Book - 2016
Average Rating:
Rate this:
"The Pope is dead. Behind locked doors of the Sistine chapel, 118 cardinals from around the world will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men, but they are men of the world, and they have rivals. And over the next seventy-two hours one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth."--Dust jacket.
Publisher: New York : Alfred A. Knopf, c2016
ISBN: 9780451493446
Branch Call Number: FIC Harr
Characteristics: [v], 285 pages : map ; 25 cm


From the critics

Community Activity


Add a Comment
Dec 10, 2017

Not often that a book blindsides me with an ending that is both unexpected and uplifting!!
And also found it amusing to find the Canadian to be a “bad guy” amongst this international group.

Jun 19, 2017

What didn’t sit too well was it was one thing after another with the surprises. First it was this guy. Then the other. Oh, can’t forget this guy either. We already elected the pope? No wait here’s another monkey wrench. It was just too much (by the end I was screaming out: “Just give him the papacy and let’s go home. This is getting ridiculous”.) Some parts were spaced out but it just felt too much. However, good on the author to make sure all the loose ends were tied together. Nothing was left unanswered.

I liked this book but it would have been better without all the extra bits and pieces here. It needs more intrigue and plotting within. It’s what makes it so much better. Otherwise, it was a short quick read and worth it. Just remember this is an alternate history of events.

May 09, 2017

Harris is a versatile writer of historical and contemporary political thrillers. He shows his mettle yet again with "Conclave," an engrossing and suspenseful account of the process involved in the selection of a new Pope. The surprise, twist ending, however, strains credulity, and is very distinctly a "deus ex machina" contrivance, appended perhaps for its shock value, or to make a statement of some sort. Nothing wrong with that, if the author can make it work. Here, it doesn't, and the novel suffers for it.

Apr 21, 2017

This book was a major disappointment.

The implausibility of its ending conclusion did it for me. Like most comments on here I was caught up in its reading, with all the voting on the next Pope, and then it all fell apart on the discovery of the real identity of the elected Pope. I mean how could this individual go through life, become a priest, a bishop, etc, with the condition he/she had. I just don't buy it, and it brings the story into the totally unbelievable realm of fictional story telling, which I guess that's what Conclave is, but why bring it to a trash level?

I was impressed with the background research and the balance the author portrayed in the deeply religious characters contrasted with more ambitious men in the Roman conclave. And a Canadian turns out to be amongst the corrupt cadre. Glad I happened upon this title in the library recent reviews browser. Fast read and great food for thought.

Feb 11, 2017

Have you ever wondered what goes on behind the scenes when the College of Cardinals elects a new Pope? This novel will give you a good idea of the procedures followed, though I think the events in this book are more dramatic than reality. (I bet there is some intrigue in the College of Cardinals, though!)

This book is highly entertaining and a fast read. Enjoy!

Feb 06, 2017

Harris dishes up a story that might have attracted Dan Brown - Harris is different because Conclave is much better-written, with well-cast and believable characters, showing respect for both strong faith and spiritual questions among them. The ending is on the one hand, well prepared by the narrative, and completely unexpected.

Jan 10, 2017

I found it more than a bit fascinating, being a Christian but not a Catholic. Kept my interest by depicting the workings inside the Vatican of the process of selecting a new Pope upon the death of the current Pope. Even among men that are looked up to and respected for guiding the church and its people, holiness and ambition are in conflict. I liked the usage of Bible scripture by the cardinals and bishops as the story unfolded. The ending was at the same time foreseeable and unexpected.

Jan 08, 2017

If you're into the pageantry of the Conclave this is for you.
A 3rd world pope and an interesting ending.

Nov 14, 2016

The first part is very slow but the author manages to skillfully build up good suspense at the end


Add a Quote
Jun 24, 2017

No one who follows their conscience ever does wrong,...

Jun 24, 2017

... cash was the apple in their Garden of Eden,...

Jun 24, 2017

He who enters the Conclave a Pope leaves it a cardinal.

Jun 24, 2017

No sane man could possibly want the papacy.

Jun 24, 2017

Once, God explained all mysteries. Now He has been usurped by conspiracy theorists.

Jun 24, 2017

Some are chosen to be shepherds, and others are needed to manage the farm.

Jun 24, 2017

..., I'm just an old sinner, no better than you ...


Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.


Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.


Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Explore Further

Browse by Call Number


Subject Headings


Find it at PLYMC

To Top