The Labyrinthine Ways

By Graham Greene
IN a Mexican State near the Guatemala frontier a fanatical governor has introduced prohibition and proscribed religion. Priests are shot unless they conform to the law, renounce their vows, and take wives. Only two are left, one a conformer and the other a hunted fugitive who has found release in alcohol. Neither is the stuff of the martyrs, but both are aware of their unchangeable quality as priests. The desperate flight of the hunted priest, his disguises and stratagems, his search for wine tor the Mass in places where there is no wine, his end before the firing squad, unconfessed, unshriven — all this is superbly told. And through the prosaic details runs a thread of mysticism, of something that guns and hate cannot destroy. This book is a splendid achievement, brilliant description, tense narrative — and something else besides.