War in Heaven

War in Heaven These novels have been constantly asked for by a small but enthusiastic public There is nothing in fiction quite like them They may be described as supernatural thrillers popular novels in the best s

  • Title: War in Heaven
  • Author: Charles Williams
  • ISBN: null
  • Page: 176
  • Format: Paperback
  • These novels have been constantly asked for by a small but enthusiastic public There is nothing in fiction quite like them They may be described as supernatural thrillers popular novels, in the best sense, by a man who had something important and quite individual to say When we say thrillers we mean that their plots are adventurous and breathless, their scenes someThese novels have been constantly asked for by a small but enthusiastic public There is nothing in fiction quite like them They may be described as supernatural thrillers popular novels, in the best sense, by a man who had something important and quite individual to say When we say thrillers we mean that their plots are adventurous and breathless, their scenes sometimes entrancing and sometimes horrifying and when we say supernatural , we mean that Williams had a real experience of the supernatural world to communicate He excels in descriptions of strange experiences such as many people have once or twice in their lives and have been unable to put into words There are pages which describe, with a frightful clarity, the deterioration and damnation of a human soul and pages which describe the triumphant struggle towards salvation These are novels which can be read on a train journey and are likely to carry you past your destination they are also novels that you will want to keep and read a second and a third time with increased appreciation and deeper understanding.

    One thought on “War in Heaven”

    1. 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 fantas [...]

    2. This was my first encounter with Charles Williams. I read this for a Christian Fantasy class at BYU many years ago. I can still remember so much of the experience. There is no other way to describe reading a Charles Williams novel: it is an experience never to be forgotten. I once read that C.S. Lewis will take his readers up to the gates of Hell then turn tail and run; Williams on the other hand will march his readers right through those gates and they will emerge on the other side battle weary [...]

    3. This book began well enough, but quickly became all but interminable. It was a long, inexplicably slow slog, and the brief-but-regular moments of wit and brilliance simply couldn't make up for how unaccountably difficult I found it to finish. The fascinating approach to magic and Satanism was likewise overwhelmed by the grotesque anti-Semitic caricature "Manasseh". Add to that the fact that Williams (a friend of Tolkien & Lewis) seems to subscribe to a sort of 19th/20th century transcendenta [...]

    4. Wow! Charles Williams was a great friend of Tolkien and C.S.Lewis. He was part of their group called the Oxford Inklings. This novel deals with some fascinating material: the sangraal, and a battle between satanic and heavenly forces on earth. Quite chilling in parts. Take a look at the malleus malificarum in reference to the Witch's Sabbath parts. A bit mind boggling in spots, like reading a whole novel of Neal A Maxwell talks. Heck, he's one of the guys that converted C.S. Lewis to Christianit [...]

    5. Charles Williams died in 1945, aged fifty-nine, and I acquired three of his novels recently from a second-hand stall. This is the first one I’ve read. I found myself thinking of the differences between modern writing and the stories of not-too-long ago, remembering reading Dickens as a young teen and coping fine with long descriptions that would later bore my sons, knowing as I read that “this is a good author” therefore trusting the story to come. Not that Charles Williams writes like Dic [...]

    6. The blurb didn't sell it to me, this line from a New Yorker reviewdid: The jacket copy, anonymous but evidently written by the Faber editor T. S. Eliot, described Williams’s novels as “supernatural thrillers.”And then there's the fist line of the book: The telephone bell was ringing wildly, but without result, since there was no-one in the room but the corpse. With those two things in mind, and the knowledge that this was a merging of the search for the Holy Grail and a murder mystery, I [...]

    7. This book really didn't do anything for me (sorry Richard!). I found Williams' style a bit clunky - a good example is the fancy dialogue between Kenneth and the Duke when they first meet - and the whole Christians versus devil-worshippers theme had no appeal whatsoever for me. I managed to get through to the end, but only just.Just not my cup of tea, but I can well understand that it would be quite compelling for people who share Williams' beliefs.

