Silence

Silence

Book - 2016
Average Rating:
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"Shusaku Endo's classic novel of enduring faith in dangerous times"Silence I regard as a masterpiece, a lucid and elegant drama."-The New York Times Book Review Seventeenth-century Japan: Two Portuguese Jesuit priests travel to a country hostile to their religion, where feudal lords force the faithful to publicly renounce their beliefs. Eventually captured and forced to watch their Japanese Christian brothers lay down their lives for their faith, the priests bear witness to unimaginable cruelties that test their own beliefs. Shusaku Endois one of the most celebrated and well-known Japanese fiction writers of the twentieth century, and Silence is widely considered to be his great masterpiece"-- Provided by publisher
Publisher: New York : Picador Modern Classics, 2016
Edition: First Picador edition
ISBN: 9781250082244
1250082242
Branch Call Number: FIC Endo, S 2016
Characteristics: xxiv, 212 pages ; 21 cm
Alternative Title: Chinmoku. English

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n
nofasternan
Sep 26, 2017

Although based on real historical figures, this is a historical fiction book, with interesting detail about the introduction of Christianity, specifically Roman Catholicism, in 17th century japan. There is also a lot of debating of catholic dogma, with focus on the problems of evil in the world and faith versus human compassion. I found the lengthy theological discussions excessive. I much preferred the livelier exposition of similar topics in Emmanuel Carrere's "The Kingdom".

k
kelldog1
Apr 05, 2017

Intense, thought provoking and worthwhile. It'll be interesting to see how the movie survives a 3rd or (or 4th), translation.

h
Hopalong_Kid
Mar 25, 2017

Powerful story of the Japanese repression of Christianity through the internal struggle of an evangelizing Catholic Portuguese priest coming to Japan. The book gives lots to ponder about. There are strong historical parallels to the British repression of Catholicism in Ireland.

g
GLNovak
Mar 17, 2017

Questions raised by this book are timeless - what is faith? why does God answer/not answer me? is martyrdom required? is mine the only true religion? what is the true religion? do I believe the same as others? are converts really converts?
The Jesuit Father Rodriguez is sent to Japan to minister to the secret Christian converts whose very lives are in danger from the Japanese rulers anti-Christian decree. Thus starts his journey of faith. He is captured and must apostatize but can he? His captor is Inoue, a Japanese who was a convert and became a priest but is now an inquisitor. Very thoughtful and thought-provoking.

l
Lynsey26
Feb 05, 2017

An interesting look at Christian missionaries in Japan in the 1700's during a time when Christianity was outlawed and Christians were tortured for their beliefs. Many theological questions are addressed but the primary one is where is God in our suffering? The book is very well written and has many parallels to the betrayal of Jesus by Judas. I believe enjoyment of the book helps if you have some knowledge of Christianity and Jesus' story.

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bdtnm
Jan 07, 2017

The matter of the "silence" of God is a major theological conundrum, and for the Jesuit missionaries to Japan in the 17th century, the silence of their God when they were faced with persecution must have seemed quite frightening. As a book looking at the situation from the missionaries' perspective. the matter of the cultural imperalism of Europe in Asia is not dealt with in as much detail, but the viewpoint is that of young Jesuit missionaries, who would have seen their efforts as those of good men spreading God's message to the foreigners.

a
ANTHONYZEDAN
Dec 28, 2016

Definitely something is lost in translation, having said that, this novel resonates with existential silence, a crisis of faith, and those readers interested in the persecuted, tortured and martyred Japanese Christians at a time when Christianity was outlawed in feudal Japan will enjoy reading this novel. Any person of faith who has ever experience a dark night of the soul will deeply appreciate the beauty of this novel.

x
xiaojunbpl12
Nov 14, 2016

Silence of the God, greatness and beauty of evils...
Recommend to those who have religious upbringing, as I can imagine Rodrigues's dramatic journey is moving and illuminating. To me, I found the volume of beautiful prose, a thin but rather long book, achieved an effect redundant.
One (small) inspiration, my faith seems to be stronger than those who worship God.
I'm still intrigued, why Marty likes this book, is he retiring? I almost enjoy every movie he made, but for this upcoming one, aside from haunting visual effects, I'm not interested in the transpired messages.

m
mysticsusieq
Oct 25, 2016

This story was really, really powerful and meaningful. I highly recommend it and look forward to the new film.

LMcShaneCLE Feb 16, 2016

If you are a fan of Graham Greene's writing exploring spiritual and cultural crisis of faith- think The Power and Glory - this book will sweep you away to seventeenth century Japan (soon to be a major motion picture with Liam Neeson and Ciarán Hinds! ).

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