294 pages

English language

Published Nov. 10, 1980 by Taplinger Pub. Co..

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4 stars (4 reviews)

Sustained by dreams of glorious martyrdom, a seventeenth-century Portuguese missionary in Japan administers to the outlawed Christians until Japanese authorities capture him and force him to watch the torture of his followers, promising to stop if he will renounce Christ.

1 edition

Effective Character Study About a Time In History I Don't Know Much About

No rating

Overall I found this effective and a good companion piece to Shogun, and does not require the reader to be religious or Catholic to see the protagonist's point of view.

The character of Kichijiro was very interesting, and I tend to think the fumie came from Rodrigues' own mind, but that God was speaking to Rodrigues to Kichijiro. Kichijiro felt like the most fleshed-out Japanese character.

I thought it was kind of jarring to switch from Rodrigues perspective to third person, and I'm not sure I understand why Endo did it.

I thought the epilogue was effective in showing how the remainder of Rodrigues' life was just a footnote after the events of the novel.

Review of 'Silence' on 'Goodreads'

5 stars

Except for [b:Barabbas|12890|Barabbas|Pär Lagerkvist||1179249] this is the only Christian novel I've read. And it's a Christian novel from another side of the globe from Barabbas.

While this novel has been labelled as a novel about the atrocious persecution of Christians in Japan, to my understanding that is a backdrop, a very important backdrop, but backdrop still. It's also very complex. Official view about Christianity and elaborate tortures, the metamorphosis of the faith in the Japanese soil, the people, places, and nature... It's not a black and white story of oppression.

This is predominantly a novel about Christian sympathy. A person's journey through suffering to understand what it meant to Christ, what sort of shepherd he was. The central character (a priest) has gone through what we can say 'a dark night of the soul'. The crisis was acute. Suffering raised questions in other times that can …

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5 stars
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rated it

3 stars