Lord of the World

Lord of the World

by Robert Hugh Benson
4.3 12

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Lord of the World 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 12 reviews.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Well it came in the mail in the morning after I'd been waiting to get it for over a year (it's been out of print after all!). I was annoyed because I had to work, but when work was finished I dove into it. It was a little different from what I'd expected, but different in some really good ways. This is not just an apocalyptic novel for excitement's sake. Benson has done a superb job of portraying the conflicts that arise in human hearts as well as the possible outcomes of some societal trends. He forsees the ready acceptance of euthanasia, even for what we would now see as depression. Even a form of the EU appears in the book. True he sees Communism as still a force, where today we would probably debate that, but his 'Communism' does not look like Leninist Communism (nor should it since he was writing before the Russian Revolution), it looks more like Socialism. What we would call airplanes are called volars, but the descriptions of flight are amazing for one writing before commercial air travel became possible. His style seemed reminiscent of Charles Williams, his setting reminiscent of Brave New World. Since both of these authors wrote after Benson and both were British I wonder if they were familiar with him. I was particularly gripped by the descriptions of Father Percy Franklin's spiritual struggles. The character's constancy in the midst of turmoil was heroic, but it also gave some real modeling for the reader about how to proceed when the world as you've known it is crumbling around you. Benson lets the reader see the scenario of the end times from several perspectives, not just from the perspective of the faithful Christian, but from the perspective of the convinced humanist as well. We see fidelity and betrayal, hope and despair, faith in God and faith in Man. This is a very Catholic novel, but I don't think that you necessarily have to be Catholic to enjoy it. But be forwarned the hero of the piece is a very faithful Catholic and the villains are very faithful believers in Man. I've read it once, recommended it to my daughter, and I'm sure that I'll read it again many times.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Very interesting novel on an end of the world scenario. Written before modern inventions like planes were practicle, the similarities with some of the modern themes of humanism, euthanasia, and a loss of Christian faith makes this a stark look at reality and the fight against evil. Benson was an outstanding convert from England's Anglicanism to Roman Catholicism. His books are considered classics.
Mike-the-Reader More than 1 year ago
The edition by First Rate Publishers IS NOT RECOMMENDED. It is an absolutely terrible print. Though the book is in the public domain I wanted a physical book. The main problem is the typeface which is so small it is barely readable. This was not noticeable it the book preview online. The First Rate Publishers edition looks as though someone downloaded the text document off a website and edited it (very poorly) to make a print edition. I'm sure its a fine novel but stay away from this edition.
Sarah_Reinhard More than 1 year ago
Lord of the World: A Novel, by Robert Hugh Benson, is a classic I had never heard of, but which boasts "I advise you to read it" - Pope Francis on the front cover. Ave Maria Press released a new edition in 2016 of this 1907 novel. Confession: I skipped the (probably very interesting and educational) introduction by Fr. Mark Bosco, S.J., and just dove into the book. I had no clue what it was about, aside from the back cover's assertion that it's "one of the first dystopian novels of the twentieth century." I'm a reluctant fan of dystopian literature: I even catch myself sort of understanding why it's so popular. I want to hope, even as I almost despair at the mess the world seems to be in. Reading Lord of the World struck me with a familiarity that I wasn't expecting. It gave me a feeling of "Oh! This has been wrong for a LONG TIME!" The plot follows a few characters: a priest, an on-the-rise politician and his wife, and a cast of supporting folks who feel all too much like today's politicians and citizenry. The hope in this novel comes at the end in an unlikely way. I was expecting a fight, and I guess there was one at the end, but it was far from what I expected. What is faith and what is the longing for spirituality? How is it manifested? Where do you find it? Interestingly, the answers aren't necessarily in the text or solved by the plot, but the seeds of thought are planted. There's a chilling reality in this book: the way people both answer temptation and flock to false peace. I walked away feeling much the same as I did after reading 1984: humanity hasn't really changed. Maybe it won't. But hope remains, even when we face ourselves.
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This is a must read.
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