on 10 October 2011
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.
on 2 July 2014
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.