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Comment: Book is in VERY GOOD condition. Pages are crisp and there appears to be no highlights, notations, or underlining. Cover has only moderate signs of use.
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Plague Journal Paperback – August, 2003

4.7 out of 5 stars 48 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Why couldn't I put this book down? Its characters are unforgettable; its author makes simple goodness winsome, even heroic; and its social indictment is as important as that of Brave New World."

-- Peter Kreeft, Author, Back to Virtue



"This is a novel of hope about failed loves, failed lives, and, yes, failed societies. Yet, it touches the heart of things in the lives of those whom O'Brien calls "children of the last days." This is a gripping 'adventure' of Tolkien inspired human beings against bureaucratic 'Conditioners', as C.S. Lewis called them." ---- James V. Schall, S.J. Author, The Order of Things



"More realistic than fantastic, this is a suspenseful tale of a family's heroic struggle to survive in an afflicted world. Plague Journal is an account of the effect of a spiritual and social pestilence in twentieth century Canada. O'Brien understands what plagues do to society, to friendship and to family. A story that is gripping, moving and enlightening."

---J. Christopher Corkery, G.K. Chesterton Institute

About the Author

O'Brien taught at the University of Arkansas until 1987. He is now Phillip R. Shriver Professor of History at Miami University of Ohio.
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Product Details

  • Series: Children of the Last Days
  • Paperback: 275 pages
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press (August 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0898709814
  • ISBN-13: 978-0898709810
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 7.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 0.3 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (48 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #263,546 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Tim Drake VINE VOICE on May 12, 2000
Format: Hardcover
First, if you're going to read O'Brien, I recommend reading his novels in this order. 1. Father Elijah, 2. Strangers and Sojourners, 3. Plague Journal, 4. Eclipse of the Sun. Although they were not published in this order it will make the most sense from a chronological standpoint. Certain characters resurface.
The Plague Journal is the journal of conservative newspaper editor Nathaniel Delaney, his friendship with a local doctor, and his attempts to escape, with his children, from a totalitarian Canadian government that seeks to silence him.
As usual, O'Brien interjects just enough action to keep you reading, and just enough spirituality and theology to get you thinking. O'Brien is one of the finest Catholic journalists of the 20th century.
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By A Customer on March 18, 1999
Format: Hardcover
Artist and author Michael O'Brien has again proved himself to be a master of the writing craft, and one of the most original and creative writers of the late 20th century. Plague Journal, the second of his Children of the Last Days trilogy, continues the story of the Delaney family in Rocky Mountain British Columbia, from the persona and perspective of Nathaniel, now a middle-aged father and editor of a "conservative" newspaper. As the hidden totalitarian government cracks down on him for "hate-crimes", setting him up to be a child abuser and even murderer, he attempts to escape the madness by fleeing into the Canadian wilderness with his two children. The story, albeit filled with many flashbacks and the thoughts and ideas of the protagonist (actually the author's, thinkly disguised), takes place over only five days, as opposed to the 50+ years of its predeccessor, Strangers and Sojournours. The book maintains a pleasurable balance between fast-paced action and O'Brien's trademark gift of spiritual and philosophical insight and commentary. Plague Journal easily stands as the author's most explicit warning against modernism gone haywire: social engineering, abortion, technology-worship, television addication, the numbing of the imagination and intellect, and the possibility that these conditions may make us vulnerable to the arising of a thinly-disguised, "benign" totalitarianism, which, O'Brien conjectures, would operate under a facade of democracy, but in reality, force its will and world-view upon the people. This story includes all the necessary ingredients of a great tale: action, wit, unforgettable characters, pathos and even tragedy, but it is filled (especially towards the end), with a sense of hope, and the ultimate victory of light.Read more ›
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Format: Hardcover
I found it impossible to set Plague Journal down once I began reading it. The unease that I have felt for so many years began to take on a face as I followed this wonderfull story. I began to diagnose the illness that has plagued me, the discomfort that politically correct fascisim has thrust upon me. We in the west have been increasingly held hostage to the unreal and driven into a madness that numbs our souls. Obrien's story shows us the source of that madness and points to the antidote with a faith that shines bright in the face of the bureaucratic mundanity of evil.
I am a pretty rough guy. I have been to war and learned that you do not cry if you wish to survive. Reading this book caused me to weep once more, not for the sadness but for the message of joy, forgivness and the inevitable triumph of the light that sings through its pages
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Format: Hardcover
Michael O'Brien has a tendency to overwrite his books (one of his very few flaws as a writer). But in Plague Journal, he reined himself in (or finally got an editor who did) and the result is a book that is no less packed with plot tension, cultural criticism, and character development than his other tomes.
The middle book of a trilogy of books about the Delaney family (starting with Strangers and Sojourners and ending with Eclipse of the Sun), Plague Journal also fits within O'Brien's larger series, which he calls Children of the Last Days. The first of those is the explosive novel Father Elijah.
While Plague Journal is my personal favorite. I recommend reading it after Father Elijah and Strangers and Sojourners, since it needs the other two to provide its context in O'Brien's view of the Last Days.
And O'Brien's view is a bleak one. The government has become the tool of the antichrist, whether it knows it or not, and an honest journalist (even one who doesn't have a living faith in God) can't get an honest shake, but is hunted down.
Swift, sharp, and poigniant, O'Brien provides his readers with everything that Left Behind readers should have gotten but didn't and without all of the silly speculations. This is good literature that shapes the heart and the mind Christianly.
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Format: Hardcover
Can it happen here? Can a totalitarian state run by liberals, feminists, and new-agers take hold in North America? According to Nathaniel Delaney, the protaganist of "Plague Journal", it already has and if you don't conform to the new orthodoxies, you're quite expendable. While "Plague Journal" is a paranoid Christian polemic, it is redeemed by the hero's realization that anger, hatred, and solipsism have no place in a true Christian's response to evil. "Plague Journal" is the story of a man who loses everything but who re-discovers his faith in the depth of his sufferings. O'Brien is a skilled writer and an astute thinker. Despite the polemics, this is an amazing book. Kudos to Ignatius Press for publishing it, but it's too bad it hasn't gotten more attention from the literary media.
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