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Plague Journal (Children of the Last Days) [Kindle Edition]

Michael O'Brien
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Plague Journal is Michael O'Brien's fourth novel in the Children of the Last Days series. The central character is Nathaniel Delaney, the editor of a small-town newspaper, who is about to face the greatest crisis of his life. As the novel begins, ominous events are taking place throughout North America, but little of it surfaces before the public eye. Set in the not-too-distant future, the story describes a nation that is quietly shifting from a democratic form of government to a form of totalitarianism. Delaney is one of the few voices left in the media who is willing to speak the whole truth about what is happening, and as a result the full force of the government is brought against him.

Thus, seeking to protect his children and to salvage what remains of his life, he makes a choice that will alter the future of each member of his family and many other people. As the story progresses he keeps a journal of observations, recording the day-by-day escalation of events, and analyzing the motives of his political opponents with sometimes scathing frankness. More importantly, he begins to keep a "mental record" that develops into a painful process of self-examination. As his world falls apart, he is compelled to see in greater depth the significance of his own assumptions and compromises, his successes and failures. Plague Journal chronicles the struggle of a thoroughly modern man put to the ultimate spiritual and psychological test, a man who in losing himself finds himself.


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Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 439 KB
  • Print Length: 284 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0898709814
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (2 Jun. 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002D9ZM1S
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • : Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #682,042 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O'Brien Does it Again! 18 Mar. 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Artist and author Michael O'Brien has again proved himself to be a master of the writing craft, and one of the most original and creative writers of the late 20th century. Plague Journal, the second of his Children of the Last Days trilogy, continues the story of the Delaney family in Rocky Mountain British Columbia, from the persona and perspective of Nathaniel, now a middle-aged father and editor of a "conservative" newspaper. As the hidden totalitarian government cracks down on him for "hate-crimes", setting him up to be a child abuser and even murderer, he attempts to escape the madness by fleeing into the Canadian wilderness with his two children. The story, albeit filled with many flashbacks and the thoughts and ideas of the protagonist (actually the author's, thinkly disguised), takes place over only five days, as opposed to the 50+ years of its predeccessor, Strangers and Sojournours. The book maintains a pleasurable balance between fast-paced action and O'Brien's trademark gift of spiritual and philosophical insight and commentary. Plague Journal easily stands as the author's most explicit warning against modernism gone haywire: social engineering, abortion, technology-worship, television addication, the numbing of the imagination and intellect, and the possibility that these conditions may make us vulnerable to the arising of a thinly-disguised, "benign" totalitarianism, which, O'Brien conjectures, would operate under a facade of democracy, but in reality, force its will and world-view upon the people. This story includes all the necessary ingredients of a great tale: action, wit, unforgettable characters, pathos and even tragedy, but it is filled (especially towards the end), with a sense of hope, and the ultimate victory of light. Read more ›
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This thrilling novel raises serious questions about the present state of democracy in the West, and the dangers of "new totalitarian" thinking--which he demonstrates is seemingly benign but potentially just as destructive as overt tyrannies. O'Brien avoids the two opposite pitfalls of hysteria and denial, using his plot and well drawn characterization to raise absolutely central questions about the nature of government and individual and family rights. A novel that is the "Brave New World" and "1984" for our times. Thrilling and thought-provoking!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars He's done it again! 25 Jun. 1999
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
Michael O'Brien's powerful insight into the problems of contemporary society are once more the focus of this terrific short novel. It's a fast and exciting read but a profoundly thought-provoking one. O'Brien demonstrates a great insight into the need for all of us to consider the state of affairs our soiciety is in.
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5.0 out of 5 stars It is strange how a book, written in 1999 ... 17 Dec. 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is strange how a book, written in 1999 prophetically predicts the fights and development of a society. We are now in 2014 and people are really imprisoned for defending their children and truth about social sin.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.7 out of 5 stars  39 reviews
60 of 60 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent novel in the Children of the Last Day Series 13 May 2000
By Tim Drake - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
First, if you're going to read O'Brien, I recommend reading his novels in this order. 1. Father Elijah, 2. Strangers and Sojourners, 3. Plague Journal, 4. Eclipse of the Sun. Although they were not published in this order it will make the most sense from a chronological standpoint. Certain characters resurface.
