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    Invitation to the Classics (Masterworks)
    by Louise Cowan, OS Guinness
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 August, 1998)
    list price: $34.99 -- our price: $22.04
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    Editorial Review

    One of the many purposes of Invitation to the Classics is to warm the heart to the masterworks of Western civilization. In doing so, editors Louise Cowan and Os Guinness hope to "reawaken ... people to the vibrant heritage of these classics that are rich in themselves and in their 2000-year relationship to the Christian faith." From Homer to Chaucer, Dickens to C.S. Lewis, each author receives a chapter that includes a biographical sketch followed by a thorough summary of the classic(s) he or she penned. The "Issues to Explore" sections at the end of each chapter pose penetrating questions for interrogation of the text as well as recommendations for further study depending on whether your scope is technical, theological, analytical, critical, or biographical. Once you read Invitation to the Classics, you may agree with C.S. Lewis that we must "keep the clean sea breeze of the centuries blowing through our minds, and this can be done only by reading old books." --Jill Heatherly ... Read more

    Reviews (7)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Manual for Western Civilization
    I found this book to be a training manual for the renewal of Western Civilization.Our Culture, heritage, and way of life must not become extinct.Cowan and Guinness have done the church a remarkable service for the Church by compiling these essays.

    Each essay is about 4 to 6 pages in length, supplemented by photos/pics, quotes, and questions for application at the end of the chapter.Like many works associated woth OS Guinness and the Trinity Forum, this book can challenge deeply held notions and force one to rethink them.The breadth of authors covered is immense: the Greeks to the Latins to the Reformers to Modern Day.Also interspersed are esssays about classics by non Christians.

    The Book stresses that the classics are not canonicle but complementary.The need for reading--studying--old books can not be overstated.C S Lewis said that for every new book one reads, one should next read to books from another century for obvious reasons:those books have been tested over time.
    Tolle Legge

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Treasure
    I buy copies of this for every college-bound teen at our church.It features articles by a very eclectic mix of Christian literary critics (though evangelical Reformed/Presbyterians and Roman Catholics predominate).It is fair and balanced in its treatment of works that are often very hostile to the faith.Beautifully illustrated.

    5-0 out of 5 stars For readers of all faiths
    This is a wonderful overview of classic Western literature from a Christian perspective. With a wide scope and a clarity of expression, there is likely something that any reader can enjoy and understand within these pages.

    More significant than any of this, however, is that the book has something that far too many "contemporary Christian" books do not have: fundamental fairness. When dealing with unorthodox or non-religious opinions (take Nietzsche for example), the editors neither preach nor abdicate their religious duties. Instead, they urge the reader to consider the author's viewpoint, relate it to their beliefs and experiences, and take away from it what they may.

    Any book which shares the good news of God's love and encourages critical thinking is a welcome addition to any bookshelf... whether a Bible shares the shelf is completely irrelevant. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0801011566
    Subjects:  1. Ancient and Classical    2. Christianity    3. Christianity and literature    4. History and criticism    5. Literary Criticism    6. Literary History And Criticism    7. Literature    8. Literature - Classics / Criticism    9. Religious aspects   


    The Fall of Constantinople 1453 (Canto)
    by Steven Runciman
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (13 September, 1990)
    list price: $17.99 -- our price: $17.99
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    Reviews (28)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The tragic end of a proud civilization beautifully told
    Even after his death, Steven Runciman's works on the medieval Greeks and the Orthodox Church remain the standard for student seeking general information and for non-scholars seeking knowledge.

    As with all his works, The Fall of Constantinople is both well researched, but more importantly, well written.He provides enough background on the decline of the Eastern Empire and the rise of the Ottoman Turks to place the fall in proper perspective.The Eastern Empire in 1453 was a mere shadow of its once glorious self.The conspiracies and plots between Emperors, Patriarchs, Popes and Kings, ultimately, between Eastern and Western Christendom doomed the heir to the Caesars.

    Runciman's wonderful writing makes this come alive.He does not, like many historians, feel that a dry recitation of the facts alone is enough.Rather, his history reads almost like a novel.The characters have depth and emotion.The last Emperor is shown as a shrewd many trying desperately to save his people, even to the point of entering into an unpopular union with the Roman Church.The Sultan is no mere cartoon villain as often portrayed in medieval Europe or a politically correct Third World leader (as might be portrayed today) but rather a ruthless, though driven young man, determined to fulfill the goal of 8 centuries of Moslem leaders - the capture of "The City."

    And as the story winds toward its inevitable conclusion, you root for the heroes and mourn their deaths.

    Constantinople fell not because the Ottomans were the strongest empire in the world.Rather, it fell because the petty jealousies of the Western leaders made the defense of Constantinople impossible.Today, as the West finds itself again under attack, we should keep heed of our history, and avoid allowing our jealousies to cause another Fall of Constantinople.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Fifteen stars
    One of THE all time great stories.A movie script would be appropriate.Can't wait to read this book again.Don't let this one go.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Grim, inexorable, heroic, glorious.
    Sir Steven Runciman was one of the English language's (if not the world's) leading scholars of the Crusades and the Eastern Roman Empire, and this brief but powerful book shows why. Norwich and his popular-history volumes of Byzantine history may be a more contemporary, personality-driven look at the story, but nobody can match, in my opinion, Runciman for both breadth of scholarship and elegant, intelligent, and highly readable prose.

    Runciman shows that the fall of Constantinople to the Turks on May 29, 1453 (550 years ago today!) was both inevitable and of mostly marginal historical significance(except, of course, to the people of the city itself). It had always seemed to me an event of epochal importance -- the final slamming shut of history's pages on the Roman Empire. But literally in the book's first sentence, Sir Steven disabuses us of this notion, or that the fall marked the close of the Middle Ages. Indeed, "only the Papacy and a few scholars and romanticists had been genuinely shocked at the thought of the great historic Christian city passing into the hands of the infidel" (p. 179). For the most part, it was part of the rising tide of Turkish conquest, alarming in a general way, but not immediately catastrophic to the dying empire's fickle co-religionists in the West.

