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This book is about a Pope who is forced into retirement because he claims to have had a private revelation from God about the end of the world. The author depicts some interesting and revealing characters throughout the book. I did find that the ending was a bit of a disaster and I ending up wondering was it really worth reading the book at all. I don’t think that the book set out to slam religion. What it did was use religion as a host to tell a story.
The Clowns of God by Morris West is a story about a pope who is forced to abdicate after receiving a personal revelation of the apocalypse and second coming of Christ. Is he mad or bad becomes a major question. The pope and the other characters interact in special ways and embrace all the emotions, love, faith, hope, and fear amongst others as the story races to its stunning climax. One senses that this book was written from the heart, and it makes one wonder just what Morris West, a monk himself for eight years, experienced to enable him to write with such spiritual insight. Some people might be put off by the religious context of the book but this story goes way beyond the context into an intense drama which addresses problems which affect everyone. This book is one of the few which has actually brought tears to my eyes. So who is a clown of God? The answer to that question would probably demand another book but just one answer the story gives is that a child with Downs syndrome is a clown of God. The returned Christ, known as Mr Atha to some, says: "I know what you are thinking. You need a sign. What better one could I give than to make this little one whole and new? I could do it; but I will not...To you she looks imperfect - but to me she is flawless, like the bud that dies unopened or the fledgling that falls from the nest to be devoured by the ants... She is necessary to you... This little one is my sign to you. Treasure her!"