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Il padrone del mondo

4.05  ·  Rating Details  ·  746 Ratings  ·  102 Reviews
Scritto nel 1907 questo romanzo profetico racconta l'ascesa del grande filantropo Giuliano Felsemburgh, democratico e rassicurante, fautore della pace mondiale, che realizza un mondo ideale con l'avvento di un nuovo umanitarismo che stempera le differenze fra le religioni e predica la tolleranza universale. Tutto viene accettato fuorché la Chiesa Cattolica, che - sempre in ...more
Paperback, 344 pages
Published 1997 by Jaca Book (first published January 1st 1900)
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Webster Bull
Being Catholic today is a challenge. It can be awkward talking about one's faith in polite company—at the average Boston-area cocktail party, for instance. The Church's position on social issues is all wrong, at least if you heed the common mentality. Catholics are among the biggest threats to good, sound, everyday, politically correct thinking. Catholics actually believe in such antiquated notions as God, faith, obedience, life, chastity before marriage, and fidelity in marriage, and they have ...more
Stephen
At the turn of the 21st century, war between the states of Europe and the East threatens; at the midnight hour, however, comes an obscure American politician, a senator of no fame, whose cosmopolitan charm allows him to calm the troubled diplomatic waters and prevent a century of peace and prosperity from being overturned by strife. Hailed as a savior, the rising star becomes a pivotal figure in world affairs – but the epitome of modernity, this senator has a far darker role to play in cosmic hi ...more
Helen
Feb 20, 2015 Helen rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Our Pope Francis is full of surprises. This book is on his list of favorites! It is in the public domain so is available for free in the kindle store and is available free in audio on librivox. I read it both ways. The author was a Catholic priest, so there is definitely a Catholic perspective, but I think that anyone would find the book a page-turner. Fr. Robert Hugh Benson wrote it in 1907 and it is shocking how prophetic it is. Honestly, I think it would be a very interesting read especially ...more
Michele
Sep 25, 2012 Michele rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I was ready to give this book 5 stars right up until the last page, maybe even the last line. The writing is lush, complex, with the sort of Victorian-era delight in rich and beautiful language that one seldom encounters these days and it was a joy to read. Here's an example:

It was a very upright old man that [Father Franklin] saw in the chair before him, of medium height and girth, with hands clasping the bosses of his chair-arms, and an appearance of great and deliberate dignity. But it was at
...more
Harry
Although this book of fiction was written over 100 years ago the author accurately predicted the radical changes that have not only taken place in the 20th century but may occur especially in relation to the emergence of air travel,constant berating & actual warfare against the Catholic Church, ready acceptance of euthanasia as a form of so-called medical treatment & most important of all the election by the world's population of the new Messiah who comes forth as a gentle,peace loving & ...more
Manuel Alfonseca
May 26, 2015 Manuel Alfonseca rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
An apocalyptic novel written in 1907. Personally, I prefer A canticle for Leibowitz, which seems to me better built and more believable, because the apocalyptic end is caused by man himself, rather than by unexplained acts of God.
There are two kinds of atheism:
1. Optimistic atheism, which replaces faith in God by an overpowering faith in Man. God, in this view, is the result of evolution, not its cause. The last question, a short story by Asimov, could be considered the most concise representati
...more
Saki-chan
¡Pero que libro tan lento!, ¿pueden creer que llegue a la mitad y no había pasado nada?, ¡nada!. La única cosa relevante es que Julian había terminado la guerra y había sido nombrado presidente de Europa.

