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Father Joe: The Man Who Saved My Soul (Walker Large Print Books) [Paperback]

By Tony Hendra (Author)
Our Price $ 13.56  
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Item Number 110455  
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Item Specifications...

Pages   461
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.4" Width: 5.4" Height: 0.9"
Weight:   1.05 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 31, 2005
Publisher   Walker Large Print
ISBN  1594150699  
EAN  9781594150692  

Availability  0 units.

Item Description...
Outline ReviewHow I met Father Joe. I was fourteen and having an affair with a married woman. These are the opening lines to the first chapter of this outstanding memoir by former National Lampoon Editor Tony Hendra. How could we resist diving into this deliciously satisfying story about a lifelong mentorship with Dom Joseph Warrilow, a.k.a. Father Joe? After the devout Catholic husband catches the illicit couple in the kitchen, the husband does not attack Hendra. Instead he decides the young boy needs salvation. Amazingly, the husband leads Hendra to the one man who could save his soul: Father Joe. This is a tribute to a spiritual mentor, written in an easygoing, guy-talk style. It is no small feat to be brilliantly funny, ruthlessly honest, and spiritually profound at the same time, but Hendra has the winning combo. For more than 40 years Hendra would return to this mesmerizing old soul to tell him everything---from the details of his first sexual encounter, through questioning the social value of satire, to his crisis in faith after losing two children through miscarriages. But it's not just the North Star wisdom of Father Joe that captivates readers; it is the chance to follow Hendra as he gradually matures into a humble and spiritually solid man who can still crack a wicked good joke. Such a gift. Thank you, Tony Hendra. --Gail Hudson

Product Description
A New York Times Bestseller

A key comic writer of the past three decades has created his most heartfelt and hard-hitting book. Father Joe is Tony Hendra's inspiring true story of finding faith, friendship, and family through the decades-long influence of a surpassingly wise Benedictine monk named Father Joseph Warrilow. A startling departure for this acclaimed satirist, this is the story of a whole generation looking for a way back from mockery and irony, looking for its own Father Joe.

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More About Tony Hendra

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! TONY HENDRA attended Cambridge University, where he performed frequently with friends and future Monty Pythons John Cleese and Graham Chapman. He is the author of Going Too Far, a classic history of modern American satire. He was editor in chief of "Spy" magazine, an original editor of the "National Lampoon," and he played Ian Faith in the movie, "This Is Spinal Tap." He has written frequently for "New York," "Harper s," "GQ," "Vanity Fair," "Men s Journal," and "Esquire," among other magazines. He is married to Carla Hendra; they have three young children, Lucy, Sebastian, and Nicholas."

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Product Categories
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Reviews - What do our customers think?
A personality I admire  May 15, 2008
Fr. Joe offers one a splendid peek into the life of an admirable person. It was a priviledge to get to know him and his wonderful influence on people and his encouragement for all of us to live on a higher plane. This book made me feel that God holds us in the palm of His hand because we are the apple of His eye no matter how we fail; and we do so fail! Not a bit 'churchy', but rather speaks directly to real life.
Brilliant and frank Boomer spiritual memoir  Apr 7, 2008
In spite of his celebrity and achievements in the world of satire, Tony Hendra possesses a worldview that is fairly typical of those who came of age in the 1960s. Deeply antagonistic to established authority -- be it that of parents, government, the Church or themselves -- he and his cadre of stalwarts blazed a path that changed the modern world, but brought more than a few to the hell of drugs, bitterness and alienation. Many have reconstructed their lives, after a fashion, and a few seem to have struggled back from the inferno to establish lives of meaning and peace.

"Father Joe" is Hendra's funny, autobiographical, and brutally frank account of his successes and failings, especially through its touch points with Father Joe Warrilow, a Benedictine monk at the abbey of Quarr, on the Isle of Wight. Hendra grew up a stranger in a strange land -- a Catholic in anti-papist 1950s Great Britain. His memoir starts with his attempted seduction of a neighbor's wife, which landed him at Quarr on Good Friday, ostensibly for a bout of penitent reflection. It is here that Hendra meets Father Joe, almost a caricature of a gentle, pious monk, with large ears and flat feet and knobbly knees. Yet in spite of his comical appearance, Father Joe would be a presence throughout the tumultuous 1960s and 1970s, as Hendra endured (usually willingly) the well-intentions depravities that characterized that era and his narcissistic generation. From his days as a guilt-ridden youth, Hendra nursed a desperate desire to become a monk, though like Saint Augustine, he wanted it "but not just yet." Hendra's lifestyle brought him fame as an actor (band manager Ian Faith in Spinal Tap), editor (National Lampoon) and director (Spitting Image) but also the purgatory of unfulfilled dreams and personal failings. His struggles often returned him to Quarr and Father Joe, whose generosity of spirit, elfin artlessness and unfailing love sustained Hendra through some truly difficult times.

