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Black Easter [Paperback]

James Blish
4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: Avon Books (Mm) (Jun 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0380595680
  • ISBN-13: 978-0380595686
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 10.4 x 1.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,374,600 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
4.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Role Reversal 30 July 2005
In the first section of this originally two-parter novel Blish describes the progress of a literally unholy agreement between a black magician [Ware] and an arms manufacturer [Baines], that the former release the demons under his control for a period of 12 hours to wreak whatever destruction they so wish upon the earth and its population. The experiment goes out of control, the cause of which is shewn in a dreadful revelation. The second section details the subsequent journeys of the four main characters to the eventual denouement of the novel.
Blish's research into mediaeval writings on demonology is extensive and painstakingly thorough, its use providing a wholly convincing backdrop and ingredient to the characterisation and action - making the book both atmospheric and gripping. All manner of action takes place in this meeting of the modern world and the denizens of Hell.
His discourse, through the characters, about the nature of the battle between good and evil, provides ample material for those who value an intellectual facet to their readings.
Blish subtly posits the opinion by means of the narrative, that unconsidered assumptions about reality and belief are always dangerous.
I have read and returned to this book and its two companion novels [A Case Of Conscience and Doctor Mirabilis] for over thirty years now and still find fresh aspects to surprise and stimulate me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A little-known classic 19 Oct 2007
Why is this book not more widely appreciated?

Superbly written, brilliant in conception, thoroughly researched, and providing a slant on reality the like of which I have never encountered anywhere else, Black Easter is one of the greatest "science fiction" books ever written.

Black magic and Cold War angst combine in a blackly humorous account of wizard Theron Ware, ennui-ridden arms dealer Baines, spiritually hollow Jack Ginsberg and self-deluding enemy of Hell Father Domenico, who are all wrapped up in the insane commission that will trigger the end of the world.

Black Easter is of a piece with its sequel The Day After Judgement, in which the four cross the Earth in the aftermath of Hell's conquest of Heaven. The satire becomes much more overt here, as the surviving US military forces consider their strategic options. Should they propose an alliance with Hell, since it seems the clear victor in the final war?

Arguably Blish's masterpiece.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worth reading so I will again. 19 Dec 1997
By A Customer
Though MANY years ago, I remember it so well I have spent the last several months hunting for it again. The ending is the key, and here more than most stories, where the reading is the joy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Short story 15 Nov 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is a very good story.

However, it is actually a novella rather than a book - about a quarter of the size of a normal book. At 4.99 it's rediculously overpriced for the length.

I'd recommend buying it if you the price drops, though.
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