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A Landscape with Dragons: The Battle for Your Child's Mind Paperback – January 1, 1998


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 261 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press; Rev Exp edition (January 1, 1998)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898706785
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898706789
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #414,627 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Good literature is a great welcoming to have in the adventure of such exposure.
Kristine
Our culture is in motion, changing form, calling evil good and good evil, and many who are committed to 'good' are embracing the new forms as acceptable.
Watching from Missouri
This book has given me another lens to look at literature and film through, another tool to appreciate their worth (or lack thereof).
Isaac Police

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

128 of 137 people found the following review helpful By David Zampino VINE VOICE on October 4, 2000
Format: Paperback
In this volume, Michael O'Brien has provided both and invaluable service to parents (like myself) who want their children to read, but who are also concerned about much of the reading material currently available. He has analyzed children's literature, concentrating especially in the genre of fantasy and fairy story. He has clearly and cogently demonstrated how neo-paganism has become the dominant worldview of many authors in this genre.
Unlike many Christian authors, O'Brien has not made the mistake of throwing the baby out with the bath water. He does not lump all fantasy literature together in one category and toss it out. He carefully demonstrates the difference between good and bad fantasy literature, or, if you will, authentic and inauthentic fairy stories.
I do have a few points of contention, but they are minor, and detract very little from the overall value of the book.
1) CS Lewis is identified correctly as an Anglican -- a member of the Church of England -- but incorrectly as a member of that church's Evangelical wing. Lewis, in fact, attended a "High Church" parish, and strongly resisted political factions within churches.
2) JRR Tolkien is correctly held up as the model by which modern fantasy and fairy story should be judged. Having said this, very little actual analysis is provided for Tolkien's writings.
3) Similarly, in the book's "blurb", Charles Williams is held up -- but then not analyzed in the text. An analysis of Williams would have made O'Brien's concerns about Lewis' novel "That Hideous Strength" make more sense. (I'd still disagree with O'Brien on this one, but his case would have been stronger and easier to sensibly defend.
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46 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Maillew on September 8, 2004
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
An excellent and inspiring book. I use the word "inspiring" in the old fashioned sense of "it made me take action" not merely "it made me feel good."

I re-read this book every year or so, not only to dip into the wonderful appendix of recommended books, but to rekindle my courage and dedication to raising my sons. O'Brien writes in mythic tones as he recommends mythic literature. The old stories dealt with "powers and principalities" of good and evil, and O'Brien reminds us that it is ever so. Our children become flush-faced and wide-eyed at such stories, but we have allowed ourselves to be diluted and deluded into thinking that gray is the only reality. We lose not only black and white, but the primary colors as well!

O'Brien is a Catholic, a Christian - and is both unapologetic and unobtrusive with his convictions. That is, he makes clear the traditional rationale for his thinking, but the reader neither has to agree nor adopt those convictions to come to the same conclusions.

There are some books which one revisits again and again, and some authors you look forward to meeting and talking with. This book (and his Sojourners novels) and this author are in that category.
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41 of 43 people found the following review helpful By Paul Stilwell on May 29, 2001
Format: Paperback
I'm a single twenty year old who has no children. I had read all of O'Briens fiction novels and was thirsting for anything by Michael O'Brien. So I bought A Landscape With Dragons and read it twice over completely enthralled with what I was reading. All of my sneaking suspicions and intuitions about the culture I basically grew up with were not only confirmed, but were enfleshed, and brought out in way that was spiritually horrifying yet courageous in Michael O'Briens sustaining, powerful, sinewy way. But again, as in all of O'Briens work, one is thankful that he doesn't simply do right-wing hugging. No, he convincingly calls us to prayer and implants succesfully, as always, that ferment and spear in our conscience. Chesterton is always for me, a huge formation in the way of looking. O'Brien is always for me, a huge formation in the way of seeking sanctity in order to be looked upon.
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43 of 49 people found the following review helpful By Watching from Missouri on June 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
The essential message of this book is that minds are at war for the redefinition of the way you and your children will think, and by implication, children of generations to come.
Traditional fairie tales expressed the influence the unseen world has on the world in which we live, but did so within the framework of a clear understanding of good and evil, right and wrong. Today's fairie tale is blurring the defining lines between these elements and creating a powerful, new (yet ancient) understanding that is degrading moral conscience and inviting young people to explore powers traditionally understood to belong to the 'dark side'. They even encourage friendship with any 'good' denizens of that dark side.
The original edition of this book was sub-titled "Christian and pagan imagination in children's literature." The second edition more clearly focuses on the immediate problem with its sub-title, "The battle for your child's mind." I read the original edition and was thrilled with the clear presentation of the dangers. This second edition is even more in-depth in its handling of the concepts and issues.
The reviewers of this book who speak negatively seem the rightful victims of the very forces exposed in the book. They give clear evidence of missing the point.
The point is not, "Are all snakes bad? Aren't any dragons good?" The point is that there is a malevolent mind, unrelenting, intent on destruction, at work at every level in our world, especially operative with tremendous effect in modern literature and visual media. To miss this point is to be a victim of the hypnotic forces of deception.
Those who read C.S.
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