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Shadows of Ecstasy

[Shadows of Ecstasy] Shadows of Ecstasy
by Charles Williams
Published by Pellegrini & Cudahy, 1933
Amazon.co.uk: paperback
Amazon.ca: paperback
Amazon.com: paperback
Recommended by: Ross Pavlac

Note that Charles Williams' novels are not in a series, and may be read in any order. His writing style is dark and complex, and heavily laden with atmosphere and symbolism; thus, his books are not to everyone's taste.

Other Comments:

Out of Williams' books which I have read so far, this is by far the most disturbing. The central character is, essentially, the Antichrist. This is not an "end times" thriller, but Nigel Considine has the kind of compelling yet subtly evil character which is lacking in too many works in that subgenre. By the sheer force of his will, he can control a King like a puppet, reduce a squad of London bobbies to bumbling Keystone Cops, has prolonged his own life, and stands upon the brink of conquering death entirely. ("But," I hear you say, "death has already been conquered." Considine suavely disagrees. Of Christ, he says, "He almost conquered death in his own way, but he was slain like Caesar before he quite achieved." Thus, while appearing to praise Christ, he denies Christ's identity and true work, making Him out to be merely an almost-successful adept in Considine's own field.) Like Satan, Considine promises freedom, and delivers slavery, promises life, and delivers death. And, unlike in Williams' other, earlier works, God does not intervene (in whatever guise) to save the day and destroy the villain. — Greg Slade (April, 2004)

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