As It Is in Heaven and over one million other books are available for Amazon Kindle. Learn more
Buy Used
$3.00
FREE Shipping on orders over $35.
Used: Very Good | Details
Condition: Used: Very Good
Comment: Support Your Local Grandma! Eligible for Amazon's FREE Super Saver/Prime Shipping, 24/7 Customer Service, and package tracking. 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.
Add to Cart
Have one to sell?
Flip to back Flip to front
Listen Playing... Paused   You're listening to a sample of the Audible audio edition.
Learn more

As It Is in Heaven Hardcover


See all 18 formats and editions Hide other formats and editions
Amazon Price New from Used from Collectible from
Kindle
"Please retry"
Hardcover
"Please retry"
$0.35 $0.01 $1.23

NO_CONTENT_IN_FEATURE

Big Spring Books
Editors' Picks in Spring Releases
Ready for some fresh reads? Browse our picks for Big Spring Books to please all kinds of readers.

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Grand Central Publishing; 1 edition (July 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446525480
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446525480
  • Product Dimensions: 1.2 x 6.2 x 9.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (31 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,354,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

It seems right that the lovers in Niall Williams's As It Is in Heaven hail from Italy and Ireland, those sentimental favorites among nations. Williams won kudos and laurels, fans and fame for his first novel, Four Letters of Love, and his second finds him once again illuminating a simple love affair with his own special brand of fine and even brave mawkishness. Dubliner Stephen Griffin, though possessed of a "thin and long" body, is stunted emotionally by the loss of his mother and sister in a tragic car wreck. That is, until one evening he ends up at a tiny concert hall in County Clare, listening to the Venetian beauty Gabriella Castoldi play the violin. Williams writes with fairy-tale breathlessness of the audience: "The room was balmy with delight. And when the people sat again for the slow and romantic melancholy of the Puccini, they were pillowed on a deep and heartfelt gladness.... Stephen looked at the woman whose name he did not yet know and his heart raced." Such mauvish passages abound. Here is an author who never met a bold pronouncement on the subject of Love that he didn't, well, Love. At one point, for instance, Stephen "heard the victory of Love over Death." What makes Williams's writing work--to the degree that it does work--is the way his fuzzy, myopic generalizations are coupled with keen observation: "Stephen danced like a man who had been given wooden legs. They flew out in sharp angles and measured air like a pair of pincers." A stack of suitcases is "an Italian hilltown." At its best, this gentle magical realism reads like Mark Helprin without the irony. And like Helprin, Williams is in thrall to the glamour of geography. Stephen and Gabriella pursue each other through Clare and Kerry to Venice and back. The course of true love never did run smooth, but the bumps here prove none too discouraging. --Claire Dederer

From Publishers Weekly

Williams, a gifted Irish writer, was known only for nonfiction until his first novel Four Letters of Love reaped a chorus of praise (including a PW Best Books accolade) a couple of years ago. Now he has tried to repeat the trick, but unfortunately the freshness that leaped from the pages has become mere practiced calculation. His hero, Stephen Griffin, is a dim young man declining into premature senility as a history teacher, whose life is transformed by the rather improbable arrival of a beautiful but deeply unhappy young Italian violinist, Gabriella Castoldi, to play a concert at a little West Ireland hotel. Griffin is struck dumb with passion; since symptoms of magic realism abound, smells of white lilies and a general glowing aura convince those around him he is in love. Gabriella, emerging from an unhappy affair, decides to stay on in Ireland; Griffin meets her again and they have a fling; she goes back to Venice and finds she is pregnant; he follows but cannot find her; she comes back; finally, they carry out the wishes of an old blind seafarer (shades of Under Milk Wood's Captain Cat) and build a beautiful little music school by the sea. Williams is a felicitous phrasemaker, and he conjures up some lovely poetic images of weather and seascapes. Passages about the ineffable beauty of music and the emotional impact it can have are touching. But the sense of delighted surprise that was so constant in Letters is notably absent; the story is far more rigidly structured, and the characters, from Stephen's poor dad dying of cancer and trying to give his money away, to a chirpy lady who keeps a greengrocer shop and knows what fruits to sell for all ills of the heart, are tired clich?s. There are pleasures here for those who enjoy the equivalent of a beautifully photographed, sad movie, but Williams had seemed capable of much more. Literary Guild and Doubleday Book Club alternates; author tour.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc.

More About the Author

Discover books, learn about writers, read author blogs, and more.

Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
5 star
22
4 star
3
3 star
3
2 star
3
1 star
0
See all 31 customer reviews
This is a delightful book and I would highly recommend it.
Martha
This book wonderfully reminds us that what is most loved is most precious.
Cipriano
Love is strong, love can live through everything, love can do everything.
Britt Arnhild Lindland

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 20, 2002
Format: Paperback
"As It Is In Heaven" is my favorite Niall Williams book. Part of the reason it is my favorite is the fact that it takes place in Ireland and in Venice...two of my favorite places in the world. And Ireland and Venice are perfect locales for this story with its distinctly fairy tale quality. There is magic in "As It Is In Heaven" and it is definitely Irish magic.
The characters in this book are all emotionally and spiritually damaged, but then who isn't? Still, Philip, Stephen and Gabriella seem to be a little more damaged and vulnerable to pain than are most and they really come to life in this book. Williams does a superb job of baring their souls and letting us share in their emotions.
Philip Griffin is a man who blames himself for the death of his wife and young daughter many years ago (although he is blameless). Stephen, his son, now thirty-two, was raised and loved by his father, but it is clear that the loss of his mother has affected him deeply. He is a man who knows "the fine skills of walking in empty rooms and being aware of the ghosts." Although the story isn't predictable, its theme is clear: this is a story about the redemptive power of love, the power of love to heal, to make whole.
Stephen feels his life begin to heal when he meets the beautiful Venetian violinist, Gabriella Castoldi. Gabriella is a women who is fighting ghosts of her own. An "expectancy of grief" hovers over her at all times; it is so powerful it even affects those with whom she interacts.
This is a story that could so easily have fallen into the very maudlin. And sometimes Williams does give in to the temptation to write a little over-the-top. Love doesn't heal all wounds; it's no magic panacea of beauty and poetry and it can sometimes cause more problems than it solves.
Read more ›
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 9, 2000
Format: Hardcover
Clearly Williams thinks so. In FLOL and now in As it is in Heaven, through timing, coincidence, fate, whatever you want to call it, two finely drawn and extraordinary characters come upon each other and nothing is ever the same again. As in FLOL this is a novel of place where the Irish coast and its villages are vividly drawn by Williams' prose. The lovers are facinating - an unlikely but inevitable match but, more than in FLOL, As it is in Heaven is populated by several other wonderful characters - Steven's father with his rituals and faith, the Indian doctor, a fixture in the medical systems of all the old British dominions, the headmistress and the landlady and their assumptions. All made this a rich, satifying read. I laughed,I wept and I sighed. For me, this book explored "fated" lovers with more complexity than FLOL, a natural progression in this second novel. My experience with both has led me to trust Williams and suspend my need for the rational and the sensible - and believe that there are relationships where the attraction between two people is so powerful that it is impossible to contemplate a life where they do not connect. I savoured every bit of it and can hardly wait for the next set of explorations.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Arry Tanusondjaja on August 18, 2000
Format: Paperback
Niall Williams can really string up words and feelings together into a magical story. Yes, he is a hardcore romantic, however, his story comes out sweet and intoxicating, and not soppy and predictable. I read "Four Letters of Love" and got hooked up with his style of writing. This is a story of somebody who is gripped by love that he is willing to chase his dream ... the story of a sad violinist called Gabriella Castoldi and a lonely teacher called Stephen Griffin, and how Divine intervention plays a part in their relationship ...
If you like imaginative, romantic story, and you want to smile or cry because you can remember yourself being in that position before, and having it narrated in such a beautiful way, do get a copy of "As it is in Heaven", or better still, give it to your loved one!
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 19, 1999
Format: Hardcover
There should be a big buzz over this book and this author - Where is Oprah when you really need her? Williams' writing is absolutely breathtaking. It was so good that I literally had to take "rests" between chapters to savor what I had read. This is a wonderful follow-up to The Four Letters of Love which I also highly recommend.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on August 27, 2001
Format: Paperback
Niall Williams can write. His metaphors are pure magic- a cuilinary feast for the mind. For those who want to explore the beauty of Ireland- its people and its land, this is a wonderful way to visit. This story is about love lost and found, it is about hope gone and rediscovered, and it is about the connections we make with one another and how seemingly insignificant acts can send ripples far beyond where one might imagine. I suffered two huge personal losses this spring and hadn't been able to read for months... this book allowed me to open that door once again- it is that beautifully written. If you are a discerning consumer of the written word, don't miss out on this lovely book.
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Quan Lam on September 3, 1999
Format: Hardcover
I really loved both "Four Letters Of Love" and Niall Williams' newest "As It Is In Heaven." I think many of those who have read this book and reviewed it looked too deeply into the meaning of the book. And thus many of you were expecting too much from it, hoping that it would be similiar to Four Letters Of Love. But where would originality come from if Williams were to write his books exactly the same? One reviewer said that it was too painful for her to read that Stephen was simply in love, that Stephen as Williams wrote "..was in love". Why does love have to contain confusion, torment, and hurt to prove that in fact it is love? I felt what Stephen had and knew he could possess for Gabriella throughout the book and when he simply said to her over the phone that he loved her, it could not have been more moving and powerful to hear a man say those words to a woman without any other word needed to be spoken. I loved this book and it is simple as that. I could not put it down. Love can be the simplest emotion to feel and to present to another person. Niall Williams shows this through Stephen and his character's never ending love for the one woman he has ever loved, Gabriella. Why is that so hard to see?
Comment Was this review helpful to you? Yes No Sending feedback...
Thank you for your feedback. If this review is inappropriate, please let us know.
Sorry, we failed to record your vote. Please try again

Product Images from Customers

Most Recent Customer Reviews

Search
ARRAY(0xa238c4a4)

What Other Items Do Customers Buy After Viewing This Item?