    Runciman's narrative is engrossing, full of political tension, military conflict, and the religious disputes that always colored Byzantine history. His characterizations are insightful, his descriptions colorful, his writing elegiac -- at times even poetic -- well-sourced (both Christian and Muslim authorities are consulted), and frequently entertaining, even when discussing a sad and even horrific topic. His larger works may not be to everyone's taste (for topic more than style), but a short work like this one, on an interesting and oft-neglected theme, is a worthwhile read for any student of history. Highly recommended. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0521398320
    Sales Rank: 19974
    Subjects:  1. Byzantine Empire - History    2. Europe - Greece    3. History    4. History - General History    5. History: World    6. Istanbul (Turkey)    7. Middle East - Turkey    8. Reference    9. Siege, 1453    10. Byzantine Empire    11. Europe    12. European history: c 500 to c 1500    13. History / Middle East    14. c 1500 to c 1600   


    Mind on Fire: A Faith for the Skeptical and Indifferent (Classics of Faith and Devotion)
    by Blaise Pascal, James M. Houston, OS Guinness
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 1997)
    list price: $12.99
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars And I don't even agree with everything
    I give it 5 stars and I don't necessarily agree with all of his theology.His points are made from such a unique stand point.His ways of reasoning are very unique to me, yet he doesn't lead you to rely on his type of reasoning, but on the power of the Holy Spirit.
    He makes many good points for any atheist to consider.His work on the subject of the Jews is interesting.I disagree with his stance on proofs of nature and some of His views God's restorative plans for Isreal, but who had views for God to restore Isreal 300 years ago?
    If you like reading books, this one is diffrent and well thought out!

    5-0 out of 5 stars PAR EXCELLENCE!
    This is the finest introduction to Blaise Pascal that I have ever seen! Within the pages of this book lie some of the greatest thoughts the human mind could ever aspire to perceive. 'Mind on Fire' is an easy to read, well-arranged anthology of Pascal's thought. In this book you will begin to see the role of logic and reason in the life of faith. If you are looking for an in-depth book, a book that penetrates the deep well of skeptical thought, 'Mind on Fire' will not waste your time or your money. Simply put, Pascal is a genius with a knack for apologetical thought.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pensees +
    In case you're wondering, this IS the Pensees.The only difference is that these thoughts are arranged topically under a new title plus five letters from Pascal are included in the rear of the book.This is not an abridged edition of the Pensees.That being said, this book will stimulate your thinking about human nature, divine sovereignty, faith, logic and apologetics in a way that few other works will.Being deeply influenced by Augustine, Pascal had an uncanny way for accurately portraying the human condition.His grasp of the sinful nature of mankind and the limits of reason was acute.Many believe that Pascal was a fideist (faith is not supported by reason) due to a cursory reading of the Pensees yet a more exhaustive reading will prove otherwise.Many of the Pensees, while not rationally proving Christianity, certainly state that he believed in a reasonable faith and not a leap of faith beyond logic.I would recommend this edition as opposed to the Pensees because of its logical arrangement in addition to the thought-provoking letters that are placed in the back.Definitely a great read. ... Read more

    Isbn: 155661831X
    Sales Rank: 645637
    Subjects:  1. Apologetics    2. Christianity - Christian Life - General    3. Christianity - History - General    4. Christianity - Theology - General    5. Devotional    6. Religion    7. Religion - Christian Living   

    Those Terrible Middle Ages: Debunking the Myths
    by Regine Pernoud, Anne, Englund Nash
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 March, 2000)
    list price: $13.95 -- our price: $11.16
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    Reviews (10)

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Tonic For Uninformed Pronouncements
    Regine Pernoud's Those Terrible Middle Ages! is a wonderful book.Throughout one's life you always hear the usual myths about the period of history known as "The Middle Ages."Pernoud shows that the Middle Ages were a time, for the most part, of peace and learning.She brilliantly shows that the Middle Ages were a time of wonder and acomplishment and juxtaposes that against the cynicism and skepticism brought on by the so-called "Age of Enlightment."This book should be in every history lover's library.Keep it handy when someone, who usually has not actually read a history book, spews forth on the following subjects, women in the "dark ages,"the Crusades, the Spanish Inquisition, witches and cats and the usual nonsense one hears from the unread and uninformed nowadays.

    5-0 out of 5 stars "History does not furnish any solution...
    ...but it permits--and it alone permits--us to pose the problems correctly."

    This book is not only a wonderful debunking of the popular myths used to define the Middle Ages, but, in the last chapter, a wonderful justification of the importance of the study of history (though if you are interested in reading this book then you probably already believe in history's importance).

    The entire work is wonderfully researched and, even through the admitedly sometimes rough translation, Pernoud's passion for her subject is obvious.The book is both informative and entertaining, and it is a wonderful book to use to introduce oneself to the subject of the Middle Ages while avoiding the negative mythology of that era that is expounded in public school or other books (such as A World Lit Only by Fire).

    The Middle Ages were not, as often is thought, a horrible period marked by ignorance, famine, plague, and constant war.At least no more than any other period is marked by those things.This book clearly proves that point and does it in a fantastically entertaining way.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Book: Debunking the Reviews
    This volume sheds valuable light on a much misunderstood and maligned era in history.I would like to point out that all the other reviewers have liked the book, but one gave the admittedly at times rough *translation* a one-star review, which has misleadingly lowered the collective average.To gain a new perspective on this age with this book will certainly be worth discreetly overlooking the translator's occasional indiscretions. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0898707811
    Sales Rank: 90964
    Subjects:  1. Christianity - History - General    2. Civilization, Medieval    3. Europe - General    4. History - General History    5. Medieval    6. Religion   


    A History of Christianity in Africa: From Antiquity to the Present
    by Elizabeth Isichei
    Paperback (01 January, 1995)
    list price: $34.00 -- our price: $34.00
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    Isbn: 0802808433
    Sales Rank: 85608
    Subjects:  1. Africa    2. Africa - General    3. Christianity    4. Christianity - History - General    5. Church history    6. Religion    7. Religion - Church History   


    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (04 March, 1989)
    list price: $6.50 -- our price: $5.85
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    Editorial Review

    When the atomic bomb was dropped on Hiroshima, few could have anticipated its potential for devastation. Pulitzer prize-winning author John Hersey recorded the stories of Hiroshima residents shortly after the explosion and, in 1946, Hiroshima was published, giving the world first-hand accounts from people who had survived it. The words of Miss Sasaki, Dr. Fujii, Mrs. Nakamara, Father Kleinsorg, Dr. Sasaki, and the Reverend Tanimoto gave a face to the statistics that saturated the media and solicited an overwhelming public response. Whether you believe the bomb made the difference in the war or that it should never have been dropped, "Hiroshima" is a must read for all of us who live in the shadow of armed conflict. ... Read more

    Reviews (171)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Incredible and thought provoking
    No one can adequately describe what happened in Hiroshima.There aren't words in any human language to fully explain it.But Hersey manages to convey to the reader the depth and enormity of the events on that tragic day, leaving the reader with a sense of awe and dumbfoundedness with all that transpired.This is one of those books that will transform your view of the world once you have read it.I used it as research material for my own historical novel and found it to be immensely useful, not only to garner the historical facts, but to get a better sense of the emotions that were felt on such a great scale after that event.I highly recommend this book.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hiroshima's the Bomb
    Though this is a very small book for what happened (156 pages) this is a great book.The book Hiroshima tells what the bomb "Little Boy" did to Hiroshima and the struggle six people had to go thru to survive.Yes, more than six people did survive, but this book highlights six regular people.One woman became a cripple because she did not get the proper medical care in time to save her leg from healing wrong.A Jesuit was reading a Jesuit magazine and turned away from the window and that saved him, a doctor was going up a staircase with blood for a blood test and his position in the staircase saved his life, almost everyone above and below him was killed.In my opinion you should read this book if you don't mind "graphic" explanation of death.