I heartily recommend listening to the audio version of the book if at all possible. Hendra does a wonderful job of portraying Father Joe's kindly, stuttery voice and his calming spirit. Hendra expertly renders his own state of mind at various stages in his life. There's the horny and hyper-pious 14-year-old, the college student bowled over by his first taste of satire, the hedonistic, ambitious 30-something and the burned-out middle-ager reaching for comfort, forgiveness and stability. Hendra is unflinching in his depiction of others and of himself. He is an absentee father; a brilliant if lacerating satirist with unyielding standards; an attention-seeking perfectionist who seeks idealistically and naively to change the world. Hendra's memories of his talks with Father Joe are full of meaningful detail -- probably reconstructed -- that show the older man to be wise, kind and even occasionally irreverent. Father Joe was way ahead of his time. In an era when churchmen regularly resorted to threatening hellfire on miscreants, Father Joe reached back to gospel images of a God of inexhaustible love and second chances.

Hendra's critical eye falters only when discussing changes in the Church that began in the 1960s. Like many who left the Church before the reforms and returned afterward, he confuses nostalgia for the old Latin rite with worthwhile worship. In this, Hendra betrays a lingering selfishness that was always his trademark. Strange that an unorthodox believer like Hendra would pass judgment on a liturgical form whose underlying reality (the presence of Christ in the Blessed Sacrament, even the Resurrection of Jesus) he is far from accepting.

Like St. Augustine's "Confessions," Hendra's "Father Joe" is an unsparing review of a man's quest toward the eternal. Though Augustine went considerably further in this journey does not diminish the value of Hendra's work, especially for this generation of skeptics and self-appointed spiritual authorities. Whatever his faults, Hendra is honest about his failings as Father Joe is unselfish with his love and support. A wonderful book for those who love spiritual quests and who appreciate the snarky humor and commentary of one who was in the middle of it all.
If you've been raised Catholic...  Apr 5, 2008'll relate to this book in a truly personal and humorous way. But even if not, or if you have no religious affiliation at all, this is a fantastic personal journey to experience. I listened to it on audiobook, and found the act of listening to the author himself (it is his own voice on the recording) reveal his life, with all its ups, downs, triumphs, and failures, to be refreshing and touching. Well written, witty, but not arrogant, this book is worth picking up.
I think Father Joe Saved my soul too!  Sep 1, 2007
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I think Father Joe Saved my soul too!

This audio book is a great listen.The difference between other books about religion is it is not about religion.Tony like many people growing up was searching for the meaning of life.The seven deadly sins effected Tony,lust being his first attack on his mortal soul,led him to confession to Father Joe.This first confession led Tony to
have a lifelong confessor in Father Joe.Tony believed as a boy that he was going to join the Benedictine Monstery.
St.Benedict was the Founder of Western Monasticism,he
founded a collection of rules in which became known as the Benedictine Rule.These rules are used to guide the monks who follow St.Benedict.The rules are loosely based on the old saying "a person not busy is the devils workshop".
Father Joe did not think Tony should be a monk, and guided him to be in the Arts.Tony went on to write theatrical stories in hopes to make people laugh.Tony was told at the end of Father Joe's life,by father joe why he sent him to school an guided him thw way he did.
The biggest thing a person can get out of this story is everyone serves God in his
or her way.A priest serves God, no less then a dad or a mom and or visa versa.We are all in vocation that serves the creator, the way the creator created us to be.This is a very good book,read, Father Joe: the Man Who Saved My Soul, by Tony Hendra...
Work Cited
A Great Book: Beyond Judgment and Revisionism   Apr 1, 2007
I came to Father Joe recently as an innocent, and I loved it. It's the true story of an all-too-human soul and his rocky-road journey. I knew nothing of the later scandal and controversy involving his daughter's accusations of molestation--accusations that have clearly skewed the more recent reactions to this wonderful work. Not "perfect," but nonetheless wonderful. What I would ask the now-judgmental and harsh critics of this work is this: are you willing to allow that people who do "bad things" actually can change, which does not imply that they/we then become perfect? For the quibblers, the book is called Father Joe, though it's Hendra's memoir, precisely because the monk's profoundly simple, sublimely wise and supremely compassionate presence casts such a long shadow over the entire work--and Hendra's life. As a memoir, it is funny, poignant, moving, honest....and at times exasperating, as we read about Hendra's descent into narcissism and his ill-treatment of others. That he does not discuss his first marriage and the children thereof in great deal may well be due to a deep sense of shame and a desire to protect, not just his own back, but all of his family. Of course he is responsible for his actions. But given the drug-and-alcohol haze in which he spent many years, his recollection of events is no doubt impaired. Be that as it may, God bless him, and all of his children, particularly those from the neglected first marriage. And may the Father Joes and "everyday angels" of this world continue to bless all of us with forgiveness and acceptance despite our failings.

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