Clerical Errors: A Novel

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 11, 2001 - Fiction - 288 pages
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From the National Jewish Book Award-winning author of The Prince of West End Avenue comes a sparkling new novel that confirms Alan Isler's unique gift for mingling comedy and tradgedy.

Despite a severe lack of piety and the inconvenient fact of his Jewish birth, Edmond Music chose the priesthood as a career. Much to the Vatican's chagrin, he is entrenched at an English estate possessed of a fabulous library. There, he would rather pursue a decades-long liaison with his Irish housekeeper, Maude, than crack down on his assistant's dial-a-confession phone ministry. He would rather immerse himself in his study of an eighteenth-century Jewish mystic, the epigrammatic Pish, than deal with a Shakespeare quarto gone missing on his watch.

Then Father Music's car is found wrapped around the famous Stuart Oak (blessedly, without Edmond inside). Are Vatican henchmen to blame? What's more, Edmond's persistent nemesis, the American priest Twombly, is headed to town, eager to prove Edmond a thief. And the once passionate Maude is having an inconvenient religious revival. With his forty-year idyll thoroughly disrupted, Edmond can no longer ignore the present danger. Nor can he evade the reach of his buried past.

Rife with Alan Isler's characteristic wit and wordplay, Clerical Errors is a deeply moving exploration of a world of faith, love, and identity, a world lost and found again, perhaps too late.

 

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Clerical errors: a novel

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Isler (Kraven Images, et al.) surpasses even high expectations in this superb novel about a rogue(ish) priest, born a Jew, nearing the end of his long life. A lot goes on here there's a stolen ... Read full review

Contents

The End of the World
9
Part One
10
Part Two
46
Part Three
80
Part Four
120
Part Five
165
Part Six
204
Part Seven
256
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
283
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About the author (2001)

Alan Isler was born in London in 1934 and came to America as a young man. He taught English literature at the City University of New York for twenty-five years. His first novel, The Prince of West End Avenue, won the 1994 National Jewish Book Award and was one of five fiction finalists for the National Book Critics Circle Award. His second novel, Kraven Images, was published in 1996. The Bacon Fancier: Four Tales appeared in 1997. He lives in New York City and Sag Harbor.

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