) won both the Somerset Maugham Award and the Hawthornden Prize. Narrated by a classmate, Bobby Winterman, the novel chronicles the evolution and conflicted life of Edward Dawson, who from youth wants to devote his life to helping others. It is a fascinating character study from beginning to end.

Read follows Dawson's life beginning from the age of seven when he and Winterman become pupils at "a boarding-school in the English countryside which was run by Benedictine monks," Kirkham. Curiously, "religious instruction was the least important subject on the curriculum" where the monks "were only following the tactics of another order, the Society of Jesus." Still, none of the boys escape the influence of fourteen years of "mass every day of the term, and twice on Sundays." Winterman confesses: "God entered into everything we did. No aspects of our lives was without its good or bad, its right or wrong. Faith became as automatic as the habits of hygiene... and we thought as little of being Catholics as of our brushing our teeth." When graduation is on the horizon for the two friends and their peers, it is Dawson who is the most torn about his future. His is an "an ambition to benefit humanity," but after years of a so-called education he has no idea of how to do that. In a remarkable interview with Father Timothy, Read produces one of the most incredible arguments for blind faith and serving God one is likely to encounter in fiction as he argues, "the best way of serving others is by serving God," and Dawson starts down the road to become a priest at Kirkham, accepting that "God has ordained that his priests be equal to the angels."

Read's story-telling is remarkable for its clarity and objectivity. Dawson's life as "porter, acolyte, sub-deacon, deacon" and priest is told without religious bias or comment and the author allows readers to perceive the changes wrought in Dawson's life as he decides "through his own computation, that there could be four different kinds of holiness, four different paths to sanctity." With time it become clear to him that his choice, "caring for the poor, the diseased and the uneducated," is a goal he cannot reach at Kirkham as Dawson becomes more and discontent with his life. With the death of Pope Pius XII in 1958, Dawson becomes an activist priest, fighting for reform in the Church with Pope John XXIII until the Pope's death. He becomes priest to a nearby parish comprised of lower class laborers and their families. By the age of twenty-eight he is relocated to London where his sermons become more and more "provocative and abrasive," winning followers and critics.

Readers will not be surprised when Dawson decides to give up the priesthood. What is remarkable is that Read's tale can be seen as atypical of the doubting priest who "can't believe in it any more" and who leaves the Church because it is the Church's traditions, procedures, and habits (no pun intended) that doesn't allow Dawson to accomplish the good for his fellow man that he has long pursued.

Nearly half of Monk Dawson is devoted to Dawson's secular life. Ironically, just as he seeks to fulfill his dreams of helping humanity in a world that not is equipped to really allow for that, he is equally ill-prepared for the secular world after years at Kirkham. Desperate for love "he was a hunter without a licence or gun or any knowledge of traps and snares--and his only prospect was to catch a glimpse of his game scutting around him" as he eventually becomes entrapped in an ill-fated marriage. Read's Dawson proves himself to be much like a man of today's times who becomes embittered by a society who shows "phony sorrow that comes over people when there's an earthquake or something, and a few hundred get killed" but where "one doesn't go into a panic over the thousands who die of old age" unless it is something that "we're afraid" will affect our own mortality. Dawson concludes: "Sympathy is just fear at one remove." Equally modern is Dawson's commitment "to the belief that all social phenomena have a scientific explanation and so a scientific solution." Dawson becomes determined to be a journalist who writes the truth until his efforts are stymied by politics, capitalism, and the tenuous "so-called freedom of the press."

The conclusion of Monk Dawson and Dawson's final fate is both surprising and ironic considering that Dawson concludes "I've become averse to Christians. There's something soft and unpleasant about them." Read has stated regarding the times during which he wrote Monk Dawson and the novel's conclusion: "Given this preoccupation with politics, and a rather pro forma practice of the Catholic Faith at the time, the novel's denouement came as a surprise. Of course, it remains open to the reader to reach his or her own conclusion about Dawson's state-of-mind. A Soviet admirer congratulated me on depicting so successfully the insanity of a religious vocation (from: [...]

Monk Dawson is a provocative novel that defies expectations and is filled with subtlety and finely drawn characters and is well-worth reading. [NOTES: (1) The new Valancourt Books reissue of Monk Dawson includes a new Introduction by Piers Paul Read. (2) A film adaptation of Monk Dawson was made in 1998 originally under the title Passion of the Priest. The film's tag line, "Guided by Faith. Blinded by Hope. Betrayed by Love." Should be enough for would-be viewers to deduce the film's emphasis.]
I've read two of Read's books. Good reads, I must say appropriately enough. The problem with his novels gets at the heart of the novel itself. The ending. However well written, intelligent and pointed they are, no matter how good the read, in the end it is the end of a novel that attempts to make the point, the main assertion of all that blending of plot and character and conversation. In this case, the author has nothing really to say, except Catholicism, which is hardly an original thought, and irrational in any case. As a result the endings are far-fetched. Not so much in Monk Dawson. But in Polonaise the hero saves the day by pushing a man off a cliff... in order to preserve the sanctity of marriage??? And in both books the moral of the story is that there really is only one true faith, so believe it. The Monk ends up a monk. Surprise surprise. After realizing what a fraud his religion is, he goes back to it anyway because he can't come up with anything in life that isn't a fraud. Or is it just to give the book an ending?

In spite of being let down in the end, I admire the depth of these novels, and particularly the ambiguity. Wouldn't it be better to end on an ambiguous note. Read could always add two simple words to finish it just the same. The end.