    I would recommend this book to people who like things having to do about World War II.I think that this book is very interesting as well as informative.The one problem with this book is that it has very "graphic" explanations of many peoples death and how they are missing limbs (such as arms, legs, breasts).I personal got a little grossed out but the descriptions of the six people surviving the "Little Boy".But the interesting thing this book points out is what happens in a bomb like the one dropped on Hiroshima. If you are close enough your eyes melt in their sockets.You can get horrible flash burns, and if people touch you your skin comes off like a glove.

    In conclusion, this book is a wonderful book.Yes, there is some graphic evidence and explanations in this book.Hiroshima gives wonderful information and explanations of what happens if an atom bomb was dropped as I was writing this.I know that people would be interested in this book.Even if you don't like "graphic" explanations I think that you should read this book.In my opinion people should read this book if they are into WWII things and really don't mind getting a little grossed out.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Hiroshima
    While many people may have thought that the nuclear bombs blasted over Hiroshima & Nagasaki were justified to end the war, this book would certainly give people a lot of room for thought.

    John Hersey gives us the story of six of the Hiroshima survivors (& their families & friends). This new edition also includes a chapter written 40 years after the bomb, following up o the lives & fates of the 6 survivors.

    While the book can be extremely graphic & detailed in describing the results of the bomb on many of the survivors, no one would b able to read it without being impressed with he disaster these people went through. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0679721037
    Subjects:  1. Asia - Japan    2. Atomic bomb    3. Blast effect    4. Bombardment, 1945    5. Hiroshima-shi    6. Hiroshima-shi (Japan)    7. History    8. History - Military / War    9. History: World    10. Japan    11. Military - World War II    12. World - General    13. World War, 1939-1945    14. History / World   


    Shiokari Pass
    by Ayako Miura
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Unknown Binding (1976)

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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Shiokari Pass
    Very dramatic story of a man, who became Christian when Christianity was not so acceptable in Japan, and people around him. First part of the story is little slow that I had to be patient to continue reading. But as thestory goes you feel the strugle of the man questioning about meaning oflife, love, and how he began to see these things through his friend and hisbeautiful sister. At the end of the story, a man became an idividual whowould give up his life for other people. I could not stop my tears fallingon my cheeks. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0800707966
    Sales Rank: 503698

    A Rare Benedictine
    by Ellis Peters
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 September, 1991)
    list price: $6.99 -- our price: $6.99
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    Reviews (10)

    2-0 out of 5 stars Boring from front to back
    I literally fell asleep while reading this book. I'm not kidding, I actually fell asleep. This is the second installment of the Ellis Peters series I've read, and I can asure you that I only read it because it was a school assignment. You're probably wondering why I'm giving this book so much verbal assault, so I'll explain.
    First of all, this book doesn't even show any intention of grabbing your attention until the first third of the book is done. It's just the author telling you what Cadfael is doing and droning on and on about his everyday life, something which, as a 12th century preist, is excruciatingly mundane. Also, the plot doesn't develop until you've had your fourth cup of coffee in an attempt to keep yourself awake. I'll admit that once the plot finally got started I was a little taken in, but it was just too little too late.
    The characters are hard to believe for most people in this day and age. Their actions make you wonder if this could actually happen, and their speech sounds like the story was written by a computer with its short, to-the-point sentences and lack of contractions.
    All in all I wouldn't recommend this book to anyone unless they were an insomniac in need.

    2-0 out of 5 stars A Rare Benedictine
    I did not enjoy these stories, I thought they were really boring even though I heard so many good things about this series. The reader's voice just droned on and on...

    5-0 out of 5 stars History, Mystery, & Mischief
    I didn't think I'd like Brother Cadfael. What little I'd seen of the TV Cadfael portrayed by Derek Jacobi had led me to believe Cadfael somewhat of a wimp.I studiously avoided Cadfael both on TV and in print.A long automobile trip and a dearth of listening material sent me to the audio section of a chain bookstore, and I happened on this audiobook detailing the origins of Brother Cadfael.It didn't take long to find out how wrong I'd been about Cadfael.

    Brother Cadfael is no Father Brown.He is a robust, bear of a man whose spiritual strength matches his physical strength.As a youth he went Crusading and broke heads in God's service.As a mature man he took up another Cross and devoted himself to mending heads, again in God's service.As devout as he is, however, he cannot refrain from meddling in the affairs of others.His meddling takes the form of solving murder mysteries and other criminal conundra.

    This collection of three short stories, however, is not the volume with which to begin your acquaintance with Cafael.Begin your reading of Cadfael with "A Morbid Taste for Bones." It is not only the first story in the series, it is an excellent murder mystery.It also gives the reader a pleasant window into the life of ordinary people in Medieval England. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0446400882
    Sales Rank: 158815
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Mystery/ Detective    3. Mystery & Detective - General    4. Mystery & Detective - Traditional British    5. Mystery and detective stories    6. Mystery/Suspense    7. Fiction / Mystery & Detective / General   


    The Man Who Was Thursday (Penguin Classics)
    by G.K. Chesterton
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 July, 1990)
    list price: $8.95 -- our price: $8.05
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    Editorial Review

    In an article published the day before his death, G.K. Chesterton called The Man Who Was Thursday "a very melodramatic sort of moonshine." Set in a phantasmagoric London where policemen are poets and anarchists camouflage themselves as, well, anarchists, his 1907 novel offers up one highly colored enigma after another. If that weren't enough, the author also throws in an elephant chase and a hot-air-balloon pursuit in which the pursuers suffer from "the persistent refusal of the balloon to follow the roads, and the still more persistent refusal of the cabmen to follow the balloon."