Del resto es pura paja, blablabla los comunistas, los masones, y no sé quién más se apoderaron del universo, blabla destruyeron las religiones, blablablabla sólo quedan unos pocos católicos más Roma y nadie les presta atención, *relleno-relleno*, descripción de las ciudades, descripción de los p
...more
Allie
Dec 31, 2009 Allie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion-fiction
Freakishly prophetic to today's world "theology" of secular humanism and all that encompasses- even though this book was written in 1907. I read this book in a few days it was so hard to put down and a flowing read. The major point I remember from it is the recognition of how important it will be to be fully in the state of grace in the time of "the" Anti-Christ because of how easily the masses will be fooled and believe in him.
Robert
I found it a bit tough to get through. I found him spending too much time on the descriptions of a persons interior movement and redescribing it over and over. I was impatient with them and skimmed a bunch getting to the action. It could have been cut down to a more bone and quicker story in some ways.
Chris
Feb 10, 2012 Chris rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this book a practically unknown one-term United States senator with a charismatic personality and a magnetic speaking voice comes to power in 2008 and turns out to be the Antichrist. Honest.

Yes, this is basically the same plot as a book I was handed by a wild-eyed fellow outside Redfern station a decade ago. You may have been handed the same book. However, in this case: (1) it is the Protestants who cave immediately to join the Antichrist while the Catholics are the persecuted minority fighti
...more
Frank Roberts
First off, let me say that this book is very Catholic. Catholic ritual, phraseology, and views play major roles, and the chief protagonist is a Catholic priest. As this book was written by a Catholic convert and priest, this is not too surprising.

Writing in the first decade of the 20th century, but depicting the 21st century, Benson's vision of the future fails in some respects, but is eerily prescient in others. His technological imagination anticipates nuclear weapons and interstate highways
...more
Elisabeth pifer
Oct 05, 2009 Elisabeth pifer rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Written in 1907, as current as today's thoughts in trends in relativism and humanistic philosophies.
Michael
Aug 27, 2014 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book describes the author's vision of the end of the "long defeat" of history (to borrow from Tolkein). The book is engaging on a number of levels. It was written in 1907 and takes places a century or more in the future (from then) (I don't recall if there's an exact date, but probably somewhere around 2030 or so). The book essentially describes the coming of the anti-Christ and the end of days. The book is a novel, though, and there are few, if any, references to revelation, i.e., it's not ...more
Laura Cowan
Mar 04, 2013 Laura Cowan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I couldn't quite get through this entire book, but if you enjoy steampunk or spiritual apocalyptic fiction, this will fascinate you for sure. I've never seen a combination of the two genres, and it really delivers for fans of either. However, like most Victorian alternate-future stories it gets a bit bogged down trying to imagine the differences of the future while missing just how much would change (flexible-wing aircraft feature prominently, there is a minister of Peking, the home of the prota ...more
Evandro Menezes
I just finished reading this book this weekend. It's an interesting novel published in 1906 about a then futuristic 21st century by Robert Benson, the son of an Anglican bishop who converted to Catholicism.
The story depicts a technological century where thoroughfares, telecommunications and air travel are common, though with a Victorian flavor, for the highways are paved with rubber, people have telegraphs at home and fly on airships.
But it also has other almost prophetic descriptions of the soc
...more
Nusato
May 22, 2009 Nusato rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who wants to know why old white catholics are so weird
Recommended to Nusato by: Joseph Ratzinger
I really hate books where people forget that they write what they know. For instance, this author for some reason doesn't know anything about Islam or Africa, so he writes off an entire continent and an entire religion in two paragraphs and completely removes them from the story. An end of times story with no Africa. Or any black people. Yellow ones get mentioned in passing as well, and America is only the birthplace of the Anti-Christ and then a whiny bitch of a nation in later sections. Everyt ...more
Seth Holler
Feb 19, 2013 Seth Holler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A lean narrative, sometimes propulsive, sometimes pathetic (martyrdoms on pp 176-7), and sometimes a thinly-veiled pamphlet. Also a bit sloppy (the chronology is irregular, for instance). Makes an interesting contrast with Rolfe's HADRIAN THE SEVENTH. In Rolfe, the pope engineers world peace, while in Benson that task falls to the Antichrist. (That Christ came to bring "not peace but a sword" is Benson's chief theme.) Both novels also feature protagonists with doppelgängers.

