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Plague Journal (Children of the Last Days) [Paperback]

By Michael O'Brien (Author)
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Item description for Plague Journal (Children of the Last Days) by Michael O'Brien...

Plague Journal is Michael O'Brien's fourth novel in the Children of the Last Days series. The central character is Nathaniel Delaney, the editor of a small-town newspaper, who is about to face the greatest crisis of his life. As the novel begins, ominous events are taking place throughout North America, but little of it surfaces before the public eye. Set in the not-too-distant future, the story describes a nation that is quietly shifting from a democratic form of government to a form of totalitarianism. Delaney is one of the few voices left in the media who is willing to speak the whole truth about what is happening, and as a result the full force of the government is brought against him. Thus, seeking to protect his children and to salvage what remains of his life, he makes a choice that will alter the future of each member of his family and many other people. As the story progresses he keeps a journal of observations, recording the day-by-day escalation of events, and analyzing the motives of his political opponents with sometimes scathing frankness. More importantly, he begins to keep a "mental record" that develops into a painful process of self-examination. As his world falls apart, he is compelled to see in greater depth the significance of his own assumptions and compromises, his successes and failures. Plague Journal chronicles the struggle of a thoroughly modern man put to the ultimate spiritual and psychological test, a man who in losing himself finds himself.

Publishers Description
A gripping apocalyptic drama about the editor of a small-town newspaper in North America faced with the greatest crisis of his life. As he and his family are hunted down by a police state seeking to crush all freedom, the editor chronicles his struggle of a thoroughly modern man put to the ultimate test, a man who in losing himself finds himself.

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Ignatius Press
Pages   273
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 0.75" Width: 5" Height: 7.75"
Weight:   0.65 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Aug 1, 2003
Publisher   Ignatius Press
Edition  Revised  
Series  Children of the Last Days  
ISBN  0898709814  
ISBN13  9780898709810  

Availability  0 units.

More About Michael O'Brien

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! O'Brien taught at the University of Arkansas until 1987. He is now Phillip R. Shriver Professor of History at Miami University of Ohio.

Michael O'Brien currently resides in the state of Ohio. Michael O'Brien was born in 1948.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General > Contemporary
2Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > General
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Fiction & Poetry > Fiction

Christian Product Categories
Books > Church & Ministry > Church Life > Roman Catholic

Reviews - What do customers think about Plague Journal (Children of the Last Days)?

Plague Journal  Mar 19, 2008
Michael D. O'Brien is a masterful storyteller. He has compiled a stunning series, Children of the Last Days, of which Plague Journal is the second. I am now just beyond half way through Eclipse of the Sun, the third. I have two more to go, and by then perhaps he will have written some more. While I'm reviewing his work, I'd like to applaud his latest work : Island of the World. That was a "watershed" book for me.There are not words to convey the power and authority which which he strings words together. It is compelling fiction. Any one choosing to read Michael D. O'Brien's work will be in for a major treat as well as learning experience.
Bravo!  Dec 28, 2007
Michael D. O'Brien's novels are among the best I have ever read. Plague Journal is the (chronologically speaking) 2nd book in the Children of the Last Days series. Which should be read: 1. Strangers and Sojourners, 2. Plague Journal, 3. Eclipse of the Sun, and the other 3 in any order (although I'd personally read Father Elijah 4th, Sophia House 5th, and A Cry of Stone last--which is the least connected to the other books). They are deep and thought provoking books, and will make you look at the current trends in society in a whole new light. Although there is an element of action/adventure in this story, it is by no means mindless entertainment. The action/adventure element is always secondary to the philosophical/spiritual element that we see and partake of in the lives and thoughts of the characters; in much the same way as the murder/mystery element in Crime and Punishment is secondary to the philosophical/spiritual element.
I've grown up a Protestant, but these books (along with other influences) have made me take a good hard look at Catholicism. I'd say I'm 9 tenths converted--and almost ready to take that last step. But whatever your religion, denomination, or lack thereof, do yourself a favor and read these books.
More bang for the buck than "Left Behind"  Jul 30, 2007
O'Brien's "Children of the Last Days" series shows what the apocalypse might be like through Catholic eyes. "Plague Journal" shows what an average man would go through when he sees the very land he loves slowly but surely choke off all joy and life in the name of an efficient government. The main character's actions and thoughts make you slow down and wonder what you'd do. Also, not all the characters automatically do the right thing. Each of their actions has a consequence, whether good or bad, and they have to put up with those consequences, which is more realistic. There's no flashy deux ex machina, but God works through the characters in a way that's somehow more majestic than simply suspending laws of nature to make sure the good guy wins. I highly recommend this book no matter what religion you follow. You will laugh, cry, and think.
Don't believe everything you hear  Apr 8, 2005
As I'm sure most reviewers have said, be sure you read Strangers and Sojourners first; PJ is the second in the series. Also, it is good to read Father Elijah too; it occurs about the same time as PJ.

I read PJ in a week. It is one of the most moving books I've read, but I was reluctant to heed its message in the beginning. In this world of half-truths and deceptions where everyone is a partially educated philosopher and politician, PJ really does show the need to not believe everything we heard or read.

Should we be constantly paranoid? Not really. But a healthy skepticism is necessary.
O'Brien's best  Dec 19, 2003
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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