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First there is the literal city of London in which the main dramatic events take place in the physical world. Lester and Evelyn exist in the spiritual city which overlays the other. Then the City appears in two paintings by Jonathan—one a dark image of the twisted evil world of Simon and the other a strange variation of a luminous and transcendent spiritual vision.

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It had no so projected energy? He forgot Simon and the cluster of spiritual vermin;. The inscape of the painting became central. There, in the middle of this room, lay the City, ruined and renewed, submerged and gloriously re-emerging.


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It was not the sense of beauty but the sense of exploration that was greatest in him. It moved forward as that other painting retired. The imbecile master and his companions were being swallowed up in distance, but this was swallowing up distance. It gives unity and coherence to the entire book. All the characters in some way relate to the tremendous master image of the City. The central characters, Father Simon, Lady Wallingford, Betty, Lester, Evelyn, Richard and Jonathan are all vividly realised and we get significant insights into their spiritual and psychological motives.

Nov 03, Ali M. Williams writes in long, dense, loaded sentences with little breathing room. He can get a bit too abstract at times, forgetting to let the story do the philosophical work for him, but his imagery is so original and arresting that it's worth the effort. I was fascinated to see that the women have almost exclusive rights to agency here; nearly all of the men even the villain, at times are just along for the ride.

Eve of All Hallows

On the surface, the friendship between Lester, Betty, and Evelyn appears simple. In the spiritual realm they inhabit, it is terribly complex. People are not fully separated from their former life in the City; it's a place where the worlds of the living and the dead remain tangled, where those who have recently died are allowed to work out what kind of immortal they will become.

Sometimes, this involves the opportunity to make amends with the living. Body and spirit are also not completely divisible in the City There's plenty of unsettling material in All Hallows' Eve you'd hope so with that title , but it doesn't feel crafted to scare. Williams seems more interested in finding the right metaphor than he does in provoking a reaction. You get the impression that this is simply subject matter that interests him, more than anything else.

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It's not surprising that he never enjoyed the same success as his buddies Lewis and Tolkien, but the more I read from him, the more I want to dig up and I can see his influence on Lewis in particular. May 04, Karen L. Shelves: classics , sc-fi. This book from the very beginning was like a supernatural journey to places I have never been. There was absolutely nothing predictable about the book. Page by page, it kept stirring my curiosity.

It was well written and the characters were also well developed. Elliot said of Williams, " "To him the supernatural was perfectly natural, and the natural was also supernatural. There is this Simon c This book from the very beginning was like a supernatural journey to places I have never been. There is this Simon character who is a bit of a magician and represents to me what seemed like evil, and a young woman who seemed to represent good. The book does hint of purgatory and the working out of life's mistakes in a this temporal state.

Some interesting facts about Williams was that he was one of C. S Lewis's literary friends in the writers' group called "the Inklings.

Upon finishing the book I am left with a feeling that my first reading only scratched the surface and that in the future I must return to this one again. Shelves: literature. My work study position at Union Theological Seminary was as a security guard, usually working nights. The job allowed much time for study, only four rounds through campus being required.

I spent most of that 'free' time in the Women's Center, a lounge on the ground floor and near the entrance to Knox Hall, a residence for faculty. During the first two of my four years at UTS I was befriended and often visited at work by Barry Wood, an Episcopal priest who also happened to be the school's p My work study position at Union Theological Seminary was as a security guard, usually working nights. During the first two of my four years at UTS I was befriended and often visited at work by Barry Wood, an Episcopal priest who also happened to be the school's physician.

He had just had a near brush with death by cancer and was often prone to serious conversation. In the course of many such talks he recommended I read the works of Charles Williams. All Hallow's Eve was probably the first of the four I ultimately essayed. While Barry likely found some serious philosophical points made in this Christian novel, I'm afraid I simply read it as a fantasy. Dec 08, Brenda Clough rated it it was amazing. Williams is a difficult author, most famous nowadays for being one of C.


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    His poetry, wow! That's tough sledding. A novel which begins with the death of the heroine is starting out on the right foot. From there the hijinks snap right along. This is a grand book, with both vast spiritual conflicts and tiny battles.

    All Hallows' Eve

    Williams orchestrates everything into a grand climax that i Williams is a difficult author, most famous nowadays for being one of C. Williams orchestrates everything into a grand climax that is enormously satisfying. One of the questions is, what is the book most like? Supply ISBNs.

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    None of my books are like anything, I wanted to say. Jun 13, Roy rated it it was amazing. Charles Williams writes on the margin of the physical and metaphysical and this is the best example of his storytelling. We learn how the characters -- and ourselves as readers -- react when we are touched by the spiritual world. This a wonderful mix of historical fiction, spiritual challenge, and thought-provoking insight into human thinking.

    His writing draws me in every time and I truly enjoy the art he practiced.


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    Jan 21, Laura rated it it was amazing Recommended to Laura by: J. I think that this is my favorite novel. As in, ever. And I have read a lot of books. It has some of the strongest and most beautiful women characters of any book I've read. It also has one of the most fantastic premises of any book I've read. But I love how this story highlights the spiritual reality that is a part of our natural world. I really wanted to like this a lot more.

    When there was dialogue and the characters interacted, it moved along well. But the metaphysical bits dragged a little too much, and ultimately turned out to be a chore, even for a reader like myself who usually welcomes the challenge.