Thursday, January 17, 2013

Top 10 literary preachers

Peter Murphy is a writer from Enniscorthy in County Wexford, Ireland. His first novel John the Revelator was published in the UK and Ireland by Faber & Faber and in the US by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, and was nominated for the 2011 IMPAC literary award, shortlisted for the 2009 Costa Book Awards and the Kerry Group Fiction prize. His second novel, Shall We Gather at the River, will be published by Faber in January 2013.

He named his ten baddest preachers for the Guardian, including:
Father Mapple from Moby Dick by Herman Melville

The ex-whaler pastor ascends to his prow-shaped pulpit to deliver unto the congregation the story of the fugitive Jonah swallowed into the whale's belly. "Woe to him who seeks to please rather than to appal! Woe to him whose good name is more to him than goodness!" This sermon, an entire chapter in Melville's book, required Orson Welles's formidable tones to do it justice in John Huston's film version, scripted by none other than Ray Bradbury.
Read about another novel on the list.

Moby-Dick also appears among Penn Jillette's six favorite books, Peter F. Stevens's top ten nautical books, Katharine Quarmby's top ten disability stories, Jonathan Evison's six favorite books, Bella Bathurst's top 10 books on the sea, John Mullan's lists of ten of the best nightmares in literature and ten of the best tattoos in literature, Susan Cheever's five best books about obsession, Christopher Buckley's best books, Jane Yolen's five most important books, Chris Dodd's best books, Augusten Burroughs' five most important books, Norman Mailer's top ten works of literature, David Wroblewski's five most important books, Russell Banks' five most important books, and Philip Hoare's top ten books about whales.

--Marshal Zeringue