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War in Heaven, A Novel Paperback – January 1, 2004
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Top Customer Reviews
"War in Heaven," much like the story of humanity, is all about the invasion of the supernatural--the divine and the demonic--into the mundane settings of everyday life.
Charles Williams has a keen sense of what Thoreau called the "lives of quiet desperation" that most people live. The characters in "War in Heaven" are plagued by everyday demons long before they encounter any exceptional ones...Williams takes these lives, and in a most un-quiet way...builds an entrancing story--one that shakes the reader to the core.
This is one of the scariest books I've read in a long while. The presence of evil is palpably felt in the antagonist of the book...a very creepy kind of evil...not your run of the mill stuff.
I don't want to spoil the plot (not to mention that the plot is a little hard to describe-owing to the fact that so much of what is import in this book has little to do with story line--so much of it is "in the moment.") So all I will say here is that the conclusion is well worth the "dry spots" one finds in the prose. It is one of the most beautifully written scenes I have ever come across in English Literature.
I recommend this book...but not to the faint of heart.
CW's poetry may miss the mark of some poetic standard, but even now I can recite pieces from Taliessin Through Logres, while I usually find modern poetry uninspiring. His plays may not hold up well in some conventional sense of what plays are supposed to be, but they contain some of the most quotable lines I've ever read, and I would drive to the next state to see one put on. His novels may be dismissed as dense and obscure, but they are among the most gripping books I've ever read. War in Heaven isn't his best novel--that would be All Hallows Eve-- yet it's my favorite. I'm finally up to the point of saying why.
Some college lit classes read Descent into Hell because it takes place on a number of well-defined levels. War in Heaven has wheels within wheels as well, but they aren't so clearly defined. It's not quite his easiest to read novel--that would be Many Dimensions--but it's still one of the easiest. Of all his novels, War in Heaven perhaps falls over into the most categories--it's a supernatural thriller that is sort of a detective novel, kind of a suspense novel, in a way about relationships, about self-growth, spiritual search and discovery, but not in a traditional sense.
Everything that conventional novels are supposed to be these novels are not, which is why people like me who have no desire to read the bestsellers at the supermarket checkout stand yet find themselves taken with Williams' novels.Read more ›
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Charles Williams can be read on at least two levels...one is as entertainment with a twist of history .....but there is also a profound spiritual dimension..... Read morePublished 1 month ago by Amazon Customer
A novel in the form of a thriller, the author exposes the spiritual forces within the physical world and anti-Christian beliefs in a modern version of the Holy Grail. Read morePublished 2 months ago by iamnotjosh
Written in a way reminiscent of Chesterton and Doyle! Dark and mysterious was William's way as knowing he dabbled with the Golden Dawn. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Chris Ringler
Didn't like the language or insinuations.... quite reading before end of 1st chapter.Published 8 months ago by Kindle Customer
War in Heaven was recommended to me as the book to try if you've not read a Charles Williams novel, as I hadn't. Read morePublished 9 months ago by James G. Bruen Jr.
Nothing is similar to the 7 novels of Charles Williams ...lesser known member of the Inklings ...with JRR TOLKIEN, DOROTHY SAYERS, CS LEWIS...Published 14 months ago by Kindle Customer