Avoid This Book Like the Plague

For reasons best known to myself, I like bad books. You know the sort of thing--Holy Blood and Holy Grail type parodies of independent thought, which jump from loony narcissism to mad half-proofs on the basis of fifteen different types of evidential rule in the middle of barely suppressed rants which the author doesn't know were done better before.

The problem with slumming it, however, is that sometimes you hit rock bottom, and then the memory of the hangover and the lingering taste of the vomit is enough to pledge you to abstinence and drinking only by means of Holy water on the tongue, until the next cocktail comes along. I suppose the bedroom equivalent is working out how bad your story might seem to the police and the Mrs if the girl you've just put on the morning train ever talked.

Anyway, I've just reached that moment with possibly the worst book I've ever read (and I know von Daniken and Donnelly). It's Lucien Gregoire's 'Murder in the Vatican'--a farrago of nonsense about Pope John Paul I which ought to be on every western historical syllabus on the planet as an example of what not to do. Better people than I have written of it's flaws. I have just one suggestion; do not, on any account, go near it.

Comments

PJMULVEY said…
Martin: there are many more to add to your list. My advice is to avoid any book featuring Mary Magdalene as well anything recommended by scientologists......or anything written by a politician. It is all very bad fiction......PM
Lori said…
Martin, thank you very much for linking to my "debunking" of Gregoire. I just want to mention that there is much more about the real John Paul I here

www.jpicentenary.org

We are having a conference to celebrate the centenary of his birth this fall. Lori Pieper
Martin Meenagh said…
Lori, you are welcome--and I'll certainly check out your site. Patrick, I agree, though I have a weakness for it.
Martin said…
Martin,

There's another one out there called 'The Entity', authorsed by a Spanish TV journalist, I can't remember his name. Dreck from start to finish.
Martin Meenagh said…
We should start our own index! I hope that all is well Martin, thank you for the warning.
Martin Meenagh said…
For those who do not know, 'The Entity' by Eric Frattini purports to be an history of 'Vatican Intelligence'. It assumes that the Church gathers intelligence in one place, rather than through the communications of parishes, Bishops, cooperators and common sense, and that it has done so on the lines of a managerial organisation best suited to the mid twentieth century for some five hundred years. It seems to ignore the Holy Office, the role of regional inquisitions, and extra-ecclesial para state structures, Holy Orders, or for that matter, facts, and has a cool cover.

The old question, as usual, applies if you don't want to bother the muscle which exercises your critical intelligence; if the Church, or the Jews for that matter, really were in charge and knew everything--would they really be in the state that they are in?
Martin said…
That was the one.

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