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Michael D. O'brien
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover
  • Publisher: Ignatius (1996)
  • ISBN-10: 0898705800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898705805
  • ASIN: B008TA5NJ6
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 16.7 x 2.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (26 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,926,818 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm still trembling... 19 Jun 1999
By A Customer
O'brien manages to write a book unlike any other I have ever read. Fueled by a profound faith in orthodoxy, he paints the modern culture wars in a blazing light. I began hesitantly, afraid that it was another consrvative with a chip on his shoulder, but O'brien is far from limited in his faith; rather, his characters pulsate with the same love for beauty as dostoevski's Brothers, with that wry wit of Chesterton's most developed characters, and with the relentless faith of so many martyrs. His vision of our times may seem incredible, but what gives the novel life and voice is that it is so absolutely tied to reality; the all-encompassing tolerance of the president disguising a distinctly intolerant and damning view of the Church, the daggers in so many men's eyes, the dismissal of natural law in favor of a doctored humanism, the violence of the anti-population movement-- all resound as terribly telling signs of our times. Aside from the remarkable sense of telos and faith, O'brien's work is astoundingly literary, with textured hints at Tolkien, Chesterton, Dante, Dickens, St. John of the Cross, Dostoevski, and even Teilhard de Chardin. It is a wonderful novel.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Catholic answer to Philip Pullman? 18 Nov 2002
I did not like the look of this book. I am prejudiced about North American apocalyptic literature - religiosly and historically illiterate nonsense usually. And I didn`t like the dialogue as I skimmed read the first few pages [actually I still don`t like a lot of the dialogue]. But the cover review from Stratford Caldecot and the fact that it camre from Ignatius won me over.
Thank God.
This is one of the most extraordinbary books written in recent decades. As Lewis said of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, this is lightning from a clear sky. Partly Dostoyevsky, partly Williams or Lewis, imagine if you can a novel written by von Balthasar or Adrienne von Speyer. This in a way - though too difficult for most children - is the Catholic reply to Philip Pullman`s "war in Heaven" in HIS DARK MATERIALS. I want everyone I know to read this book.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An exemplary novel! 21 April 1999
By A Customer
An exemplary novel of living the Catholic Faith with an overhanging chill of apocalypse, Father Elijah inspires a deepening of faith. This novel, while not the best written literature, provokes a multitude of thoughful questions. It asks the reader to consider God's ways, to delve one's self into spiritual warfare, to return to a more conservative Catholic viewpoint (however, conservative and liberal are not good words when dealing with faith), and to examine our lives "For you know not the moment" of his return. The novel makes the human-spiritual struggle more real. HIs writing style is unique, in that the words take on symbolic and literal emaning simultaneously. His satirical comments and his devout faith makes the novel more enjoyable. This novel has increased my faith and has encouraged me to pursue my own goals in writing. I recommend this book highly!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
I started to read this book during a retreat, and I simply could not put it down. The author not only tells a good story, but brings out the compassion of our Lord Jesus Christ in the person of Holy Mother Church. While this book is fiction, there is an element of truth that tells me that what he decribes could happen in the near future. I certainly want to read more of Mr. O'Brien's other works. Deacon John T. Cretaro
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Because of its true-to-life characters and relevance to the state of the world today, "Fr. Elijah" was hard to put down. My only disappointment was that when the book was over, the story wasn't. The book, however, is complete and can be read with no prior knowledge of the author and his works.

While the term "apocalyptic" can properly be applied to this book and its themes, it's not at all a "scary" book, one meant to frighten, like so many "end of the world" books. This book made me think, made me look around and look within. If you've read any "apocalyptic" literature, including Biblical texts, you'll find "Fr. Elijah" much easier going, much closer to the real world, while still remaining challenging and accessible. I can't wait to read more by Michael O'Brien.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An enjoyable blend of fiction and theology. 27 May 1999
By A Customer
In Father Elijah, Michael O'Brien has reinstated my faith in Christian literature. A well-paced, referenced, and cultured yarn setting the stage of history's last days, and remaining within the context of the Biblical testaments, Old and New.
O'Brien's Catholic orientation should not offend other beliefs, but instead humbly purports the importance of remaining true. Truth is not only worthy of making a stand, but we separate ourselves from it if we don't.
His ability to portray real Virtue is refreshingly counter-cultural to our Western lifestyle today.
A wonderful story of the Day, of Love, of Adventure and Journey. Although one might find reason to edit or critique a select character or tangent, Father Elijah contains literary greatness that provokes and inspires. Again, my faith is renewed!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thoughtful, thought-provoking meditation 27 Mar 1997
By A Customer
A splendid book, superbly written, with moments that are truly transcendant in the best tradition of the novel. Before continuing, it would be good to note its single flaw and that is that after reading 600 pages the resolution is incomplete--obviously indicating some manner of sequel. But, in the larger scheme of this story, the flaw (believe it or not) turns out to be trivial.

This story is an exploration both of the Church at a crossroads, and of the souls of individuals--both extraordinary and ordinary. What is most remarkable is that every character in the book is real, alive, and breathing. This isn't packed with the usual panoply of stereotypes who serve to "swell the progress of a scene." Each person is a person.

Michael O'Brien's message in this book is ultimately (as in all good apocalypses) one of hope. Redemption is not only for the perfect. Even in the face of great evil and great menace, ordinary people are capable of tremendous and occassionally saving love. Ordinary people are capable of showing us the way to God.

This book is a meditation and a reflection on Salvation--its promise and its fulfillment. Michael O'Brien has given Christians something they have longed for since the death of C.S. Lewis--Christian Fiction that is interesting, relevant, and real, Christian Fiction that at once proclaims the Christian message, and tells a story of fallible humans and ordinary life.

This is a book that should not be missed under any circumstances. Whether you are Christian or not, the wonderful flow of story telling is reminiscent of novels of the Nineteenth and Early Twentieth century. Novels in which there is a story and room to breath and reflect. If Michael O'Brien fulfills the promise of this book, he will be a writer to watch carefully.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
An excellent book, but with a disappointingly weak finish.
Published 2 months ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by brilliant writer
Absorbing, gripping read by one of my favourite writers, Michael O'Brien. Story of priest, (born David Schaffer) -Father Elijah as he becomes - who has experienced traumas as a... Read more
Published 17 months ago by linda finley-day
5.0 out of 5 stars Deep, exciting, uplifting....
This was a real surprise. A compelling and well written book, full of warmth and hope. The only disappointment was that it didn't last longer as I was truly bereft when I had... Read more
Published on 25 Aug 2011 by paxbenedict
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a serious book in the literary sense: merely a yarn
I do not wish to be a dissenting voice but this book is not a serious book in the literary sense. I got the book because Peter Kreeft had described O'Brien as like Dostoyevsky. Read more
Published on 28 Jun 2008 by Aquinas
5.0 out of 5 stars This book must be read!
I have seldom been so moved by a book as this one. It told such a fantastic tale and yet it was (and still is) absolutly real. We are living now in these times.
Published on 27 Mar 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, awesome, awesome!
A must read for anyone! Very compelling, I couldn't put it down (not even to eat or sleep). The story will reach all of your emotions, and inspire you.
Published on 7 Mar 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Best book I have read--ever!
Father Elijah is the best book I have ever read! Suspenseful and riviting. Father Elijah was an easy read that dealt with many believable issues. Read more
Published on 26 Feb 1999
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !!!
I couldn't put this 600 page book down. Intriguing, several surprises, very provocative, especially for traditional Catholics.
Published on 20 Jan 1999
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