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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars I'm still trembling...
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...
Published on 19 Jun 1999

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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
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. And, thus my comments must be seen in light of that: I was expecting some outstanding literature. Sorry, Peter, but you are way wide of the mark.

This is simply an apocalyptic yarn. The...
Published on 28 Jun 2008 by Aquinas


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome, awesome, awesome!, 7 Mar 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Father Elijah (Paperback)
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.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent !!!, 20 Jan 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (Paperback)
I couldn't put this 600 page book down. Intriguing, several surprises, very provocative, especially for traditional Catholics.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book by brilliant writer, 5 April 2013
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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 Jewish youth, escaping the horrors of the ghetto to rise to dissying political heights before turning his back on the world's power and fame to find himself. Father Elijah is about David's confrontation with the spirit of the antichrist during the final year of the 20th century. Part of a series.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars This IS Fiction, 16 Jan 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (Paperback)
Any story on this topic is bound to attract a primarily Christian audience. Given a Christian faith and knowledge of the Bible, the realism of O'Brien's scenario makes it all too easy to slip into digesting this as a prophetic novel rather than what it is: fiction.
As Harold Bloom so eloquently states, the primary goal of a great novelist is not to deliver a message or change the world. The great novelist's goal is to be a great novelist. We must leave it for future generations to decide if Mr. O'Brien deserves that title. On the surface it would appear that he will not. By its very nature, the appeal of this book will be limited to those raised in a certain time period sharing a certain set of religious and cultural biases. I cannot imagine "Father Elijah" being of much interest to readers 100 years from now (except as a curiosity exemplifying the "millenial fever" that is naturally in vogue at this time).
I must point out that the book attempts to portray a realistic and "complete" world, but fails in that it is thoroughly and unwaveringly Catholic-centric. In this work, all Christians are Catholics; Protestants need not apply. This view is by no means offensive, but it seriously undermines O'Brien's ability to establish and maintain the "fictional dream."
To a non-Catholic, the reliance upon Saints and Holy relics borders on the hysterical. Not in the sense that it is funny (it IS mildly so in several cases) but in the sense of emotional instability. One cannot help but think of the Enquirer's articles about the Virgin Mary's face growing in a cabbage head (readily visible to anyone who "believes"). I thought it interesting that in "The Name of the Rose" Eco has one of his characters point out that if all the "pieces of the True Cross" were piled together there would be enough wood to build an Armada (loosely quoted). When Father Elijah is given a sliver of the True Cross, the Father who gives it to him refers to this belief and claims that it is wrong; he KNOWS his piece is real. To a non-Catholic this is highly entertaining, romantic, mystical, and...ludicrous.
As with other readers, I enjoyed this book immensely. In a world loaded with lousy fiction on utterly mundane or disgusting subjects it is a rare treat to find a novel like this. I sincerely hope that the sequel is able to build upon and improve the story; if O'Brien is able to focus on his craft and overcome some of his biases, he is clearly capable of delivering a blockbuster.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars, 22 July 2014
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An excellent book, but with a disappointingly weak finish.
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2 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not a serious book in the literary sense: merely a yarn, 28 Jun 2008
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Aquinas "summa" (celestial heights, UK) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Father Elijah (Paperback)
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. And, thus my comments must be seen in light of that: I was expecting some outstanding literature. Sorry, Peter, but you are way wide of the mark.

This is simply an apocalyptic yarn. The prose is merely ok and the dialogue is hard to take seriously; the english characther is simply not believable nor is Father Elijah. If you want to read fiction dealing with themes of evil, read George Bernanos; he is a master of spirtual fiction. I have not made it half way through this book and I doubt if I will finish it.
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Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
Father Elijah: An Apocalypse by Michael D. O'Brien (Paperback - May 1996)
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