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Lilith [Paperback]

George Macdonald
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
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Book Description

30 Dec 2008
Lilith is considered among the darkest of MacDonald's works, and among the most profound. It is a story concerning the nature of life, death and salvation. Many believe MacDonald is arguing for Christian universalism, or the idea that all will eventually be saved.

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Lilith + Phantastes: A Faerie Romance
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Product details

  • Paperback: 222 pages
  • Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (30 Dec 2008)
  • ISBN-10: 1441421823
  • ISBN-13: 978-1441421821
  • Product Dimensions: 22.8 x 15.2 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 793,722 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

George MacDonald(1824-1905) The great nineteenth-century innovator of modern fantasy, whose works influenced C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Charles Williams. "I do not write for children," MacDonald once said, "but for the childlike, whether of five, or fifty, or seventy-five." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As has been said by C.S.Lewis,MacDonald has a gift which is difficult to define.A mythopoetic painter,is as close as I can come.He uses images as symbols of thoughts,ideas,spiritual states,and as has been said,shocks you into a more completely awake state than many will ever reach in their lives. Mr Vane,the central character,steps through a mirror,(possibly the same mirror written about by his friend,Lewis Carroll,in 'Through The Looking Glass.')In the world of the mirror,he finds that it is "-the business of the world to so make a fool of you that you know yourself to be one, and so begin to become wise."This is the book to which C.S.Lewis was referring in his book title,'Till we Have Faces,'as he watches the dance of the people whose spirits have not yet developed to the point where they yet have more than a flesh and blood body surmounted by a skull with lidless eyeballs,their uncontrolled passion stark and staring,though yet more well-developed than the poor skeleton couple who now need each other as they never did in life,and now must learn to love by need.From bog-worms to the demon vampire Lilith,saved by her ex-husband,Adam,from the noble Mr.Raven,who has haunted a magnificent library for generations,to the precious,innocent little ones,who will not grow to be stupid,cruel giants,all of the characters,teach the reader something of his own needs,his own sad character flaws,and how only a holy death can purify his motives.As do his other works,this one has inspired not only Lewis & Tolkein,but Madeline L'Engle,who quotes MacDonald in her books,and may have awakened the same gift in Charles Williams,another friend of Tolkein and Lewis.This and his other book,'Phantastes,' may be the greatest fairy tales ever written. The writing may not be perfect,but the content is right on.
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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Lillith is the result of a full and mature exploration of the "otherworld" by an author who knew more about the symbols of the mythopoeic realm than most any other author in the last 100 years (including C.S. Lewis, Tolkien, and Lewis Carol). If you're looking for a light reading story book, or merely entertaining fiction, this book is probably not for you. Some people taking it superficially see nothing more than an incomprehensible juxtaposition of images that reveres the qualities of obedience and submission. However, this would be to entirely miss the point of this story, which is about the process of inner transformation of human desire and will. It is very existentialist in that it places the responsibility for our progress on ourselves rather than on circumstances outside of ourselves. For those willing to dig deeper however, many rewards await those willing to ponder the story's rich (and often riveting!) tapestry of images. Taken further, the story describes the path of an individual's complete inner transformation in a language of symbols not merely arbitrarily arranged, but composed out of a deep understanding of the nature of the inner world of the human psyche. I would highly recommend this book, and regard it (together with *phantastes*) as possibly the best of genre for fiction / phantasy writing in the last 100 years. Madame L'engel regarded MacDonald as the "godfather of phantasy", and Lewis regarded him as his "master". Lillith is certainly worthy material for earning this distinction.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars a tale rich in paradox 6 Mar 1998
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Rich in symbolism, steeped in paradox, this is a tale of a man's journey and his coming to terms with the frailty of humanity when it is seen in the light of God. MacDonald never hides the basis of his paradigm--that there is a God who loves us, who knows better than we do what is best for us--rather, he weaves it into a rich tapestry of adventure wherein key characters make known the paradox that is at the heart of Chrisitianity: he who would be first must be last.
This is not an easy read. And, truly, anyone who is not willing to accept that an author may expound his faith through the words and deeds of his characters--indeed, through the fatherly nature of the narative itself--will little likely enjoy reading this tale. But to those who are ready to dive in to the heart of a realm of paradox in an attempt to better know the God that MacDonald worshiped, this may very well be a life-changing story.
I am not a man given to favorites. But no other work has colored my life so beautifully as MacDonald's LILITH. And no other story is more dear to my heart.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
LILITH is best considered in the context of MacDonald's life, and remembering his earlier work PHANTASTES. PHANTASTES he wrote as a young man (35), LILITH he wrote at age 85. LILITH presents the maturity of the thoughts he introduced in PHANTASTES. To try to understand either work outside his religion (Christianity) would not do them justice. LILITH is considered a dark romance, but I don't think MacDonald would have called it so. It is full of a strange, mystical Christian hope; it is the tale of a spiritual journey, of dreams and visions just beyond our conscious reckoning -- always haunting us with the nagging question of whether our dreams are more real than what we call reality. The tale begins with a young man, Mr. Vane, come of age, and into the inheritance of a great estate. Mr. Vane is a man given to both inquiry and reflection. As he peruses the great library of books and manuscripts collected by his ancestors, his perception of reality is challenged and stretched to include, among other things, a talking raven. The raven becomes his guide into another world, strange to behold; the realm of the seven dimensions and the ten senses, MacDonald calls it. (What ever could he mean?)

