The Divisions of Endo

Silence by Shusaku Endo reviewed

If you're anything like I was, I had heard about the necessity of this book for years before I picked it up.  Having picked it up, I feel like I will never put it down.  It has become emblematic for me.  I push it upon anyone who will listen long enough for me to get through my spiel.

But, I do know, if you want to split a roomful of Catholics faster than lightning--toss this book in the room and then ask them whether what the protagonists does at the end was right or wrong.  Guaranteed, you'll split that room--perhaps not right down the middle--but there will be at least two groups each adamantly holding to their point.  I know, been there, done that.  I'm with the group that agrees with the Priest and with the voice from the fumie.  But to quote an American Literary Figure recently in the news, "without you having read it, you ain't gonna know what I'm talking about." 

If you haven't done so, this is one of those books that could be a defining moment.  For many, it may well be just another novel.  But equally, for many, it will be a book that you pick up and never put down.


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