"WHO COULD EMERGE VICTORIOUS AGAINST A WHOLE PACK A RAVENOUS MAD DOGS, A WHOLE SOCIETY OF JUDASES?
Charles Theodore Murr asks how betrayal affects the mind of the betrayed. What is it like for a fundamentally good man to be betrayed by people he trusts implicitly? Worse, by those he calls friends? "God help you when a friend sets out to betray you," a mentor tells Charlie Mauer at the beginning of The Society of Judas, "Your enemies can't betray you, Charlie, only a friend can betray – but when friends collaborate for a betrayal…who could emerge victorious against[…]a whole society of Judas'?"
Set in Rome, central Mexico, and New York during the 1970's and 80's, The Society of Judas is a web of intrigue. The novel is not for the faint of heart, yet it warrants laughter and tenderness alike.
The story of a good but flawed priest working out his salvation with fear and trembling in Mexico, is reminiscent of Graham Greene's The Power and the Glory. In its assemblage of utterly bizarre characters and insane plot twists, it is echoes hints of John Kennedy Toole's The Confederacy of Dunces.
It is the story of one man's life, told in the form of a novel. Lacking the artificial unity a fictional account, it displays instead the strange inscrutability of real human life. Charlie Mauer, along with the reader, wonders at the mysteries of God's providence. Like the pilgrim Dante begging Saint Peter Damian for his life's meaning, Charlie Mauer wonders at the reason for all the trying tumult in his life. Like Job at catastrophe's end, he is left, in the end, not with questions about the whys and wherefores of God, but with God's questions to him about himself. Like Job, he comes to see that the questions of God are far more satiating than the answers of men.