The Right Coast

January 26, 2005
Book Review
By Gail Heriot

OK, I admit it. I must have been inspired by something "akin" to vanity when I purchased the new novel--The Last Pope--which features a character named Ignatius Heriot as a Roman Catholic Cardinal who becomes the first American pope. There aren't many Heriots in the world, so I take a certain pride in their accomplishments, even when they are fictional. But I have been duly punished for my sins. The book pits "coldly disdainful" conservatives against warm-hearted liberals who really care about people (particularly people whose problems fit into the usual litany of liberal causes); it clubs you over the head with its political slant and its symbolism. It was a painful read. Maybe in the next edition the author can change the character's name to Ignatius Nixon.