Review of In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy

In the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, HypocrisyIn the Closet of the Vatican: Power, Homosexuality, Hypocrisy by Frédéric Martel‏
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I bought and started reading this because it seemed to be a compelling topic. Until I was a few chapters into it. Then I got bored. Really damn bored. And annoyed. I mean, certain words or terms are banned in the Vatican yet the majority there allegedly simply use alternate code words openly, even while with their boyfriends when doing so? What, are we freaking 10-year-old children? That type of juvenile hypocrisy holds no appeal to me. Seemed more like a day soap opera. Gossip, salacious rumors, allegations and implications that at one time would have shocked most people just due to what was voiced (and done), let alone the religious hypocrisy but aside from the bizarre circus-like atmosphere regarding the meagre attempts to hide the near-obvious, the only thing I find shocking is a group of grown adults, allegedly the majority, creeping around as though in a foppish Restoration dramady — I swear I felt like I was reading Sheridan’s School for Scandal back in grad school days!

It’s not the topic, it’s the author. If he hadn’t acted, written and tried to pass off to the reader some kind of non-existent outrageous shocker, I might have enjoyed it more as straight nonfiction, but this was more like creative nonfiction for “the pure and naïve.” I felt more shocked when I found I was reading hundreds of pages of philosophy in de Sade’s Justine for God’s sake!

Topic? Could/should be interesting, but not. Treatment? Gossiping schoolboys/girls, cowed by seeing the teacher’s bare ankle. This is a book for previous generations, or should I say the author is writing as though from a long-gone generation for people of that generation. The book might be current, but another author would have to repair the damage done by this one in his “Let’s shock the world and out this hypocrisy” premise, and thus startling … no one. Or should I say, only the idealistically naïve. A Restoration comedy. Could someone re-do this and make it read like it’s worthy of its promise? Or is the premise simply empty, perhaps in part because the entire apparatus is and has been empty and and any promise simply bankrupted for so very long?

Not recommended.

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