    8. War in Heaven by Charles Williams wasn’t the easiest book for me to read. It has a lot of long sentences, not a lot of dialogue, and a lot of talking about things I don’t know (or words I don’t know). And it talked a lot about the devil. However, it really was a tremendous story about faith, and good and evil, and Jesus, and the Eucharist, and the communion of saints. I will never be the same after reading that book. Honestly. It’s affected my faith forever, for the good.

    9. "War in Heaven" is a novel written by Charles Williams in 1930. This was his first novel and from what I have read, it was rated as his best novel. I had been meaning to get around to reading this author mainly since he was one of the famous Inklings and a sale on his books helped me to get around to it.This novel is a supernatural thriller and involves the Grail being found in a country parish in England. It starts with the finding of the body of an unidentified man in a publishing house and a [...]

    10. A lovely old fashioned evil publisher, opposed only by an Archdeacon, a Duke and various other persons, plus some forces possibly of angelic origin, or possibly pretending, it isn't really clear to me though the novel probably wants you to assume the former.It is only fair to state that the body count is two murders by the forces of evil and one murder by the forces of good, though one of the first murders could have been prevented had the possibly angelic personage been actually interested in h [...]

    11. It seems odd to me that though I've loved the two most prominent Inklings (Lewis and Tolkien) for many years, I'd never ventured into the works of the others until now. It took a most unpleasant illness and the resulting long weekend to get me to sit down with this book. I am most glad that I finally did. War in Heaven is densly populated with complex characters, complicated plotting, and weighty moral issues. A pall of darkness hangs over London, the lives of the characters, and this book as fi [...]

    12. Apparantly the Holy Grail is mucking around in a parsonage in Fardle. An urbane publisher/satanist finds out and steals it. Meanwhile he's taken a fancy to a boy whom he tries to corrupt for some reason. The Archdeacon of the parsonage isn't really happy about this, and steals it back, and then things get weird as the publisher's two friends get involved. Oh, and there's a police inspector investigating a murder, and Prester John.If you've ever read That Hideous Strength by C.S. Lewis, you've re [...]

    13. The edition that I read has a cover quote from T.S. Eliot about Charles Williams's novels: "There are no novels anywhere quite like them. They are very good thrillersey are exciting. They are the work of a man who had something very serious to convey."Well, I haven't read any others by him, but I could add one more sentence of description. They are whackadoodle.What is this like? Sort of like G.K. Chesterton, with spirituality and absurdity thrust into workaday England. Like C.S. Lewis, deeply c [...]

    14. In some ways similar to "The Exorcist," Williams' "War in Heaven" crosses genre, being both a horror book and a theological speculation. It doesn't have the driving force of "The Exorcist," but its roots are the same: a Manichean Christianity in which good guys and bad guys war over the souls of the undecided.The book is quite personal, focusing the battle upon a small group of English men and women, along with one child, who are drawn together by the re-emergence of the Holy Grail--or "Graal," [...]

    15. Williams was in the writing group with Lewis, Tolkien, and Sayers, so I was eager to read this novel. But, as it turns out, I was very eager to finish it. It's the traditional story of the search for the Holy Grail, but in a contemporary (1930s England) setting. The story jumped around a lot, and since none of the characters were of great interest to me, it was hard to follow the jumping around. I had to make a chart to keep up with them and try to keep me interested. I suspect this is one of th [...]

    16. Charles Williams is kind of like the Frank Peretti of the early 20th century, though his supernaturalism is more Anglicized and mysterious. Williams, a member of the Inklings, that small group of writers that included his friends Tolkien and C. S. Lewis, helps us to see that the wall between our world and the invisible spirit world has many unlocked doors, if indeed a wall even exists. [This reminds me of Genesis 32:1-2: Jacob also went on his way, and the angels of God met him. When Jacob saw t [...]

    17. Made me think. Very dark at some points (it's a book for adults, not children or maybe even teens), but has a satisfying conclusion. The character think and speak in a very traditional English style, which is a lot of fun. Each character's motivations and thoughts are essentially the insightful representation of some ideal, good or bad. As has been said elsewhere, Williams' style is reminiscent of "That Hideous Strength" by C.S. Lewis. I think anyone who liked one would likely enjoy the other. I [...]