    But Chesterton is also concerned with more serious questions of honor and truth (and less serious ones, perhaps, of duels and dualism). Our hero is Gabriel Syme, a policeman who cannot reveal that his fellow poet Lucian Gregory is an anarchist. In Chesterton's agile, antic hands, Syme is the virtual embodiment of paradox:

    He came of a family of cranks, in which all the oldest people had all the newest notions. One of his uncles always walked about without a hat, and another had made an unsuccessful attempt to walk about with a hat and nothing else. His father cultivated art and self-realization; his mother went in for simplicity and hygiene. Hence the child, during his tenderer years, was wholly unacquainted with any drink between the extremes of absinthe and cocoa, of both of which he had a healthy dislike.... Being surrounded with every conceivable kind of revolt from infancy, Gabriel had to revolt into something, so he revolted into the only thing left--sanity.
    Elected undercover into the Central European Council of anarchists, Syme must avoid discovery and save the world from any bombings in the offing. As Thursday (each anarchist takes the name of a weekday--the only quotidian thing about this fantasia) does his best to undo his new colleagues, the masks multiply. The question then becomes: Do they reveal or conceal? And who, not to mention what, can be believed? As The Man Who Was Thursday proceeds, it becomes a hilarious numbers game with a more serious undertone--what happens if most members of the council actually turn out to be on the side of right? Chesterton's tour de force is a thriller that is best read slowly, so as to savor his highly anarchic take on anarchy. --Kerry Fried ... Read more
    Reviews (67)

    1-0 out of 5 stars terribly predictable
    honestly, i knew exactly what was going to happen in the novel, the entire plot with one exception, 1/3 of the way through it.it robbed me of the suspense and ruined it for me.but what could chesterton possibly expect?when the same thing happens six times in a row, and that makes up the bulk of the story, i'm sorry but it's just not very exciting.i expected a proto-kafka sort of tale based on the reviews here, but ended up with this: the same thing happens over and over and over, but under slightly different circumstances, with all of the characters acting surprised when it happens again and again, again and again, and yes, again even.it may even happen one more time, but i stopped caring.that is probably 80% of the book.the one thing that surprised me was the explanation of the characters' names, which was a horrible let-down and made the whole novel even more disappointing.
    a good read if you're a hard-core christian in desperate need of affirmation.to the rest of us it's a tremendous bore.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Pure Delirium
    Like a Lynch film, this book may ultimately extend a conservative message by radically experimental artistic means. But it doesn't really matter if you agree with Chesterton's ideas about modernity, its erosion of values and the nihilism it supposedly ushers in, because the ride is incredible. In this book, to the very end, there are no certainties. Like Kafka's novels, its suspense lies not only in plot, but in allegory--there are just as many thriller-like twists in the space of possible /interpretations/ of the work as there are of its diagetic intrigues. One of the weirdest and most exhilarating works you will read.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Unique philosophical adventure
    This is a surreal philosophical adventure story set at the turn of the 20th century, packed tight with clever ideas and witty conversations, and is like practically nothing else you will ever read.

    It might also be regarded as a religious allegory about as subtle as the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe, the author's odd protestations to the contrary notwithstanding. As an atheist it didn't bother me at all; and knowing the author's claims about the book I even managed to ignore the allegorical aspect until close to the end, when it becomes impossible to pretend it is not a religious allegory. So, why did the author deny it?

    For that matter, did he really deny it: he didn't say that the book does not include a "depiction of the Deity", merely that it does not contain a "serious depiction of the Deity". Unfortunately he died a few days after saying it, so nobody had a chance to seek a clarification. Most editions of Thursday contain the article in which the author talks about this, so if you read the book you'll know what I'm talking about and be able to make up your own mind.

    I've read it twice now and loved it both times. Late Victorian/Edwardian London and Europe is one of my favourite locales for adventure fiction and movies, with the world on the brink of becoming our own, but still retaining some of the innocence, honour and tall hats of the former.

    The book's oft-forgotten subtitle is 'A Nightmare', and scarcely a page goes by without the author going out of his way to add to the sense of irreality by mentioning that scenes and people resemble paintings, or stories, or plays, or dreams, and so on. Don't get too hung up on whether it was all a dream (or nightmare) or not: of course, it was all a book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0140183884
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Literature - Classics / Criticism    3. Literature: Classics    4. Mystery & Detective - Police Procedural    5. Classic fiction    6. Modern fiction   


    War in Heaven
    by Charles Williams
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1981)
    list price: $14.00 -- our price: $10.50
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    Editorial Review

    "The telephone was ringing wildly," begins Charles Williams's novel War in Heaven, "but without result, since there was no-one in the room but the corpse." From this abrupt--and darkly humorous--start, Williams takes us on a 20th-century version of the Grail quest, with an Archdeacon, a Duke, and an editor playing the old Arthurian roles. Throughout, Williams reminds us that these legends were above all about divine, not just human, romance. While filled with marvels and black magic, the novel also suggests that the devil just might be what the face of God looks like to those who have sought destruction, just as that face is love to those who have sought love. The choice, Williams affirms, is always ours. --Doug Thorpe ... Read more

    Reviews (17)

    4-0 out of 5 stars Definitely in the same league as the rest of the Inklings
    Williams' ability to craft a great story nearly escapes the reader because his style is so subtle, and the narrative flows so seamlessly.It is also brilliantly and creatively imagined.He weaves the deft mystery style of Chesterton and Doyle with his own religious background and spiritual experiences.Were it written today, this story might be mistakenly tossed into the same bland, agenda-driven genre of evangelical "spiritual" thrillers, but Williams avoids such a trap by giving his spiritual hero, the Archdeacon of Fardles, a sometimes wavering confidence in his chosen path, and a battle with his own desire to give up.
    While the book is certainly not one for those who feel immediately alienated by religious context and setting, it does not require or expect conversion or spiritual agreement in order to be enjoyed.Williams is the forgotten member of the Inklings (C.S. Lewis, J.R.R. Tolkien, and others), but his writing, especially War In Heaven, stands toe-to-toe with the other great works to emerge from that group.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Murder, a Quest, Humor, and Theology!
    "War in Heaven" is a must for any serious reader of Christian fiction.It begins with an interesting murder and quickly evolves into a Quest for the Holy Grail,thus assuming that Those Feet in ancient times, did indeed wander England's mountains green.Along the way, an unlikely triumverate (or should we say Trinity) of good guys battles some very sinister fellows.Touches of humor grace the book, and the theology and the message are sound and inspiring.

    Williams was one of a trio of great early 20th century Christian authors, in a little club (The Inklings) with fellow dons C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien.Today, Tolkien is most remembered for fiction, and Clive Staples Lewis for theology.This is, in part, because Williams wrote in a more formidable style.However, once you get into the syntax and rythym, his words flow smoothly and he is very readable.Press on through the first few pages of any Williams book, and you will be rewarded with a "ripping yarn" on many levels.

    This book is recommended not only for those who love Williams' other fiction (Descent into Hell, Place of the Lion, etc.) and nonfiction (Descent of the Dove), but for anyone who would enjoy a serious Christian adventure novel.

