• by Robert Harris
  • Narrated by Roy McMillan
  • 8 hrs and 10 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The best-selling author of Enigma and Fatherland turns to today's Vatican in a ripped-from-the-headlines novel and gives us his most ambitious, pause-resisting thriller yet - where the power of God is nearly equaled by the ambition of men.
The pope is dead. Behind the locked doors of the Sistine Chapel, 118 cardinals from all over the globe will cast their votes in the world's most secretive election. They are holy men. But they have ambition. And they have rivals. Over the next 72 hours, one of them will become the most powerful spiritual figure on earth.


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

Microscopic look at Power

I've not read anything by Harris before so I tried to research him a bit before I joined the fan club. And the author does seem to collect readers. In my brief study, it became clear that this is an author that is impeccably informed on any subject he tackles, far beyond any precursory due diligence. This commitment is a force that shapes his characters into complex personalities that are knowable to the reader. He writes an intensely detailed story, melding the history with the psychology to produce thrilling dramas. Conclave is an insider's look at a "papal conclave," the process and the powers that elect the "Bishop of Rome, Vicar of Jesus Christ, Successor of the Prince of the Apostles, Supreme Pontiff of the Universal Church, Primate of Italy, Archbishop and Metropolitan of the Roman Province, Sovereign of the Vatican City State, Servant of the servants of God" -- the Pope.

That is the story in a nutshell, the Holy Father passes away and the cardinals assemble from around the world to vote on his successor. I've seen the gathering to elect a new Pope, and witnessed the black smoke emerging from the chimney of the Sistine Chapel -- no new pontiff; white smoke and Pope Benedict XVI, Pope Francis. It is the details contained in this nutshell of a plot that are so hugely fascinating, the personalities of modern day cardinals operating under the ordained guidelines that have undergone almost two millennia of development.

Harris is a remarkable author. Conclave is superbly written, and clearly painstakingly researched. Some of the histories of the deaths and burials, the spiritual guidelines and requirements of these men (and women), were extraordinary.

This is detailed. The minutiae could be a challenge to some readers. No matter how you feel about it, and I'm sure it will be a bombshell to some readers, the ending is an interesting paradox that brings a centuries-old process into the modern age. Highly recommend for readers interested in the subject, especially those that want every little detail.

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- Mel

Great story to the very end

Loved the twists and turns that reflects the church that I have come to know.
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- Ed

Book Details

  • Release Date: 11-22-2016
  • Publisher: Random House Audio