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Father Elijah: An Apocalypse Paperback – November 1, 1997

4.7 out of 5 stars 239 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"I've read thousands of books, and this is one of the great ones. I hope tens of thousands read it, and are shaken as I have been. It's a novel that grips one like a thriller -- indeed it is a thriller, but also something far deeper. There are love and friendship, interwoven with drama, but what it is essentially is faith, faith in the Christ." ---Sheldon Vanauken, Author, A Severe Mercy

"Father Elijah is that rare thing, a great novel which is also a testimony to orthodox Catholicism. But it is more even than this. Basing himself squarely on Scripture and human experience, O'Brien has produced a prophetic work and a manual of spiritual warfare. This compelling masterpiece will stretch your imagination in the right direction. Read it and pray." ---Stratford Caldecott, Centre for Faith and Culture, Oxford

"I guarantee you that once you take up this book you will not put it down until the end of the world. Here is a meaty page-turner with the pace of a thriller, beautifully written, and that something more that turns entertainment into literature." ---Ralph McInerny, Author, Fr. Dowling Mysteries
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 597 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Softcover Ed edition (November 1, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898706904
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898706901
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 1.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (239 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #30,323 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I'll be honest. Apocalyptic literature has not been my number one interest. Much of what I've read in this genre has seemed to be unbelievable; relying overmuch on the "fantastic". "Father Elijah" is different. Very different.
Item: The author has a good grasp on the apocalyptic books of Scripture -- better, even, than many "Bible Christians".
Item: The author has a good grasp on the inner workings of the Church.
Item: The author has a good grasp of current events. Because of this, he is able to posit believable scenarios.
Item: The author has an excellent grasp of the human heart and soul; what it means to serve God; what it means to live in obedience; and what it means to be a priest.
Item: Finally, the author has an excellent grasp of God's overwhelming desire for the redemption of all His creation -- and the free will to choose to accept -- or deny -- the redemptive offering.
"Father Elijah" is a must read. I give it my hearty endorsement.
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Format: Paperback
I these days of the Left Behind series literary fiasco, it is refreshing to read a book that is not only theologically thoughtful, but extrememly well written and fascinating. There is an odd but effective mixture of horror mixed with remarkably deep Christian meaning in addition to adept social commentary. Anyone who takes Christianity seriously and who has a certain amount of introspection (which the Left Behind series does NOT appeal to) will love this series.

A warning to my fellow protestants: this book is unabashedly Catholic. If you are uncomfortable with minor Mary veneration and a greater focus on relics, you may sometimes be annoyed. However, given the reality of history, this is an accurate reflection on a Catholic approach to Christianity. Moreover, it does not fail at being Christocentric.

Read and enjoy!
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Format: Paperback
While I am not a Catholic, I can recognize great literature when I read it. I read this book and now I'm well into the whole series. The author offers great characters, solid plots, powerful descriptions of the real struggle between good and evil. It is a sad commentary that the fictional Left Behind series has done so well and few people know about this far better series. I suppose that as long as comic books out sell great books then this will happen, but I call for all lovers of fine literature to push the fluff stuff aside, put down the shallow and empty Left Behind hype and read some real literature!
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Format: Paperback
Reading this book has been a spiritual experience for me. Only a few times in my life have I found myself reading a book that slowly penetrated the self-protective layers of my soul, and that led me at times to put it aside and just sort of groan in prayer. I am a Protestant, but reading this book makes me wish I were a Catholic. Roman Catholicism is so maligned in our day. The news media disclose scandal after scandal in the Church. Father Elijah does not deify the Church; indeed, it is very much aware that even the most committed Catholics, including those in the highest echelons of the Church's magisterium, are subject to the very same foibles and temptations that all human beings are--and even more so because they have an enemy of the soul eager to see them turn in on themselves instead of outward toward others. In reading this novel, though, I found myself powerfully attracted to the historic Roman Church as we see her spread throughout time and space. Like Eastern Orthodoxy, Roman Catholicism has crucial features that most varieties of Protestantism lack: a deep intellectual engagement with contemporary culture, a theology of the Cross and solidarity with the weak ones of this world, and a tradition of contemplative prayer and worship. I found myself strangely drawn to the main character in this work, mainly because the Carmelite priest Elijah bears in his whole being the marks of the Crucified One. One might almost say that Jesus Christ is really the central character of the story. He is at once the risen, exalted Lord and the Suffering Servant, with a heart of love that aches and throbs for communion with the whole creation -- a very real person whose presence in our midst is most evident, and most efficacious, in our weakness.Read more ›
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Format: Paperback
I did not like the look of this book. (Perhaps because I`m English) I am prejudiced about North American apocalyptic literature - religiosly and historically illiterate nonsense usually. And I didn`t like the dialogue as I skim-read the first few pages [actually I still don`t like a lot of the dialogue]. But the cover review from Stratford Caldecot and the fact that it camre from Ignatius won me over.

Thank God.

This is one of the most extraordinbary books written in recent decades. As Lewis said of THE LORD OF THE RINGS, this is lightning from a clear sky. Partly Dostoyevsky, partly Charles Williams or Lewis, imagine if you can a novel written by von Balthasar or Adrienne von Speyer. This in a way - though too difficult for most children - is the Catholic reply to Philip Pullman`s "war in Heaven" in HIS DARK MATERIALS. I want everyone I know to read this book.
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