Customer Reviews


25 Reviews
5 star:
 (14)
4 star:
 (4)
3 star:
 (2)
2 star:
 (4)
1 star:
 (1)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favourable review
The most helpful critical review


11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent,awe-inspiring,thought provoking,spiritual tour.
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...
Published on 26 Dec. 1997

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars UNFINISHED
Sorry did not complete reading this book. Not what I expected in a read titled as a romance.
Published 2 months ago by Elsie Chalmers


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Magnificent,awe-inspiring,thought provoking,spiritual tour., 26 Dec. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Lilith (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolutely Brilliant - A Deep Journey into the Innerworld, 23 Dec. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Lilith (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


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
This review is from: Lilith (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A haunting tale hovering between dream and nightmare,, 8 Dec. 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Lilith (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. Vane bounces back and forth between physical and spiritual dimensions, he is confronted by the fact that he can do no good of himself. His futile attempts to prove his worth bring him sorrow and defeat, as when he leads a group of innocent children out of ignorance and simplicity to a city where their leader is murdered by her own estranged mother (Lilith).

The raven's insistence that Mr. Vane sleep before he can be of any use or value is incomprehensible to Mr. Vane, so he continues his various exploits, each ending is greater despair. Finally, Mr. Vane agrees if sleep is what is required, that he must do. But when he discovers the raven's idea of sleep is to repose lifeless in a cold, dark catacomb full of ageless corpses for time unknown, Mr. Vane is not so willing.

All of MacDonald's writing is heavy with Christian allegory. Deciphering his meaning is not a light undertaking. That he perceives death as a temporary state, where one emerges new as a butterfly transformed from a caterpillar is clear enough. That a true spiritual man must cease from his own labor (die to self), and rest in God's peace may be an interpretation of MacDonald's notions of sleep and death, but already I feel I am off solid ground. Mr. Vane's struggle with Lilith, is a most important theme. Lilith reminded me of scriptural references to Jezebel (both Old and New Testaments), and the harlot of Proverbs, and a few other seducers besides. I began to wonder: if Satan is the Father of Lies, might Lilith be The Mother of Harlots? Strange and mysterious, wrapped in secrecy, beguiling and subtle, she draws her victims near and feeds upon their strength, all the while narcotically enamoring them of her presence. (Mr. Vane plays the dupe as his life is drained by a white worm while he nurses Lilith back to health.)

Certain passages are unforgettable, which may be good or bad, depending on your frame of mind when you read them. The warring dance of skeletons comes to mind, with their lid less eyes revealing their uncloaked passions to all who would see, and Lilith presiding over their deaths shouting, "Ye are men, slay one another!" But don't let me convince you LILITH is merely a dark tale of terror. MacDonald also, seasons it with passages of unique warmth and beauty.

Reading LILITH, is like taking an adventurous journey, the likes of which I have never even come close to with a contemporary author. Fascinating? YES. Comforting? Definitely NOT. Worth the trip? Most assuredly!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A huge journey, 26 Feb. 2006
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lilith (Mass Market Paperback)
Told in first person. We experience the other world through Mr Vane's eyes and thoughts and wishes. His journey is wonderous and educational. Swiftian in its comparisons of scale, relativity, responsibility, choice, free-will. Melodic in its overtures, themes and reprises. I was as exhausted as Vane towards the end - I even skipped a few chapters to see what I could see - but that was the point, the whole point and nothing but the point m'lud - until you go though it, you won't be changed. Then, with new eyes both Mr Vane and reader witness the evil Lilith confront the same fate.
A humbling, beautiful, strangely comforting read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lilith - By Salamanca, 11 Feb. 2015
By 
Lindosland (UK) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
This review is from: Lilith (Paperback)
Something wrong here? I'm clearly on the page for Lilith by Salamanca, but all the reviews, including this one, are duplicated on the page for Lilith by MacDonald - two pages wrongly linked with same author description and reviews on both!

I like all Salamanca's works, but above all 'Lilith'. I take a special interest in books that let me into the psyche of their author, and I feel that Salamanca does that very well, with some interesting common themes cropping up. A dislike of superficial lives is a feature of Salamanca's writings, as is an interest in unusual passions and sexuality. While his books are not autobiographical as such, his own life does have parallels to the lives in his stories - he did work in a mental asylum after returning from military service for example, giving credence to the story of 'Lilith', and themes of incest and child sexuality, temptation and guilt arise in Lilith and in 'Southern Light', making me feel that the author has known deep and complicated feelings in life and has not just made them up (which I would hate). Most readers see Lilith as a disturbed mental patient who is also an extraordinary and evil seductress. I think Salamanca is putting across something else, something unspeakable; Lilith is a very intelligent person whose actions are understandable in the light of what she has experienced - the death of her brother, for which she feels responsible. There are clues to indicate that he loved her and wanted her sexually. On his deathbed she does something, saying, "here's what you wanted". It seems to me that her brother died because of what she denied him, and that her building of a complicated world, which is absolutely fascinating, with it's own strange language, is her attempt to make a world in which such things don't happen - a world of joy and free sex! It backfires on her of course - in the real world people get jealous, but her attempt does make some sense if you view it as R D Laing and others have attempted to view psychotic patients from within. In one of his other books, Salamanca treads dangerously again, having his mature main character seduced under terrifying threat by a young girl, again reversing the normal story and pointing to the way in which societies rules and repressions can put individuals in impossible binds which perhaps could not exist in more open societies. Maybe I am the only person to understand what Salamanca is trying to tell us. Or maybe I am interpreting a real situation which he found himself in during his time as assistant in that mental hospital but did not himself understand - creepy!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars As a non-Christian, 6 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Lilith (Paperback)
... 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. Using the same techniques to handle biblical reference and redemption as Lewis, MacDonald manages to produce a story as fascinating as it is powerful and heart-felt. Everything that was laudable of the Narnia books was ripped directly from these pages before being desecrated; infantilised in the worst manner possible. Good writers steal, true. But only bad writers steal from one source alone. This is where C.S Lewis is guilty. This is a fairy tale for adults. I don't mean it's full of gore and sex (because it's not), I mean it's for the mature of mind.

For this book alone, MacDonald deserves more renown than C.S Lewis. I highly recommend this book to anyone who read the synopsis and thought "This might be for me, if that's accurate".
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Worthy, 4 Feb. 2010
By 
Stephen Joseph Murphy "Steve357" (Lancashire) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Lilith (Paperback)
I read this book 30 years ago and it was life changing. I recently re-read it and it has become life affirming. The most wonderful book I have ever read.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Enjoy other worlds? This is the book for you!, 9 Mar. 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Lilith (Mass Market Paperback)
I would recomend this book to anyone who enjoys adventure, other worlds, thinking about strange but wonderful things, and using their imagination. This is one of the best books I have ever read. I could not put it down!!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stays with one after finishing, 31 July 2007
This review is from: Lilith (Mass Market Paperback)
What I can say about this book is that it remains in the mind, a living world, long after it has been finished. It slowly sinks or seeps into one's dreams and one's conciousness - a true world.

But, the language is old. But who cares. If you can read past the language of the Victorians, you will get there.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 2 3 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

This product

Lilith
Lilith by George Macdonald (Paperback - 30 Dec. 2008)
£5.90
In stock
Add to basket Add to wishlist
Only search this product's reviews