    18. This is my least favorite of the four Charles Williams novels that I've read. The other three being Place of the Lion, Many Dimensions, and Greater Trumps. This book is well written and interesting, but lacks the more interesting wow factor of his other novels. This book is his first, and it seems to me that he was hanging out with C.S. Lewis and Tolkien and said. I should write a Christian novel. He then proceeds to forget what he is writing, though the elements are still there, it is more an o [...]

    19. I really enjoyed this novel, but I can't imagine recommending it to anyone, because the author's perspective is very hard to ascertain. The prose is cleaner and easier to read than "All Hallows Eve", and the atmosphere is definitely less ethereal. the story is such a strange mix of Victorian and modern ideas; imagine if H.P. Lovecraft and G.K Chesterton wrote a Father Brown mystery, and then made the mystery a subplot. Again in this work, as with the previously mentioned "All Hallows Eve", Willi [...]

    20. This is Williams' first novel of the seven and an excellent view of his later development of these matters. What matters? In a phrase, transworld salvation and damnation. "Does He will Gregory Persimmons?" asks Kenneth, who in the end is dissolved into dust and disappears from malevolence. "Certainly He wills him," the Archdeacon said, "since He wills that Persimmons shall be whatever he seems to choose." 180 High Anglican theology had such a following in the 30's with Eastern Orthodoxy. Both op [...]

    21. I heard of Charles Williams in connection with Lewis & Tolkien many years ago, but never picked up one of his books. I'm glad that now having read one that it was during a time in my life in which I've been within the Christian faith. I think much of the book would have been lost on me otherwise; which isn't to say that there still weren't times in which I found myself scratching my head trying to grasp the underlying implications of the story.The story itself was gripping and often disturbi [...]

    22. Some novels are above your pay grade, War in Heaven skirts that boundary for me. I am not much into poetry. But the humour and bumpy tale makes you chuckle at many points. Starting with a dead person under the desk of a publishing house employee. Never mind the fact it takes this person over half an hour to discover said person has been strangled! This is followed by a chase for the Holy Grail that lasts the rest of the novel. The cast of characters could be from Monty Python instead of a poetic [...]

    23. Williams is one of the writers that C. S. Lewis named as an inspiration. He became part of the Inkling group. I have used the word esoteric to refer to him elswhere about another book and I believe it does apply and describe his writing. That being said I highly recommend this book. You will need to think about it and not enter in with your mind in neutral but really, isn't that a good thing?

    24. Not for everyone with its supernatural flavor and sinister portrayal of evil, but a powerful look at the undercurrents we miss in mundane things: the deep mysteries of simple liturgies of life and the little "lapses" that we excuse but that lead into dangerous territory. A very English novel, and made me think of Wodehouse at points, if he had ever waded into theological waters.

    25. I tried to 2 chapters to follow along given the great opening sentence but gave up (as did everyone else in the book club I'm in).

    26. This was an AMAZING book! I'm surprised it isn't more well known. It had an exciting plot, the characters were great, it was very insightful, suspenseful, and it was beautifully written. It blended mystery with adventure and the occult, and the setting of England in the 1930s gave a quaint, homely feel to it that nicely complemented the otherworldliness of the Holy Grail and the strange occult rituals Gregory and co. were engaged in. The whole story, in fact, was a blend of everyday reality with [...]

    27. This book is both madcap and chilling, often at the same time. I enjoyed the irreverent dialogue and commentary while finding the Satanism ominous. I struggled not to skip longer prose sections to see what would happen in the plot. I like that one of the main characters was more conventionally religious (though not stereotypical).

    28. Good versus EvilThis was not an easy read. I stuck with it and then began to enjoy the story. The number of characters and their relation to each other was not easy to follow at first. It was still worth the effort and the struggle between heaven and hell had a glorious ending.

    29. The fact that this is a depiction of the battle between good and evil is well known. An interesting book and one I will have to re-read, at some point.

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