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Shadows of Ecstasy Paperback – Dec 1950

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Paperback, Dec 1950
£15.01 £0.30
--This text refers to an alternate Paperback edition.

Product details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company; New edition edition (Dec. 1950)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802812236
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802812230
  • Product Dimensions: 19 x 13.5 x 1.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,207,008 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By A. J. Adlington on 10 Oct. 2011
Format: Paperback
When I first read this book it overwhelmed me. I read but I hadn't studied English literature, not even to O-level. I still haven't.

I have read it a few times since, and I expect I shall read it again before I die. I like the seriousness given to the power of words and how the form in art reveals much more than we casually know. There are times when it seems to strike a posture, characters with a message but not quite real.

I suppose it must be an idea driven book. I like it. It is not as well written as those of C S Lewis, but it has a thicker, stranger feel, and suggests a more dangerous, less clear road. It is old-fashioned in its life setting.

I would recommend it if you want to be pushed in to a another life.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By G. Ian Goodson on 2 July 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In some ways this is his most complex and ambivalent book. It shows just how difficult issues can be when dealing with human evil. It is very much of its time in its background, but charts the rise and fall of a possible anti-Christ and leaves you wondering if there could have been a different resolution. The anti-Christ figure is human, charming and persuasive which, of course, is the point. The clue is in the title. These are only Shadows and are not the real thing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Starlight on 1 Sept. 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is the sort of book that changes your life.You sort of think this will be a fairly easy read but there are passages that astound and amaze and condense whole philosophies into half a page.but I suppose if the penny does not drop you will just be dumbfounded.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 8 reviews
19 of 19 people found the following review helpful
A view of reality to engage 5 July 2005
By C. V. Manning - Published on
Format: Paperback
Reading "Shadows..." I was constantly reminded of the whipsaw changes that are so characteristic of GK Chesterton in, say, "The Man Who Was Thursday" or "The Napoleon of Notting Hill". Rapid, unexpected alterations in perception-as one gets flashing glimpses through a glass no longer quite so darkly of the Christian reality at the core of each man's participation in existence-occur at nearly every turn. There is also a flavor of fellow Inkling CS Lewis's works, with some particular similarities in the setting, mood, and characterizations that one finds in "That Hiddeous Strength". Beyond giving the potential reader the ideas of similarly flavored works, however, it is difficult to unfold the story line in a short review - and probably of no particular value to the potential reader. Williams must be read and his reality swum in to get even a hint of understanding at the driving truths of his Christian faith - namely, that the things of this world all point to a reality beyond that is infinitely more real; and, that actions in this world reverberate into eternity in an actual and final way. I find less of another of the central themes of Williams's life-that of truly substitutionary intervention between men-but there are hints of that stream of understanding as well. All in all, though perhaps not quite as well done as the Chesterton or Lewis mentioned previously, a worthwhile read in the sense that something of worth can be taken from the book and incorporated into living.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Not for apologists only 20 Feb. 2008
By Ms. Standfast - Published on
Format: Paperback
I am sorry to see comments to the effect that this novel is less appealing because it is "dated." In some ways, that is what I love about it. Are we so convinced of the irrelevance of past times that there's nothing to be found in a book that takes a snapshot of attitudes and behaviors at an earlier time and place?

That aside, the beauty of this, all of Williams' books, and indeed all the work of the Inklings is that you don't have to be a Christian to admire the authors' respective abilities. (Sometimes I feel as if educated Christians and I are the only ones reading these books.) I have an atheist intellect and a pagan temperament, but relish Williams and Lewis, especially, for their deftness at capturing psychological types; specifically, the human ability to indulge one's personal immaturities while pretending to oneself and others that one has only the loftiest goals and is completely justified. Deep portraits? Perhaps not, but we've all seen people play the games with themselves (and others) that these characters do, caught up in supernatural dramas of one sort or another. That's what's most telling in a way: the knack Williams has for showing how his characters approach even miraculous happenings through their own preconceptions, just as we do with more mundane events every day.

And back to "dated" -- in some ways it's the most delicious part. When the African "heir apparent" makes his identity known, the response of one character -- straight from a reading of Rider Haggard -- is rich with both nostalgia and the ironic reminder that novels like Haggard's were often all even educated people once knew about the non-European world. Williams is a quirky miniaturist, but a skilled and generous-hearted one.

This may not be Williams' "best" to some people's minds, but that's possibly because so much of the plot is ambiguous. The average religiously-inclined writer is all too ready to make it foot-stampingly clear whether his characters are on the side of the angels or the devils. Thirty and more years after my first reading of this book, I still can't decide what I think of the immortal Nigel Considine.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
unclear about what "edited" means here 6 Jun. 2012
By Judith Guttman - Published on
Format: Kindle Edition
I have the same question -- still unanswered -- about this "edition" as about the "edition" of Williams's _All Hallows Eve_ This "Shadows" is substantially shorter than my hardcopy of _Shadows of Ecstasy_ If "edited" here really means abridged, I would like to know. The older Williams e books were full of typos, but I'd rather have that than the product of some jerk who thinks he knows more about prose and fiction than Charles Williams does.
I really would like an answer to this question.
7 of 10 people found the following review helpful
Not his best 17 Dec. 2005
By Mike Blyth - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
In my opinion, this book is not at all up to the standard of Williams' other novels. There are some interesting characters and ideas but a lot of inconsistencies and rough edges as well. Read it if you have read the other novels and want this one for completeness. The one memorable character for me was Isabel, and her most memorable quote,

"But those that die may be lordlier than you; they are obedient to defeat. Can you live truly till you have been quite defeated? You talk of living by your hurts, but perhaps you avoid the utter hurt that's destruction."
one of the better writers ever 14 Oct. 2013
By mateo - Published on
Verified Purchase
there is not a better writer when it comes to exploring the supernatural than Charles Williams; his writing is simply "divine."
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