The figure of Mr Fran
...more
Jerrod Carter
Oct 23, 2014 Jerrod Carter rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love a book that will make the contemplate its message for some time to come, and Lord of the World has accomplished that. I would recommend it to anyone who is interested in where the arguments for humanism must logically end.

The author is writing from a decidedly Catholic perspective, but the story could easily be extended by an open-minded reader to include all Christians in the persecutions depicted, or even all people of resolute faith.

I especially liked the author's portrayal of the proc
...more
Peter Mongeau
Reviewed on CatholicFiction.net

The Christian world is depressingly awash in end-times fiction these days. Such reading material is depressing not so much because of the subject matter – which is often relevant and interesting – but rather because most of what is available is the dispensationalist schlock that infests the shelves of Christian bookstores across the country. For those who are looking for a more serious fictional treatment of the subject, there is Father Robert Hugh Benson’s Lord of
...more
Breakaway Reviewers
An extraordinary and somewhat prophetic insight into the future behaviour of mankind.

Oliver Brand is the new appointed member for Croydon. He is married to Mabel. Oliver is of the new generation who believes in the New Order. His mother who lives with them, was brought up as a Christian, something that is now forbidden and looked down upon as nothing but superstition. He feels that the future is more exciting as the Master, Felsenburgh, (known as the Son of Heaven) comes to take power of the en
...more
Tom Aumeg
I think I'm being generous with three stars. I give those because it actually envisions an apocalypse scenario, before there was an established genre in that regard. When someone steps well ahead of their peers, in what they envision, they deserve kudos.

But the book is a chore to read. The descriptive scenes, particularly of the views from airships, take up something like half the book. He should have written a separate book on that, if he was so excited by it (It may have been exotic at the tim
...more
Goodthelife
Jan 25, 2015 Goodthelife marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own-kindle
http://www.catholicculture.org/commen...
A revealing book recommendation from the Pope...
By Phil Lawler (bio - articles - email) | Jan 20, 2015
Twice now, Pope Francis has recommended Robert Hugh Benson's apocalyptic novel, Lord of the World. It’s interesting that an English novel—written more than a century ago, and no longer easy to find—would figure prominently in the public remarks of a Pontiff who is not fluent in English. This bears investigation, don’t you think?

Speaking to reporters on the
...more
Michael
Dec 01, 2015 Michael rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion, fiction
This book was written in 1907. I generally don't read much that was published before the 1920s or so, being a fan of modernism (and finding most writing before the Modernist movement to be unbearably verbose). With all of that said, Pope Francis mentioned that he liked this one, and I got it for free on Kindle, so I thought, why not?

I wish I could say this was the first Catholic apocalyptic book that I've read, but it's not. I read Pierced by a Sword....twice, as well as Father Elijah. In all of
...more
Chris
Dec 16, 2015 Chris rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: religion
"I am perfectly aware that this is a terribly sensational book, and open to innumerable criticisms on that account, as well as on many others." - first sentence of the preface. Bears keeping in mind when reading.

Basically, this is the story of the rise of the anti-Christ and the end of the world. Lord of the World is kind of heavy, slow-paced and introspective, and the first few pages are essentially a history lesson but after that it gets really good.

What did I like? Of the three POV characters
...more
J.T. Therrien
Mar 15, 2015 J.T. Therrien rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm not a fan of fiction written at the turn of the twentieth century, and this novel, written in 1907, epitomizes what I dislike most about the period: all tell, no show; long descriptive paragraphs that neither set the mood nor add to the story, quaint British expressions that mean nothing to a modern reader, etc.

