Thursday, 22 November 2007

I'm a third of the way through it and it's great !!!

Father Elijah : An Apocalypse

by Michael O'Brien

Michael O'Brien presents a thrilling apocalyptic novel about the condition of the Roman Catholic Church at the end of time. It explores the state of the modern world, and the strengths and weaknesses of the contemporary religious scene, by taking his central character, Father Elijah Schäfer, a Carmelite priest, on a secret mission for the Vatican which embroils him in a series of crises and subterfuges affecting the ultimate destiny of the Church.

Father Elijah is a convert from Judaism, a survivor of the Holocaust, a man once powerful in Israel. For twenty years he has been "buried in the dark night of Carmel" on the mountain of the prophet Elijah. The Pope and the Cardinal Secretary of State call him out of obscurity and give him a task of the highest sensitivity: to penetrate into the inner circles of a man whom they believe may be the Antichrist. Their purpose: to call the Man of Sin to repentance, and thus to postpone the great tribulation long enough to preach the Gospel to the whole world.

In this richly textured tale, Father Elijah crosses Europe and the Middle East, moves through the echelons of world power, meets saints and sinners, presidents, judges, mystics, embattled Catholic journalists, faithful priests and a conspiracy of traitors within the very House of God. This is an apocalypse in the old literary sense, but one that was written in the light of Christian revelation.

"I've read thousands of books, and this is one of the great ones. I hope tens of thousands read it, and are shaken as I have been. It's a novel that grips one like a thriller -- indeed it is a thriller, but also something far deeper. There are love and friendship, interwoven with drama, but what it is essentially is faith, faith in the Christ."

— Sheldon Vanauken, Author, A Severe Mercy

"Father Elijah is that rare thing, a great novel which is also a testimony to orthodox Catholicism. But it is more even than this. Basing himself squarely on Scripture and human experience, O'Brien has produced a prophetic work and a manual of spiritual warfare. This compelling masterpiece will stretch your imagination in the right direction. Read it and pray."

— Stratford Caldecott, Centre for Faith and Culture, Oxford

"I guarantee you that once you take up this book you will not put it down until the end of the world. Here is a meaty page-turner with the pace of a thriller, beautifully written, and that something more that turns entertainment into literature."

— Ralph McInerny, Author, Fr. Dowling Mysteries

"… offers up a tale that is satirical, sly, and fast-paced."


"A joy to read. Smoothly crafted, the characters came to life for me. It is a classic story, told in an inspired, inspirational way … wonderfully uplifting."

—Larry Bond, Author, Red Phoenix

Michael O'Brien is the editor of Nazareth Journal, a Catholic family magazine, and the author of four books. He writes and lectures widely on the topic of faith and culture, and has been a full-time artist for 20 years with paintings displayed in Churches and museums across North America. He lives with his wife and children in Combermere, Ontario.


Marianne said...

This is rather a cult book! I first read it in 2000, have now read it five times, and passed it on to a dozen different people. Last summer while studying at Franciscan Steubenville I had the whole of my class reading it and having Fr Elijah discussions in the evening! Very spiritual book,each time I go back I get something more from it. By the way the orthodox Catechetical Institute near the M42 which Billy refers to is Maryvale where I did my degree studies.
In my work in the Church I sometimes find myself having a 'Fr Elijah' moment, so much of what he writes is prophetic.
By the way I love your blog and your comments on Holy Smoke.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Every time I buy a copy of this book I end up giving it to someone else. And then I have to buy another copy. ( And I'm also a new and regular visitor to your blog and look out for your comments on Holy Smoke. Looks like you've got a little following going!)

Anonymous said...

Never mind Fr Elijah. Have you writen chapter 2 of An Orthodox Boy yet ? Well ??

On the side of the angels said...

Anonymity ??
Tell you what I'll do :
In the meantime while I'm discussing/discerning/deliberating I'll post a few chapters of a novel I started years ago....give me a couple of days- It's on our grotty old computer in the loft and I'll have to enter the dreaded dank hellhole and hope it's still working...

On the side of the angels said...

p.s. thanks to all - you're really too sweet - deluded: but sweet...

Anonymous said...

Listen, Angel person, I don`t think you understand. Forget the grotty computer in the loft... start with a clean piece of paper on chapter 2 of that book that you posted the first chpater of a while back. That chapter contains all the germ ingredients of the future characters and plot of a novel that is about Ortodox Catholicism.. only this could end up as a best-seller on the Whsmith list next Christmas, instead of sitting in a flippin loft as a work of theology. Am I making myself understood ? THIS IS A NOVEL. For God's sake, write it. You can write, can`t you ?? what are you frightened of ? Please get on with it. Six am shifts mean you`re home by 3 pm. Get writing.