Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Faith (Google eBook)

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Random House Publishing Group, May 18, 2004 - Biography & Autobiography
94 Reviews
A key comic writer of the past three decades has created his most heartfelt and hard-hitting book. Father Joe is Tony Hendra’s inspiring true story of finding faith, friendship, and family through the decades-long influence of a surpassingly wise Benedictine monk named Father Joseph Warrillow.

Like everything human, it started with sex. In 1955, fourteen-year-old Tony found himself entangled with a married Catholic woman. In Cold War England, where Catholicism was the subject of news stories and Graham Greene bestsellers, Tony was whisked off by the woman’s husband to see a priest and be saved.

Yet what he found was a far cry from the priests he’d known at Catholic school, where boys were beaten with belts or set upon by dogs. Instead, he met Father Joe, a gentle, stammering, ungainly Benedictine who never used the words “wrong” or “guilt,” who believed that God was in everyone and that “the only sin was selfishness.” During the next forty years, as his life and career drastically ebbed and flowed, Tony discovered that his visits to Father Joe remained the one constant in his life—the relationship that, in the most serious sense, saved it.

From the fifties and his adolescent desire to join an abbey himself; to the sixties, when attending Cambridge and seeing the satire of Beyond the Fringe convinced him to change the world with laughter, not prayer; to the seventies and successful stints as an original editor of National Lampoon and a writer of Lemmings, the off-Broadway smash that introduced John Belushi and Chevy Chase; to professional disaster after co-creating the legendary English series Spitting Image; from drinking to drugs, from a failed first marriage to a successful second and the miracle of parenthood—the years only deepened Tony’s need for the wisdom of his other and more real father, creating a bond that could not be broken, even by death.

A startling departure for this acclaimed satirist, Father Joe is a sincere account of how Tony Hendra learned to love. It’s the story of a whole generation looking for a way back from mockery and irony, looking for its own Father Joe, and a testament to one of the most charismatic mentors in modern literature.


From the Hardcover edition.
  

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Love his writing style. - Goodreads
The ending wasn't very satisfying. - Goodreads
Could have been good but writing is light - Goodreads
There's a happy ending to this book, a very big one. - Bookreporter.com
Excellent writing + spiritual odyssey= I'm in love. - Goodreads
On one level, it's Tony and Joe's happy ending. - Bookreporter.com

Review: Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul

User Review  - Irl Newham - Goodreads

Love his writing style. Obviously, he is humorous but there is also a lot of good moral content in his writing. Read full review

LibraryThing Review

User Review  - mrluckey - LibraryThing

Interesting story; yet sad and the author had so much talent and potential he wasted advocating worthless causes. Read full review

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About the author (2004)

TONY HENDRA attended Cambridge University, where he performed frequently with friends and future Monty Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman. He is the author of Going Too Far, a classic history of modern American satire. He was editor in chief of Spy magazine, an original editor of the National Lampoon, and he played Ian Faith in the movie, This Is Spinal Tap. He has written frequently for New York, Harper’s, GQ, Vanity Fair, Men’s Journal, and Esquire, among other magazines. He is married to Carla Hendra; they have three young children, Lucy, Sebastian, and Nicholas.


From the Hardcover edition.

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