Read War in Heaven by Charles Williams Free Online
Book Title: War in Heaven|
The author of the book: Charles Williams
Edition: William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company
Date of issue: January 2004
ISBN: No data
ISBN 13: No data
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 866 KB
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Reader ratings: 6.1
Read full description of the books:
Of the three Inkling fantasy writers Charles Williams is the least known and appreciated. Yet, his series of supernatural fantasy novels are every bit as interesting and original as the books by C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien.
This is the first of the seven novels written by Charles Williams. (He did start one other but abandoned it after three chapters owing to a lukewarm reception by his fellow Inklings.)
"War In Heaven" is quite an opening debut. Rather than creating a unique secondary fantasy world or shifting between two universes, Williams allows the supernatural to invade his contemporary world. This allows him to explore the impact of a different reality on different characters.
The item that channels the supernatural into the natural in this novel is The Holy Graal (The older spelling of “Grail” preferred by Williams). A group of three dark magicians attempt to use it as a power base and a means of destruction. Two of the members of this evil trinity are rather stereotyped, but the third is well drawn, apparently respectable and has a believable and complex personality.
The three who oppose them are an Archdeacon, a Duke, and a Clerk in a publishing house. None of them are really particularly remarkable in any significant way and the three individuals who represent Evil are far more powerful than they.
Another group of three—a married couple with a child become a significant focus in this book—and there is one other character involved of whom none of the others is aware.
So much for the main players. For me the highlights of this book were a series of brilliantly described mystical experiences—among the best I have read in any novel. They are quite mesmerising and I found myself pulled into these astonishing moments.
The plot is cleverly introduced and effectively developed. In one section I found myself gently lulled by an apparently innocuous conversation between a priest and a police officer that suddenly generated an unexpected twist. The 3+3+3+1 character structure mentioned above creates a pattern which has mystical overtones. And the reader may note the use of the number three in other areas of the novel.
Possibly the finale doesn’t quite live up to the transcendental power of the central section but that’s only an opinion. Many might like it.
While Williams is certainly able to convey a variety of language registers including a demotic style when appropriate, he also reveals a remarkable width of academic knowledge. It is no wonder that he was so admired by Lewis.
I’ve decided to read all of the novels again as they are now fairly easily available either in hard copy or digital versions. Perhaps this fine writer may get the audience he deserves.
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Read information about the authorCharles Walter Stansby Williams is probably best known, to those who have heard of him, as a leading member (albeit for a short time) of the Oxford literary group, the "Inklings", whose chief figures were C.S. Lewis and J.R.R Tolkien. He was, however, a figure of enormous interest in his own right: a prolific author of plays, fantasy novels (strikingly different in kind from those of his friends), poetry, theology, biography and criticism.
— the Charles Williams Society website
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