I read it because Pope Francis has mentioned it a couple of times in recent interviews, and Catholic writers are saying that if we want to understand the pope's interests, we should r
...more
Frederick Frankel
Fr. Benson tried to imagine the Apocalypse from his standpoint at the beginning of the 20th century. It was a dark vision, of course, as every self respecting Apocalypse must be, but the actual course of the century was infinitely darker than his Edwardian imagination could summon up. His socialists are sort of nice. They'd rather not kill you, but would prefer that you take care of that yourself, if things get a bit sticky.

The strength of the book is its mystical aspect. He has a sense of the e
...more
Denise Barney
Sep 25, 2015 Denise Barney rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read about this book in a comment on a blog, who mentioned that Robert Hugh Benson was a favorite author of Pope Francis. I downloaded a copy of this book from Project Gutenberg.

Robert Hugh Benson was an interesting individual. His father was the Archbishop of Canterbury and ordained his son as a priest in the Church of England. Later, Robert Benson's faith journey took him "across the Tiber," and he became a Catholic priest.

"Lord of the World" was written in 1907 and is set in the near futur
...more
Ryan
Somewhat sensational view of the late 1990's written by Monsignor Robert Hugh Benson of Cambridge in 1907. Envisions a parallel universe in which the Church has been pushed back and defeated in nearly every nation on earth, owning only Rome and Ireland. An unknown man named Julian Falsenburgh arises suddenly, uniting the entire world under the "Spirit of Man," denying God and ushering in an era of peace between nations. The inevitable clash between the all but destroyed Church under the young Po ...more
Richard Grebenc
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Scott
Jan 30, 2016 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Lately, I find myself reading more and more about theology. I guess I am doing so because I have reached a point in my life where I no longer believe the problems of this nation, or the world, can be solved merely with politics. A more fundamental reform needs to take place, one that delves deeper than the superficial world of "policy." Prior to this book, most of my reading has been focused on non-fiction theological titles. However, realizing that there can be profound religious wisdom in fict ...more
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Apocalypse Whenever: So the Pope recommends a dystopian novel ... 23 139 Jul 31, 2015 11:39AM  
  • The Great Heresies
  • The Spiritual Combat and a Treatise on Peace of Soul
  • The End of the Modern World
  • The Soul of The Apostolate
  • Father Elijah: An Apocalypse
  • The Spear
  • Transformation in Christ
  • Christ Is Passing by
  • Uniformity with God's Will
  • The Diary of a Country Priest
  • The Spirit of Catholicism
  • This Tremendous Lover
  • Three to Get Married
  • Jesus of Nazareth, Part Two: Holy Week: From the Entrance into Jerusalem to the Resurrection
  • Apologia Pro Vita Sua (A Defense of One's Life)
  • Lumen Fidei: The Light of Faith
  • The Four Cardinal Virtues
  • Triumph: The Power and the Glory of the Catholic Church
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Robert Hugh Benson (18 November 1871 – 19 October 1914) was an Anglican pastor who joined the Roman Catholic Church (1903) where he was ordained priest in 1904. Youngest son of Edward White Benson (Archbishop of Canterbury) and his wife, Mary, and younger brother of Edward Frederic Benson, he was lauded in his own day as one of the leading figures in English literature, having written the notable ...more
More about Robert Hugh Benson...

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“It was incredible, she told herself, that this ravening monster, dripping blood from claws and teeth, that had arisen roaring in the night, could be the Humanity that had become her God. She had thought revenge and cruelty and slaughter to be the brood of Christian superstition, dead and buried under the new-born angel of light, and now it seemed that the monsters yet stirred and lived.” 3 likes
“Yet Percy, even in the glimpses he had had in the streets, as he drove from the volor station outside the People's Gate, of the old peasant dresses, the blue and red-fringed wine carts, the cabbage-strewn gutters, the wet clothes flapping on strings, the mules and horses -- strange though these were, he had found them a refreshment. It had seemed to remind him that man was human, and not divine as the rest of the world proclaimed -- human, and therefore careless and individualistic; human, and therefore occupied with interests other than those of speed, cleanliness, and precision.” 1 likes
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