Customer Reviews


187 Reviews
5 star:
 (152)
4 star:
 (23)
3 star:
 (8)
2 star:
 (2)
1 star:
 (2)
 
 
 
 
 
Average Customer Review
Share your thoughts with other customers
Create your own review
 
 

The most helpful favorable review
The most helpful critical review


106 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sets a new standard for apocalyptic literature
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...
Published on February 6, 2004 by Robert Knetsch

versus
18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Malachi Martin was right!!!
This is a difficult book for me to evaluate; here are some thoughts I had after reading Father Elijah several times.
Michael O'Brien has been compared to Dostoevsky, a natural and unavoidable association. Chapters 11 and 12 of Father Elijah, The Confession/Another Confession, is gripping prose straight outta Eastern Europe, heady philosophy dispensed by two...
Published on November 8, 2002


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

106 of 109 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Sets a new standard for apocalyptic literature, February 6, 2004
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


72 of 73 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Apocalypse Novel I've Ever Read, June 15, 2000
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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


65 of 67 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Leave Left Behind and Cling to Children of the Last Days!!!, July 22, 2004
By 
Dr. (Montgomery, Alabama United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (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!
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


34 of 35 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Man of Sorrows, November 25, 2010
By 
Daniel C. Harlow (Grand Rapids, MI USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (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. He remains the Man of Sorrows Acquainted with Grief, one who not only suffered and died once for all but who ever lives to make intercession for us. He works through broken vessels like you and me, but only when we willingly attach ourselves to him by dying to ourselves in a thousand little ways each day. I met Jesus again in this book. I saw him as one who still strives with every creature under heaven, eager to sweep up all of humanity into the love and fellowship of the Triune God.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


32 of 33 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars the Catholic answer to Pullman?, November 4, 2004
By 
F. Roberts (London England) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (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.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


29 of 30 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Coming to a movie screen near you..., May 12, 2000
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (Paperback)
What a page turner this one is. A priest is called out of seclusion at a monastery by the Pope (a thinly disguised Pope John Paul II) for a spiritual mission. The book follows his re-entry into a world that has strayed far from the one he abandoned when he entered the monastery. The Count Smokerev section of the book is like a novelette within the novel and tells an unforgettable, beautiful story of sin and mercy and redemption. This book is an apocalypse. Not the apocalypse, but a fictional apocalypse. The ending in some ways is a little bit unsatisfactory in that the story is so compelling you want it to keep going on and on. A brilliant piece of fiction.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Praise from a Protestant, August 22, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (Paperback)
A deeply enjoyable, thought-provoking book. Insightful, simply-written, intelligent. At times disturbing. You will likely regard this as among the best fiction books in your library. If not quite "literature," Father Elijah is a world beyond popular novels. Steeped in Catholic thought and orthodoxy, the tale helped me, a Protestant evangelical Christian, better understand my Catholic friends. This book unfailingly exalts Christ. Bravo, Mr. O'Brien.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great suspense story with theological depth!, April 26, 1999
By 
James C. Woods (Toms River, New Jersey) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (Paperback)
Father Elijah is an accomplished piece of narrative writing. The author does a superb job of crafting the inner spiritual life of a contemporary priest/monk who is fully engaged in the great theological and moral issues of the 20th century. For all Christians (not only Roman Catholics) the narrative is a convincing portrayal of what it is like to live through a period of profound theological confusion, danger and apostasy. The crises created by modern Romanticism linked with philosophical monism are presented in a riveting suspense format. O'Brien helps us to see that these crises did not end with the fall of Nazism in WWII but rather have become endemic in the culture of Western Europe, Russian and the United States. And makes bid to extend its grip to the rest of the world. Described by some as the 'Culture of Narcissism', O'Brien details its inherently totalitarian character. This story has made me a fan of Michael O'Brien and his fresh perspective on our times. He enters a pantheon of writers--including Flannery O'Connor, Walker Percy, and G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis--from whom I have derived literary pleasure and spiritual sustenance. My wife was enthralled with Father Elijah and she commends it to everyone she speaks to!
Jim Woods
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dostoyevsky would be proud!, December 13, 1999
By 
This review is from: Father Elijah: An Apocalypse (Paperback)
This is really the kind of book that the literate Christian has been looking for; far better than the fluffy Left Behind pabulum that pervades the Christian market. This book is far more than an apocalyptic thriller; it's an exploration of philosophy, theology, the problem of evil and suffering, with good historical perspective and psychological insight. Far more satisfying than anything published by LaHaye and Jenkins.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, fascinating novel, October 1, 2001
Father Elijah Schaefer, Holocaust survivor and former Jew, is called out of his quiet contemplation by the Vatican, who seek to enlist his aid in determining the true intentions of a powerful European man known as the President. The Vatican suspects that this man may very well be the Antichrist, and sends Father Elijah on a mission: Determine the truth about the President, and if their worst fears prove to be realized, then attempt to bring him to repentance in order to delay the Great Tribulation and allow the salvation of as many souls as possible. Once inside the huddle of powerful men and women that surround the enigmatic leader, Elijah meets Anna Benedetti, a widow whose sharp intellect proves to be a match for his own. Soon, he finds himself drawn to this woman both intellectually and romantically, and finds his faith severely tested by the dying Count Smokrev, whose depravity seems to know no bounds. As he learns more about the real nature of the President, he finds a web of evil slowly closing around him, threatening all he holds dear. A stunning tale, richly plotted and layered with intelligent dialogue and a fervent, palpable faith; an urgent, apocalyptic story that is both politically and culturally viable and biblically accurate. Less literal than many other end-times novel, with fascinating, memorable characters, Father Elijah moves at a brisk pace, spurred by a strong plot and sound moral and spiritual elements familiar to all Christians; one doesn't have to be Catholic to recognize many of the themes presented here: faith, love, hope, redemption, spiritual warfare for the souls of humankind. Father Elijah is a wonderful protagonist, a man whose deep faith hides many scars from his former life, before the priesthood. His attraction to Anna is not a mere plot fabrication, but the natural outgrowth of a relationship that begins as intellectual camaraderie and grows into a deep and beautiful friendship. Anna is also fascinating, a humanistic counter to Elijah's fervent faith. They are alike, yet different; their debates and disagreements on humanity make for good reading, helping propel some of the slower sections of the book. Miracles and apparitions are commonplace, emanations of divine will that seem to come at random, yet are logical expressions of the plot and the ultimate direction that O'Brien wishes to take the story. The subplot involving the corrupt Count Smokrev is a story unto itself, a fascinating look at forgiveness and absolution. The book's theology, of course, is very Catholic, but Protestant readers will find familiar ground in the use of Revelations and the strong sense of divinely-inspired morality presented within. One may quibble with the occasional bits of evangelism employed by O'Brien, but mostly the book presents arguments (though debatable) that are theologically and biblically solid. Excellent work--like Walter Miller's "A Canticle for Liebowitz," a haunting book that will stay with me for a long time.
Help other customers find the most helpful reviews 
Was this review helpful to you? Yes No


‹ Previous | 1 219 | Next ›
Most Helpful First | Newest First

Details

Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
Father Elijah: An Apocalypse by Michael D. O'Brien (Paperback - November 1, 1997)
$19.95 $15.05
In Stock
Add to cart Add to wishlist
Search these reviews only
Send us feedback How can we make Amazon Customer Reviews better for you? Let us know here.