Friday, May 23, 2008

Island of the World

Michael D. O'Brien

Just finished Michael D. O'Brien's huge new novel 'Island of the World' - two plane journey's help with an 800 + page book! It is a truly remarkable novel - it is really the story of a soul, encompassing the life of one Croatian man who lives through the horrors of the Second World War, Communism and finally the false peace we now live in. O'Brien is a very interesting man - he is, as Ronald Knox said in his panygeric for Belloc, such a man who sees "the evils of our time in a clear light." Looking at his website, he speaks and writes eloquently and with great passion - he is an artist and a novelist. He also clearly believes we are living in, if not the end times, times dangerously close. He, along with Pope John Paul and Pope Benedict (he keeps good company!), sees the great danger of the apathy of the Christian West as consumerism and materialism prepare the way for the tyranny of the dictatorship of relativism. As Great Britain just passed laws allowing the creation of human/animal hybrids, denied the role of fathers and continued to allow the murder of babies, even though the chattering classes, both outside and inside the Church, will roll their eyes and sigh at all this apocalyptic nonsense, a quote from Pope St. Pius X comes to hand: "In our times more than ever before the greatest asset of the evilly disposed is the cowardice and weakness of good men, and all the vigour of Satan's reign is due to the easygoing weakness of Catholics." We could add: the "easygoing weakness of Catholics" - Bishops, priests - and people.


Liz said...

A couple of books I love to read when I'm feeling rather negative about things are two of Michael O'Brien's Plague Journal and Eclipse of the Sun. I like his other books as well, but those two are inspiring in part because being set in nearby Canada and with situations that seem all too current, they really speak volumes to me. In these books there are characters who behave with courage and faith and who learn to fight their own personal shortcomings as well as the forces allied against them. They encourage me because there are orthodox priests and bishops as well as orthodox laity, but there are also those who have been lulled by the media who are suddenly stirred into action.

There are some pretty unlikely heroes and heroines in The Eclipse of the Sun, but then God seems to choose some pretty unlikely people to be canonized as saints as well.

I'm glad that you appreciate O'Brien's work. I'm just sorry that he is appreciated by so few of my friends. Hopefully your recommendation will get more people reading him.

WhiteStoneNameSeeker said...

I don't know this book. I'll have a look for it. I've read the other ones and although at times I think he could do with a bit of editing-they are wonderful books full of truth.

In the UK Catholics seem largely apathetic while horror upon horror is unleashed in our country. But the other side are not apathetic and they will spit poison and fire at the slightest provocation.

I sometimes think we are in a time where I must think about how to protect my children-physically as well as morally.
Pray for us

Padre Steve said...

I have read some of his books before and always found them interesting. Thanks for reminding me of this book. I will give it a shot! God bless! Padre Steve

Mac McLernon said...

I really LOVED this book... I took it with me when I went on retreat back in April.

Definitely an author to watch out for!