A novel of the last Pope, the Antichrist and the end of the age by Randy England
Some time ago, I got connected to a site called Tuscany Press LLC. Tuscany promotes Catholic fiction writers, and I for one am glad they do.
I get regular emails from them because I signed up for Catholic, Ink a weekly newsletter highlighting new Catholic fiction and articles about authors and things going on in the Catholic writer world. I am happy that I signed up for Catholic, Ink because I have then gone on to purchase several of the novels referred to by clicking over to them on Amazon. 1 Click and the novel is on my Kindle app on my iPad. Pretty simple.
The other day I purchased 3 new novels that way, and have just today completed reading the first one, "The Last Fisherman."
Randy England told a fictional story of the end of the age, with a credible last Pope and a credible evil Antichrist character. It was a book I did not want to put down, and so basically I didn't, finishing it in a couple of extended reading sessions.
The good news is that it is a well written story. The bad news is that if Tom Clancy had written it, it would have been 650 pages longer. David Baldacci or Robert Ludlum would have only added another 250 to it. So, simply there could have been more detail in character development, and plot thickening.
At first, that irritated me, but then I prayed and thought about it, and came to a different conclusion.
Good Catholic fiction has a somewhat different objective than other good fiction. Good Catholic fiction should be faithful to the Magisterium (bingo), faithful to the Bible (bingo), faithful to Church tradition (bingo), and it should tweak your faith, and lead you to prayer (bingo). Though it should entertain you it should leave you thirsty (bingo once again).
In His Message for Lent 1993, Pope John Paul II referenced the words of Jesus on the Cross "I thirst." Mother Teresa subsequently wrote a letter to her congregation about the thirst Jesus has for us, His Beloved. So, it is my contention here that if Jesus thirsts for us, should we not thirst for Him? Accordingly, then should things that are Catholic that we read or see increase that thirst in us for Our Beloved Saviour?
Clearly, for me at least this book of Mr. England's made me thirst. I was driving for two hours to Toronto, 120 miles away from home today to visit with my daughter and prayed about "The Last Fisherman" and contemplated as I drove. In that two hour drive I drew to the above conclusions. On that basis alone I would rate Mr. England's book a success as Catholic fiction.
Though I enjoyed the book from cover to cover (or at least electronic cover to electronic cover) there was one particular excerpt that caught my attention. In this excerpt, the new Pope describes a one act play for a non Catholic believer to explain some of the difference between Catholicism and Protestantism. That alone was worth reading the book, because it was very thought provoking.
This book can be acquired for Kindle or for Kindle readers on other formats here at Amazon. As of today, the book can be purchased for 91 cents for Kindle. How can you go wrong with that?