    There is a strong message of the role of faith, and of eccumenical Christianity in "War in Heaven."Maybe it isn't for sticklers on one denomination's doctrine, but for most, it is well worth ordering.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Search for the Graal
    Charles Williams' War In Heaven starts with the finding of a corpse in a London publishing house. The tone is very light and the reader is ready for a screwball adventure. But with the introduction of Gregory Persimmons the story turns darker. Persimmons has been searching for the Holy Graal (sic), and seeks to use its power to perform occult ceremonies. He believes it now resides in a country parish of Fardles. He resolves to steal it but is foiled by the Archdeacon of Fardles. As the struggle for the Graal continues both Persimmons and the Archdeacon gain unexpected allies.
    War In Heaven is reminiscent of CS Lewis' cosmic trilogy. Not surprisingly since Chalres Williams was a member of theInklings, whose members also included CS Lewis and JRR Tolkien. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0802812198
    Subjects:  1. Fiction - General    2. General   


    The Hawk and the Dove: A Trilogy
    by Penelope Wilcock
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 February, 2000)
    list price: $13.99 -- our price: $11.19
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    Reviews (8)

    5-0 out of 5 stars An inspiration and a moving lesson of love!
    Penelope Wilcox did a wonderful job of showing us how to love unconditionally.It's easy to say we love people but to read the book and the real examaples puts into perspective what true love is supposed to look like.This books is a fast and easy read, not preachy (as I was afraid it might be) and just a pure joy to read.This is one book that I will not give away but rather lend to friends and family so that I may have it to read again.Be prepared to become so engrossed in the story that you feel like you are in the monestary and be prepared to cry.

    5-0 out of 5 stars This is life and love
    The Hawk and the Dove is a thoughtful illumination of life in community - a portrait of what it takes to live authentically and with grace.Father Peregrine, Brother Tom, Brother John, and the others who inhabit the abbey are flawed human beings who are learning what it means to live sacrificially with and for each other.Each also has a gift to bring.I see myself in them and am embarrassed, joy-filled, relieved, hopeful and grateful.In this beautifully written story, we have permission to face our weaknesses because they covered by the blood and love of Christ.We find courage to look at ourselves honestly and can celebrate because his grace and presence in our lives will transform us if we are willing.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Deeply moving--deeply felt
    Penelope Wilcock uses an old English monastery as the setting for her book, "The Hawk and the Dove".Within the monastery are unforgettable characters whom she paints with a loving and compassionate hand, showing both their sins and their unbelievable acts of love and sacrifice for God and their fellow man.The main character is Father Peregrine for whom the book is named.Throughout his life as a monk, he develops from the shallow son of an overprivileged upbringing to a man of tremendous faith and compassion, and finally to a shell of a man wracked with physical problems and the aftereffects of an undeserved beating.His interaction with his brothers gives us an example of Christlike love and behavior and likewise his sufferings show us the physical tortures which Jesus endured.This is a moving and inspiring book. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1581341385
    Sales Rank: 148836
    Subjects:  1. Christian fiction, English    2. Fiction    3. Fiction - Religious    4. Historical - General    5. Historical fiction, English    6. History    7. Middle Ages, 600-1500    8. Monastic and religious life    9. Religious - General    10. Religious - Historical   


    The Photos of the Century: 100 Historic Moments (Evergreen)
    by Marie-Monique Robin
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 November, 1999)
    list price: $19.99
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Tribute to Photojournalism

    If a photo is worth a thousand words then surely this large volume is priceless, constituting the finest and best organized collection of historical photos that I have ever seen.

    Marie-Monique Robin went to great lengths to track down sources, she sifted through volumes of historical photographs and she did an extraordinary job of organizing the material.

    This outstanding journalist made the best choice of words, as well. Besides the briefest of introductions, she augmented each photograph with narrative in three short sections: A paragraph of historical context entitled "Timeline"; a concise description of the image; and a few words from the photographer or other person closely associated with the photo.

    Glancing through the pages one can appreciate the easy and pleasurable arrangement of the photos and text. Each photo and accompanied text are placed on large, well balanced, two-page spreads. There are one hundred of these, starting with a 1898 photo of the Turin Shroud and ending with a 1997 "mosaic of pixels" of the Mars Pathfinder.

    The collection is one hundred photos short, but very rich. From Texas to South Africa, ayatollahs to lesbian lovers and from Buchenwald to the Moon, the photographs are beautiful, moving, telling, compelling and all the superlatives one associates with the rarest moments of photojournalism. There is a combination of history and poetry in images of people, places and events that we all recognize, and also those that we do not but want to. They convey the things that please, annoy, educate, repulse and move us, so, they make a superb pictorial account of twentieth century history.

    One can see the author's own aesthetic sensitivity in the layout of the book and in her choice of large-format black and white photos in combination with small color photos of photographers or other relevant images. While avoiding the Technicolor look of glossy magazines, she succeeds in presenting a subdued phantasmagoria that moves and informs her audience. ... Read more

    Isbn: 3822865125
    Sales Rank: 942366
    Subjects:  1. Documentary Photo Collections    2. History    3. Photo Essays    4. Photoessays & Documentaries    5. Photography   

    That Eye, the Sky
    by Tim Winton
    Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 March, 1987)
    list price: $14.95
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    Reviews (2)

    4-0 out of 5 stars I agree - a fine read - but mysterious ending
    I agree with the reviewer in April of 2003.I really enjoyed the book.You fall in love with Ort.Seeing things through his eyes are very touching and funny at times.The end is definately what you make of it - a good book for discussion - book club.

    4-0 out of 5 stars A quick, but fine read
    That Eye, the Sky is a novel about a family in the outback of Australia. Life goes wrong when the father is in a car accident and in a coma afterwards. It is narrated by twelve year old Ort Flack. Through his eyes we meet his Dad, his Mum, the helpless hippy, Tegwyn, his angry sister, Fat his only friend and Henry, the missionary that saves them.

    Through the eyes of Ort, the story of the Flack family unfolds, in simple, but beautifully written language. The novel jumps from reality to surreality, from living on the dole in the outback to miracles and mystical lights. It end on a strange surreal note and the reader is left to make of it what he/she chooses.

    I thoroughly enjoyed this book, although I don't quite know what to make of the end of this book. I would love to discuss it with someone that read it. ... Read more

    Isbn: 0689118694
    Sales Rank: 779234
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Popular English Fiction   

    The Cross and the Prodigal; The 15th Chapter of Luke, Seen Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants: The 15th Chapter of Luke, Seen Through the Eyes of Middle Eastern Peasants
    by Kenneth E. Bailey
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 June, 1973)
    list price: $8.50
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    Reviews (4)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Cross and the Prodigal
    I have used this book for years in helping people understand the middle eastern context of the parable.Dr. Bailey's experience and insights bring the text alive in ways our western interpretation sorely misses.I would recommend this for anyone who is serious about understanding this parable.Unfortunately, it will whet your appetite for more middle eastern understandings of the other parables of Jesus.Hopefully, Dr. Bailey will write even more; and hopefully, this will come back into print!

