Island of the World: A Novel

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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 ...

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The Island of the World

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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.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781586174903
  • Publisher: Ignatius Press
  • Publication date: 6/15/2010
  • Pages: 840
  • Sales rank: 425,460
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 7.90 (h) x 2.30 (d)

Customer Reviews

Average Rating 5
( 7 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 9 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 25, 2011

    O'Brien's finest work

    Exquisitely written, suberb character development, a masterpiece.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Awesome

    A beautiful story of redemptive suffering.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 28, 2012

    Powerful!

    One of the best books I've read in years. Set in WWII and post-war Croatia, this powerful book follows the life of a young Croation as much of his life is systematically destroyed by Partisans during the war and subsequently by Communists. However, it shows that the power of faith and the human spirit cannot be defeated. Absolutely an inspiring book. You'll race through the 800 pages and want it to continue even after you're finished.

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  • Posted August 20, 2012

    Amazing!!!

    Amazing!!!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 14, 2008

    An amazing book

    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.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 2, 2013

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    Posted January 8, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted June 13, 2010

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 1, 2010

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