How many nails?

In the afternoons the Mother Superior took her for long walks in the orchard, and they discussed the creation of the world, how many nails were used to crucify Christ and other important doctrinal matters in between brief rests in the shade to admire the beauty of nature. (Panos Karnezis, in The Convent)

The Convent may be, I suspect, one of those books I return to the library before the due date – not because I’m reading it quickly, but because I might not want to finish it.

Not all novels are created equal. My experience of The Convent so far is that there is something ‘off’ about the tone of the writing – an out-of-tuneness between style and subject. Also, the author has all too often settled for easy clichés instead of conjuring an authentic experience.

The passage I’ve quoted here is an example of both these things.

But I’m still keen to know how it all turns out. I’m probably going to cheat and read the ending.


Karnezis, Panos. 2010. The convent. London: Jonathan Cape. [p10]


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