    5-0 out of 5 stars Insightful -- Artistic -- Eye-opener
    This is one fantastic book -- an easy read -- great for a study -- adults or intergenerational.The graphics are simple yet stunning. The drama at the end makes for a great sermon at the close of the study. Members of the class can take the parts and learn them by heart or do it as a readers' theater.With bread at the center of the drama -- it is especially meaningful on a Communion Sunday or Maundy Thursday.The drama is a bit long -- but can be creatively edited without losing any of the impact to fit nicely within the context of worship.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Sell your shirt to get this!
    This is a great book - especially if you have been interpreting Jesus' parables with western mindsets! Bailey is an expert in the area of studying the cultural context of Jesus' hearers.

    Yes, the book is out of print, but more recently I have secured a copy from ACORN PRESS which has been given the right to reprint the title in Australia. It sells for under US$10!

    The address is Acorn Press Ltd. P O Box 282, Brunswick East, VIC. 3057 Australia.

    Tel: 613 9383 1266

    It's a GREAT book! Give Acorn press a call! ... Read more

    Isbn: 0570031397
    Sales Rank: 824060
    Subjects:  1. Bible    2. Bible plays    3. Bible plays, American    4. Commentaries    5. Drama    6. Luke XV    7. N.T    8. Prodigal son (Parable)    9. Religion   

    At the Foot of Heaven
    by Kevin Max Smith, Jimmy A.
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Hardcover (01 September, 1994)
    list price: $19.99
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    Reviews (24)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Poetry that Pops!
    I truly love this collection of poems and artwork.It's truly a collectable.Essentially, poetry is personal, so you'll have to judge for yourself, but here are the ones that really impressed me the most:


    Also, the artwork by Jimmy Abegg which illuminates the background of each poem is bold and brilliant.I only wish I owned an original piece.Enjoy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Not just poetry
    I love the art in this book. Every time I look at the illustrations it makes my heart beat faster. Really it is a joint effort between two very talented and creative people. If you like art that is not very Thomas Kincade-ish, Keep your eyes peeled for this book. Thanks Jimmy A. Thanks Kevin.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An unsung hero among contemporary American poetry
    I heard about this inventive little poetry book after stumbling upon Kevin Max's very original and poignant musical album, "Stereotype Be." As a college English student and a lover of good literature and poetry, I was curious to see if Max's written words were as inspiring and lyrically original as his music, and I was willing to spend a little extra to obtain a copy of this rare book. Needless to say, I found myself captivated by this work, which is an intriguing exercise in untraditional but very well-written meter, rhythm, and vocabulary in contemporary poetry. In addition, Max's (writing as Kevin Max Smith, a last name I understand that he had dropped) themes are clear and his imagery is provocative, and while he doesn't attempt to be too abstract with his work here as most contemporary poets strive to be, he does present very well-written poems with simple messages and well-executed meter.

    As I have stated, the most interesting aspect of Max's work is by far his exercise in vocabulary and meter. Max is very interested in maintaining traditional meter in most of his poems, bringing to mind, at least rhythmically, the best of Roethke and even Yeats. The poems in particular that demonstrate this talent are the excellent "Queen of the Nile," "Draw Nigh," and "Awake at Night." While these poems are never quite in perfect iambic pentameter, Max clearly knows his poetic devices and uses them effectively, creating his own interesting rhythms within the meter. Even in poems which are free-verse in nature, Max successfully keeps a steady rhythm throughout and displays some creative usage of assonance and particularly alliteration (a good example of both can be found in "My Reoccurring Desert Dream," "Vanity," and "Wilt Thou?"). I would say that this book must be best read aloud to appreciate Max's unique rhythm to its fullest potential (as all good poetry should be).

    In addition, Max clearly engages in a breathtaking love affair with word play which is often so clever that the reader will only catch it after several reads. Take the poem "Jordan's Kiss and Then Some," in which Max cuts the word "Mother" in half at the end of a line, so that the word reads "Moth-/er." Here, we are given a clear description of this "mother." By simply cutting the word and emphasizing "moth," the reader understands the motivations and characteristics of this particular character. There are many little details thrown into this book similar to this example, and in addition, Max's vocabulary includes words I never thought could fit into a poem as well as he utilizes them. Words like "retroaction," "placation," and "kamikaze" somehow manage to find themselves seamlessly placed into Max's poems, and they manage to maintain both meter and rhythm. Who knew? Evidently, Max did.

    Thematically, "At the Foot of Heaven" is a little more under whelming, but this doesn't make them at all disappointing. Clearly, this book is an exercise in meter and form, so if the themes and images are a bit simplistic, that is only because they were intended to be. Max's poems are not particularly long, but they all serve as interesting and complete thoughts unto themselves. He conjures up some fascinating images ("Tonight I wish to touch the stars./ To swing the moon in my cradle/ To pull the sky around my neck") but none of these images cast any question as to what direction he is going with them. Occasionally, Max finds himself with lines a little too simplistic in nature (i.e. "I would count ever speck of sand/ every bit of stardust to be with you"), but for the most part, he simply concerns himself with creating simple messages of love, faith, and humanity (indeed, the book is divided into sections with these titles) using extremely well-crafted poetic lines and some provocative, if obvious, metaphors and similes.

    I must also note the fascinating layout of the book, which is actually a collaborative effort which an abstract painter named Jimmy Abegg, who I haven't heard of before or since. Mr. Abegg has a truly gifted eye for color and striking images, and his work compliments Max's tremendously. If for no other reason, this book is worth owning for Abegg's wonderful paintings. In addition, Max continues to exercise creativity in form often in fonts that he uses for many of his poems. Some of the fonts are so large that single words will overlap one another fill up entire lines. The result makes particular poems literally leap off of the page, in a creative approach that I have not seen before. Neither Max or Abegg are afraid to push boundaries in this book, and the creativity pays off.

    A fellow student who is not an English major but who loves this book hit the nail on the head regarding its significance better than anything I could add: Max's fascinating use of form and simple messages very effectively bridge the gab between the literary world and the everyman who is not necessarily interested in reading poetry. Whereas this individual shied away from poetry in general, finding it too intimidating, this book, in its creativity and simplicity, made him want to take a second look at the literary world of poets. As the wonderful world of poetry seems to have lost its impact in America in this modern world (and most contemporary poets are starving), and that its appeal seems limited to English classrooms, such a statement pays Max the highest compliment imaginable. Indeed, after reading "At the Foot of Heaven," I am convinced that his unique style makes him one of the most gifted and promising contemporary poets currently writing in America. Keep an eye out for this guy. ... Read more

    Isbn: 1562331108
    Sales Rank: 592327
    Subjects:  1. American - General    2. Art & Art Instruction    3. Reference   

    Complete Father Brown, The (Father Brown Mystery)
    by Gilbert Keith Chesterton
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (06 January, 1987)
    list price: $16.95 -- our price: $11.53
    (price subject to change: see help)
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    Reviews (12)

    4-0 out of 5 stars "The little priest was not an interesting man to look at."
    G.K. Chesterton's "Father Brown" stories are indeed second only to the Sherlock Holmes mysteries, in my mind, among British mysteries.Chesterton writes with a more poetic hand, his language often breathtaking in its prose:"The Vernon Hotel, at which The Twelve True Fishermen held their annual dinners, was an institution such as can only exist in an oligarchical society that has almost gone mad on good manners.It was that topsy-turvy product---an 'exclusive' commercial enterprise.That is, it was a thing that paid not by attracting people, but actually by turning people away."A deep love of words is one of the advantages of Chesterton over Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Holmes stories.The flip side of this is that Doyle wrote with more economy of words, which is a different gift but equally worthy.

