Books: The Claws of God

ST. FRANCIS (379 pp.)—Nikos Kazantzakis—Simon & Schuster ($5.95).

When the Victorians "discovered" St. Francis in the last century, they were charmed by his gentleness, fashioned an image of an almost sickly sweet saint who slipped effortlessly through life. In his last novel, Greece's late great Nikos Kazantzakis has restored agony of soul to the story of St. Francis. Like Jesus in Kazantzakis' The Last Temptation of Christ and Ulysses in his epic poem, The Odyssey, Francis struggles to shed earthly desires for a harder, truer life of the spirit.

Sweat & Lust. "We, as...

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