When Saint Francis Saved the Church: How a Converted Troubadour Created a Spiritual Vision of the Ages
By Jon M. Sweeney
Published in September 2014
Thibault’s Score: 1/5
After reading The Pope Who Quit by the same author, I decided to give his biography of St. Francis a go. Unlike his biography of Peter of Monroe which just jumps straight into the story, this book is laden down by unnecessary prefaces.
Out of the 4 1/2 hour audiobook, the first hour or so is entirely contained of disclaimers. These include warnings such as “This book will overturn what you learned in Sunday school” and “Saint Francis wasn’t perfect.” If there are more than 10 minutes / 4 pages of disclaimers on a book, I generally give it a bad review (unless its a 1000+ page survey of the Middle Ages by Chris Wickham, then its completely respectable).
For example, he relates a conversation with someone uninterested in history that he had. If someone is reading the book, then you don’t need to sell them on reading history books.
Long disclaimers seem characteristic of pop fiction. I’ve seen many short books where a quarter or half of the book will be nothing but disclaimers.
By the second hour, I still didn’t know the basics of who St. Francis was, so decided to stop listening and move on.
Most of my articles are book reviews, but I also write about many other topics.