    Father Brown is an enjoyable character because of his naievete.One never quite expects him to solve the puzzles with which he is presented, yet after awhile it just becomes commonplace to read Chesterton's description of his "colorless voice" and "piggish eyes" again being vital in uncovering a cause of death or any number of less dramatic mysteries.He's a Father SpongeBob with an awesome gift, lovable and feckless, winning us over and entering our hearts.

    Yet the stories of Father Brown don't attain quite the depth of Holmes.Partly this is due to the priest being so mysterious; we don't know his background, where he came from, anything at all about his personal quirks, etc., other than his being small and somewhat round, cheerful yet wise in a Pooh sort of way, very sharp in putting clues together, and a bit clumsy.Whereas any Holmesian could give a full account of the great consulting detective's personality quirks, likes and dislikes, physical traits and habits, home life, acquaintances, etc.Father Brown is just not as fully drawn, and therefore doesn't as fully get his hooks into our souls.

    There is also the unfortunate racist tone sometimes struck by Chesterton, with his offhanded comments about Negroes, Jews, the Celts, or any one of several given ethnic groups, in which he attributes one or another generalized negative trait to that entire subsect of humanity:The Celts "accept easily the superstitious explanation of any incident," or a character's wish that "the Jews...should rather find themselves penniless," elsewhere finding it necessary to point out that a minor character was a Jew such as "the power of a Jew money-lender living in the manor," or "eastern heroes who rode with twelve-turbaned mitres upon elephants painted purple or peacock green; of gigantic jewels that a hundred negroes could not carry," etc.

    Unfortunate, but at least these ignorant moments are only occasional and are easily seen as such by modern readers.The stories themselves are often brilliant, sometimes obtuse, but always a pleasure to read.Recommended in spite of Mr. Chesterton's prejudices, a product of his time that he apparently was unable to rise above.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Superior mystery fare
    G.K. Chesterton is a humorous writer, and he writes sterling prose; these two enviable qualities distinguish him as superior to Arthur Conan Doyle as a mystery writer, not to mention superior to most writers in any genre.This Penguin omnibus of nearly fifty stories featuring his clerical sleuth Father Brown is an excellent introduction to the man's classic English style of understated wit, taste for the exotic and the mythical, unbounded imagination, and worldly philosophy, helpfully reduced to easily digestible epigrams by the discursive priest.Chesterton doesn't cloister his protagonist in a strictly ecclesiastical environment; Father Brown's social realm lies far outside the church and well within the material world of theatrically colorful disguises, melodramatic villains and their not entirely innocent victims, big business, and fabulous wealth.

    If Chesterton has anything in common with Dostoevsky and Tolstoy, it is the way he incorporates his strong religious convictions into his fiction.Two of the Commandments--the ones forbidding stealing and killing--are the most typically transgressed in these stories, the committers of these sins betrayed by moral weakness detected by Father Brown, a scholar of motives and the human tendency to do wrong in the absence of a solid spiritual anchor.Like Sherlock Holmes, he solves crimes by noticing small details that everybody else misses and applying the most rigid logic, but he is more human and animated than the stolid Holmes.He even has a professional cohort, a French private detective who goes by the name of Flambeau and who bedeviled the world as a master thief before the solicitous Father Brown showed him the error of his wicked ways.

    Aside from his short, stout stature, mildly clumsy behavior, and the benevolent patience with which he tolerates atheists, socialists, skeptics, mystics, pagans, etc., Father Brown's greatest distinction as a character is his representation of the supreme logic and rationale Chesterton considers inherent in Roman Catholic theology; he is less a visual figure than an embodiment of a set of ideas, a projection of his author's conscience and intellect, clothed in black.Although Chesterton undoubtedly hopes to enlighten the heathens among his readers, he doesn't insult their intelligence with simplistic morality tales; he knows that we don't need Father Brown to remind us, however eloquently, that stealing and killing are wrong.Chesterton rather uses the conflict between good and evil as the context within which he can expound his philosophical opinions through a priestly voice.

    5-0 out of 5 stars A treasure trove!
    Other authors may have excelled in the detective story, but it was G.K. Chesterton who elevated it to a higher intellectual and literary level. His writing combines wit, humor and whimsy with deep insights into psychology, philosophy, and even theology. While others viewed the detective story as a mere entertaining puzzle, G.K. treated it as a serious art form, with potential for symbolism and allegory. Father Brown is one of the classic fictional detectives of all time, a character more "real" than many living people. How wonderful to have all the Father Brown stories under one cover! Keep this volume by your bedside or near your favorite armchair, so you can dip into it on a rainy weekend, before you go to bed, or at any time you like. All confirmed Father Brown devotees must have the Penguin COMPLETE FATHER BROWN, and those who have not yet discovered this detective genius could find no better way to become acquainted with him. ... Read more

    Isbn: 014009766X
    Sales Rank: 23448
    Subjects:  1. Fiction    2. Fiction - Mystery/ Detective    3. Mystery & Detective - General    4. Mystery/Suspense    5. Crime & mystery    6. Fiction / General    7. Other prose: from c 1900 -   


    Babette's Feast and Other Anecdotes of Destiny
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (12 February, 1988)
    list price: $6.00
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    Reviews (1)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Another set of fabulous stories from Isak Dinesen
    The stories in this book are completely in line with all her other works. Absolutely amazing! I highly recommend it to both newcomers and people who have already taken an interest in this author. But beware! Once you start reading the fantastic stories from this lady, you will want more. ... Read more

    Isbn: 039475929X
    Sales Rank: 550178
    Subjects:  1. European - Scandinavian    2. Fiction    3. Fiction - General    4. General   

    Space Trilogy
    by C. S. Lewis
    Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
    Paperback (01 January, 1996)
    list price: $20.85
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    • Box set
    Reviews (22)

    5-0 out of 5 stars The battle of good and evil--CS Lewis style
    The Space Trilogy is CS Lewis's allegorical statement of theology and philosophy.Lewis was one of the most prominent Christian apologists of his time, but he always felt there was an audience he couldn't reach.This was his solution, and we are left with a masterpiece both in the world of fiction and the world of theology.

