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The Island of the World Paperback – June 15, 2010
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"In Michael O'Brien's new novel we feel the mystery and theology palpitating on every page without ever feeling that the deeper meaning is obstructing the momentum of the plot. The genius of O'Brien is that he does not wear his theological heart on his sleeve but lets its pulse provide the unobtrusive rhythm to which the story dances. This is storytelling at its most sublime" -- -Joseph Pearce Author, Literary Converts.
"It is difficult to know where to turn for noble enough analogies in speaking of this book. Michael O'Brien has achieved both a seriousness and a delicacy, that is not to be taken lightly. I wonder whether we are going to find Mr. O'Brien's name taking its place along with those of Mauriac and Bernanos before too long?" -- -Thomas Howard Author, Dove Descending: A Journey into T.S. Eliot's Four Quartets
"Michael O'Brien has done it again. Penetrating, incisive, lyrical and startlingly clear and crisp, this is a novel that obliges readers to think, think and think again. Unlike so many of his literary contemporaries, the author has something to say that is not only new but is intensely important. Every writer, teacher, thinker and politician should be obliged to read Michael O'Brien. If they did so, the world would be a far better place." -- -Michael Coren Author, C. S Lewis: The Man Who Created Narnia
"There is a kind of historical novel that may appear less a work of conventional fiction than an acute recollection of intimate personal stories, gathered secretly and then, in contemplative solitude, softly woven together with prophetic insight. When such a weave is spun on the right writerly loom, underthreaded with prayer of a mystical intensity, something far more deeply discerning than typical historical fiction can result. Island of the World offers a rich but unsettling fabric, the lovely and the terrible together, evoking not only the social tragedy and horribly tested piety of 20thC Croatia, but the fragile beauty of holiness in a time of adversity anywhere." -- -David Lyle Jeffrey Author, People of the Book
"You will not want to put this book down until you finish it, and you will continue to live in it even after you close its covers. This story will change you. It will make you a wiser, better person. Is there any greater, rarer success we can hope for in a mere book than that?" -- - Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Boston College Author, The Philosophy of Tolkien --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Michael D. O'Brien, iconographer, painter, and writer, is the popular author of many best-selling novels including Father Elijah, The Father's Tale, Eclipse of the Sun, Sophia House, Theophilos, and Island of the World. His novels have been translated into twelve languages and widely reviewed in both secular and religious media in North America and Europe.
Top customer reviews
Josip Lasta is a very believable and moving character and 'Island of the World' traces his journey of self discovery through his childhood during World War II into contemporary times. Josip’s story is a story fraught with hard times and lots of suffering—and here, I advise the more sensitive reader that there are some mature scenes depicting the violence of war (done tactfully by Mr. O’Brien). But more importantly, this story is about the triumph of the human spirit in even some of the most deplorable circumstances of human life. Josip is confronted over and over again by the sorrows that life (and fallen human nature) can bring: war, death, betrayal, etc., yet he marches on and encounters persons who change his life and demonstrate to him the existence and power of virtue, especially love.
The book is simply one man's life story. Born in the mountains of Croatia this book takes you soaring into the heights and will absolutely devastate you at other moments.
"We are born, we eat, and learn, and die. We leave a tracery of messages in the lives of others, a little shifting of the soil, a stone moved from here to there, a word uttered, a song, a poem left behind. I was here, each of these declare. I was here."
It will open your eyes to the joys of incredibly rich and vibrant culture and it will also open your eyes to the horrors that were committed by the people in that same culture.
"A man suffers injustice. He resents it, and his resentment grows and grows and becomes anger. Anger, if it is fed, then becomes hatred. Hatred, if fed, opens the soul to evil spirits. And when they possess a man, he becomes capable of any atrocity. Afterward, he will not know how or why he became like that."
The author of this book not only intends to open your eyes to the richness and meaning that this life has - but in the end - he opens your eyes to the richness and meaning that this life has because of the ultimate reality of the One who made us and made this world and is actively at work in this world.
"Seldom have I encountered the few who are awake, who cast their gaze to the real foundations, which, as human beings should know, are above."
I don't even know what more to say. The book is extremely well written. It is quite long (800+) yet can be a surprisingly quick read, if you become as rapt as I did. As you read you will be caused to think. This is a very good thing indeed.
Most recent customer reviews
I'm on to the next book by O'BRIEN
So far i have enjoyed 'll his...Read more