LILITH is introduced well into the work, an emaciated being near death, until Mr. Vane unwittingly nurses her back to health. MacDonald certainly patterns her after the demon of Jewish folklore for whom she is named. All the demon's traits are apparent: cold beauty, fierce pride, seduction, hatred of men and children, even vampirism. C.S. Lewis also picked up on this theme of the wicked female protagonist. In THE LION, THE WITCH AND THE WARDROBE he tells us the White Witch is descended from Lilith.

As Mr.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointed
I haven't been able to get past the first couple of chapters, the book makes me feel SO depressed. I'm disappointed because I enjoy the books that George Macdonald has written for... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Gillian Cansdale
5.0 out of 5 stars enchanting
I read this a long time ago,he is an author who deserves to be remembered.His fairy tales for children are long overdue for a revival/
Published 4 months ago by Amazon Customer
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok book
This book was ok but not the most exciting book I have read but it passed on an hour or two.
Published 11 months ago by Mr Gardener
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
A good book . Younger people will enjoy this book thoroughly. It contains mystery within the body of the story
Published 13 months ago by Rumple
3.0 out of 5 stars fiction
I found this book really hard to get into. I think I made sense of it eventually. Sorry but not really my type of literature.
Published 16 months ago by M. E. Jones
4.0 out of 5 stars Re-reading after many years
I first ready this as a "real" book many years ago and after having given it away to a charity bookshop regretted it. Read more
Published 18 months ago by Susan Hunter
5.0 out of 5 stars As a non-Christian
... I still can't help but love this book. Everything wrong about the writings of C.S. Lewis is in this book, but in such a way that it is somehow right. Read more
Published 20 months ago by Rev. D
2.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but basically outdated
This book starts out well as a fairly conventional victorian mystery/fantasy but unfortunately soon descends into a peculiar other-worldly fantasy based on a somewhat confusing... Read more
Published 22 months ago by B. Southward
5.0 out of 5 stars Stays with one after finishing
What I can say about this book is that it remains in the mind, a living world, long after it has been finished. Read more
Published on 31 July 2007 by Pillowtail
4.0 out of 5 stars A huge journey
Told in first person. We experience the other world through Mr Vane's eyes and thoughts and wishes. His journey is wonderous and educational. Read more
Published on 26 Feb 2006 by katrina_marina
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