Item description for The Island of the World by Michael D. O'Brien...
Overview Island of the World is the story of a child born in 1933 into the turbulent world of the Balkans and tracing his life into the third millennium. The central character is Josip Lasta, the son of an impoverished school teacher in a remote village high in the mountains of the Bosnian interior. As the novel begins, World War II is underway and the entire region of Yugoslavia is torn by conflicting factions: German and Italian occupying armies, and the rebel forces that resist them-the fascist Ustashe, Serb nationalist Chetniks, and Communist Partisans. As events gather momentum, hell breaks loose, and the young and the innocent are caught in the path of great evils. Their only remaining strength is their religious faith and their families. For more than a century, the confused and highly inflammatory history of former Yugoslavia has been the subject of numerous books, many of them rife with revisionist history and propaganda. The peoples of the Balkans live on the border of three worlds: the Islamic, the orthodox Slavic East, and Catholic Europe, and as such they stand in the path of major world conflicts that are not only geo-political but fundamentally spiritual. This novel cuts to the core question: how does a person retain his identity, indeed his humanity, in absolutely dehumanizing situations? In the life of the central character, the author demonstrates that this will demand suffering and sacrifice, heroism and even holiness. When he is twelve years old, his entire world is destroyed, and so begins a lifelong Odyssey to find again the faith which the blows of evil have shattered. The plot takes the reader through Josip's youth, his young manhood, life under the Communist regime, hope and loss and unexpected blessings, the growth of his creative powers as a poet, and the ultimate test of his life. Ultimately this novel is about the crucifixion of a soul-and resurrection. "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 "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
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Studio: Ignatius Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.2" Width: 6.04" Height: 2.38" Weight: 2.2 lbs.
Release Date Dec 1, 2007
Publisher Ignatius Press
ISBN 1586172166 ISBN13 9781586172169
Availability 0 units.
More About Michael D. O'Brien
Michael 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. He lives in Ontario with his wife, Sheila, and family.
Reviews - What do customers think about Island of the World?
Life-changing Aug 14, 2008
The Island of the World is so much more than a wonderful read. It is life-changing. The story of the earthly journey of the soul of Croatian Josip Lasta is so beautiful that there were times I wept.
There is nothing more I can add to indicate the profound power of this book. Read it.
A Novel of My Generation Aug 9, 2008
If you grew up, as I did, a child of the Cold War, and heard the stories of the repressive nature of Communism, then watched the Soviet system and empire fall apart, you might like this as much as I did. It follows a child of Croatia from WWII to contemporary times, chronicling his struggles and spiritual growth. The book is Roman Catholic to the core. Rather long, but it never seemed that way.
Magnificent!!! Jul 7, 2008
This book is a beautiful story of one man's journey through unthinkable tragedy to find love and meaning in life. O'Brien weaves parallels between his character development and the stories of the Iliad and the Odyssey. With rich symbolism and an astounding sense of literary genius, O'Brien has created a masterpiece, a work of art. I couldn't put it down and found myself pondering the mysteries of human suffering and existentialism as related to the Christian world view. Very captivating and thought provoking.
Island of the World Jun 29, 2008
Excellent! Should become a classic. I have read all of his other novels and they are also excellent. He is the greatest novelist and storyteller of our times and Josip Lasta (the main character)is an example of moral courage and character in overcoming life's trials. Should be assigned reading for all high school students.
A Powerful Read Jun 17, 2008
I wasn't sure what to expect from this large novel, but I didn't expect something that made me look at my own life a little closer.
O'Brien does a perfect job drawing the reader into the life of his characters. I found myself identifying with Josip Lasta even though we have very little in common. Throughout the entire novel, I couldn't wait to find out what happens to Josip next. I had to keep reading to find out if he finally achieves and keeps happiness.
The tales of life under a series of totalitarian regimes made me feel grateful for my freedoms, and reminded me to be more active in preserving them. Josip's grappling with faith was inspiring, and caused me to ponder my own spirituality at length. I tried--as best I could from a novel--to learn from how Josip interacted with the people in his life. All of it put together left me thinking, and wishing I could go right back into the book and recapture the joy of first discovery.
I highly recommend this book if you enjoy thought provoking, deep stories where the true meaning may take a bit of consideration to unearth.