    The hero of the books is Dr. Ransom, a philologist who is a good man, though not exceptionally heroic at first.The first book finds him captured and whisked off to Mars, where he encounters a society much more morally advanced than our own, and learns that the corruption of our planet is due to an evil influence (which we would call Satan).These higher creatures cannot grasp the concepts of war, murder, or any vice.

    The second book finds Ransom transported to Perelandra, also known as Venus.This is Lewis's allegory of the garden of Eden, and here he encounters an unfallen woman who is being tempted into doing the forbidden.Here Ransom learns of the nature of sin, and of the temptation that (Lewis says) befell the parents of our own race.

    The final book is quite different from the other two, and Ransom, this time on Earth, is battling an evil organization which is bent on penetrating the mysteries of the universe and purifying the human race.Ransom and his followers are aided by a power that has long slept, and together they battle the power of science gone haywire.We see, through their eyes, the evils of society and of so-called 'higher thought.'

    There are many lessons to be learned from this wonderful trilogy, but there is also a remarkable story to be told.If you're a fan of fantasy and science fiction, a reader of Christian and theological works, or both, you will greatly enjoy the Space Trilogy.

    4-0 out of 5 stars Looking from the outside in...
    I tackled these books after a recommendation and reading the Narnia books.Though a little hard to understand occasionally, very insightful.I enjoyed them.They are a little slow getting started, but worth the effort.This was almost a chilling look at humanity and the human condition, not only from a religous outlook but even from secular morals. There are insights for both sides of the fence.

    5-0 out of 5 stars Battling between good and evil
    The theme throughout these three books is man's battle (or, rather, intelligent life's battle) between good and evil, with some very obvious, but not stifling, religious overtones also found in CS Lewis' nonfiction work.For adults who absolutely adored the Chronicles of Narnia set, this trilogy takes you through the battle between good and evil in a more sophisticated manner. Granted, these are not nearly as easy to read, but adapting to the more complex (sometimes slow-moving in Hideous Strength) writing style was quick.

    If you are primarily interested in religious fiction, and have the patience to read books with more complexity than, say, the Left Behind series, you will like these allegorical journeys through the fall of man. If you are primarily interested in SciFi, CS Lewis takes you to other worlds (Silent Planet, Perelandra) and introduces beings from another Earth-time (Hideous Strength) with an original twist of the good vs. evil storyline.

    All three books can be read on their own, however I found that "That Hideous Strength" would have been difficult to follow without the background provided in either "Out of the Silent Planet" or "Perelandra".Regardless of the individual readability of the 3 stories, I started with the 1st book (Out of the Silent Planet) not sure I would enjoy it, and ended up finishing all 3 within a week or two. ... Read more

    Isbn: 068483118X
    Sales Rank: 172108
    Subjects:  1. Fantasy    2. Fantasy - General    3. Fiction - Science Fiction    4. Science Fiction - General   

    One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich (Signet Classics (Paperback))
    by Alexander Solzhenitsyn
    Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
    Mass Market Paperback (01 August, 1998)
    list price: $5.95 -- our price: $5.95
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    Editorial Review

    Solzhenitsyn's first book, this economical, relentless novel is one of the most forceful artistic indictments of political oppression in the Stalin-era Soviet Union. The simply told story of a typical, grueling day of the titular character's life in a labor camp in Siberia, is a modern classic of Russian literature and quickly cemented Solzhenitsyn's international reputation upon publication in 1962. It is painfully apparent that Solzhenitsyn himself spent time in the gulags--he was imprisoned for nearly a decade as punishment for making derogatory statements about Stalin in a letter to a friend. ... Read more

    Reviews (121)

    5-0 out of 5 stars Very Well Written
    A sad story about the pains of The Gulag, yet from what i have learned, Solzhenitsyn wasnt in the gulag when it was at its Most Evil Stage, so this account is basically how good it could have been, not how bad it could have been.
    The Story is sad and gripping, with many charecters and tensions, only strange thing i noticed is, is how noone died in the book...A few recallations, but no actual deaths, just brutal treatinsg and evil actions.
    This book is very good, andis well deserving of its name of Signet Classic, after all, with so much holocaust literature around, there should be literature about the Meat Grinder of History; The Gulag, claim from 10,000,000 - 40,000,000 Lives.

    5-0 out of 5 stars An Offering By The Russian Master Of Modern Literature
    I had to read this book in my Final Year at High School and now 25 years later I reread it and once again was impressed by the narrative. This book is beautifully translated and the reader is intruduced to Ivan, a Political Prisoner in a Siberian Labor Camp.Ivan has to endure illness, terrible food, appalling working conditions and the brutality he finds in other inmates. This book goes into such detail that one is easily led into thinking that all of this happened to him in the space of about one week instead of one typical day in his life.This book is a semi autobiographical account by the Master Of Modern Day Russian Literature, Alexander Solzhenitsyn.Read this book and you will get the chills and shivers as you are with Ivan working in the freezing snow.

    5-0 out of 5 stars The Ultimate Worst-Case Scenario
    Alexander Solzhenitsyn, a former inmate at a Soviet GULAG prison camp wrote One Day in the Life of Ivan Denisovich as a controversial fictional account based on true facts of what life in a Russian prison camp was like in the time of Stalin.In it, Ivan Denisovich Shukhov, and the rest of the 104th squad have to make it through the day without getting more prison time or getting locked up in the guardhouse.Not to mention they have to work to earn their meals.There is no exposition as Solzhenitsyn starts right out with rising action, introducing everything as the story goes on.The story reaches an exciting climax when Shukhov has to find a solution to a problem that could get him locked away.The story ends with him completing the day.

    Solzhenitsyn is a literary genius.He didn't use the fact that he had been through the GULAG as an excuse; he merely incorporated it in to the book upgrading it from very good, to brilliant.His serious tone and in-depth account of the story made you feel like a "zek" yourself.He even swore at and insulted all the bad people.

    I would recommend this book mostly to anyone who enjoys an in-depth third person story.However, I think anyone who has made it through elementary school could enjoy this book.It doesn't read like a play, where everything is introduced at the beginning, instead he only introduces things when they arrive on scene.Overall, I believe this controversial and powerful book does a masterful job of opening our eyes to the Stalinist reality.
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    Isbn: 0451527097
    Subjects:  1. Classics    2. Fiction    3. Literature - Classics / Criticism   


    Up to date: Poems, 1968-1982
    by Steve Turner
    Paperback (1982)

    US | Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France

    Isbn: 0340287128
    Sales Rank: 2576251

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