The Plague Journal is the journal of conservative newspaper editor Nathaniel Delaney, his friendship with a local doctor, and his attempts to escape, with his children, from a totalitarian Canadian government that seeks to silence him.
As usual, O'Brien interjects just enough action to keep you reading, and just enough spirituality and theology to get you thinking. O'Brien is one of the finest Catholic journalists of the 20th century.
30 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O'Brien Does it Again! 18 Mar. 1999
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Artist and author Michael O'Brien has again proved himself to be a master of the writing craft, and one of the most original and creative writers of the late 20th century. Plague Journal, the second of his Children of the Last Days trilogy, continues the story of the Delaney family in Rocky Mountain British Columbia, from the persona and perspective of Nathaniel, now a middle-aged father and editor of a "conservative" newspaper. As the hidden totalitarian government cracks down on him for "hate-crimes", setting him up to be a child abuser and even murderer, he attempts to escape the madness by fleeing into the Canadian wilderness with his two children. The story, albeit filled with many flashbacks and the thoughts and ideas of the protagonist (actually the author's, thinkly disguised), takes place over only five days, as opposed to the 50+ years of its predeccessor, Strangers and Sojournours. The book maintains a pleasurable balance between fast-paced action and O'Brien's trademark gift of spiritual and philosophical insight and commentary. Plague Journal easily stands as the author's most explicit warning against modernism gone haywire: social engineering, abortion, technology-worship, television addication, the numbing of the imagination and intellect, and the possibility that these conditions may make us vulnerable to the arising of a thinly-disguised, "benign" totalitarianism, which, O'Brien conjectures, would operate under a facade of democracy, but in reality, force its will and world-view upon the people. This story includes all the necessary ingredients of a great tale: action, wit, unforgettable characters, pathos and even tragedy, but it is filled (especially towards the end), with a sense of hope, and the ultimate victory of light. The saga, of course, continues on into Eclipse of the Sun, but this shorter novel (only 269 pages) can be read on its own. Heartily recommended to all who are concerned over the present or future state of society, or simply enjoy great literature.
34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Diagnostic Story 10 Oct. 2001
By George Zanmiller - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I found it impossible to set Plague Journal down once I began reading it. The unease that I have felt for so many years began to take on a face as I followed this wonderfull story. I began to diagnose the illness that has plagued me, the discomfort that politically correct fascisim has thrust upon me. We in the west have been increasingly held hostage to the unreal and driven into a madness that numbs our souls. Obrien's story shows us the source of that madness and points to the antidote with a faith that shines bright in the face of the bureaucratic mundanity of evil.
I am a pretty rough guy. I have been to war and learned that you do not cry if you wish to survive. Reading this book caused me to weep once more, not for the sadness but for the message of joy, forgivness and the inevitable triumph of the light that sings through its pages
21 of 22 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars O'Brien's best 18 Dec. 2003
By Peter Santucci - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Michael O'Brien has a tendency to overwrite his books (one of his very few flaws as a writer). But in Plague Journal, he reined himself in (or finally got an editor who did) and the result is a book that is no less packed with plot tension, cultural criticism, and character development than his other tomes.
The middle book of a trilogy of books about the Delaney family (starting with Strangers and Sojourners and ending with Eclipse of the Sun), Plague Journal also fits within O'Brien's larger series, which he calls Children of the Last Days. The first of those is the explosive novel Father Elijah.
While Plague Journal is my personal favorite. I recommend reading it after Father Elijah and Strangers and Sojourners, since it needs the other two to provide its context in O'Brien's view of the Last Days.
And O'Brien's view is a bleak one. The government has become the tool of the antichrist, whether it knows it or not, and an honest journalist (even one who doesn't have a living faith in God) can't get an honest shake, but is hunted down.
Swift, sharp, and poigniant, O'Brien provides his readers with everything that Left Behind readers should have gotten but didn't and without all of the silly speculations. This is good literature that shapes the heart and the mind Christianly.
15 of 15 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Overly polemical but still a gripping read. 24 Dec. 2000
By Frank Gibbons - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Can it happen here? Can a totalitarian state run by liberals, feminists, and new-agers take hold in North America? According to Nathaniel Delaney, the protaganist of "Plague Journal", it already has and if you don't conform to the new orthodoxies, you're quite expendable. While "Plague Journal" is a paranoid Christian polemic, it is redeemed by the hero's realization that anger, hatred, and solipsism have no place in a true Christian's response to evil. "Plague Journal" is the story of a man who loses everything but who re-discovers his faith in the depth of his sufferings. O'Brien is a skilled writer and an astute thinker. Despite the polemics, this is an amazing book. Kudos to Ignatius Press for publishing it, but it's too bad it hasn't gotten more attention from the literary media.
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