Confession: The edition I read of this book was printed in 1972. There is no ISBN and no information other than the publisher, which is different. I dConfession: The edition I read of this book was printed in 1972. There is no ISBN and no information other than the publisher, which is different. I didn't bother to add a new edition because the one in the system is good enough for a 40 year old novel that's out of print. I am neglecting my librarian duties here.
I first read The Shape of Illusion when I was about 12. That was a very long time ago. It stuck with me enough to make me wrack my brains trying to figure out what that book was that took place at a German passion play that occurred once every 10 years in a medieval town, had a mystery and a romance. I mentioned it to my mom recently and she looked through her books and found it.
I'd really like to see some fantasy author take this story and run with it. At 215 pages, The Shape of Illusion is a bit too short to give the story the depth it deserves. The main characters are a bit stiff and formal. They could stand to be more naturalistic. The secondary characters are fairly vague. The story is really, really good though as evidenced by the fact that I wanted to read it nearly 40 years after I first read it.
The Shape of Illusion is about a painting in which the viewer sees himself as part of the crowd persecuting Christ as He's carrying His cross. It's about one agnostic artist's search for the artist who created this work that distresses those who see it. It's about a visit to a centuries-old performance of a passion play in the village where the painting's creator, Boniface Rohlmann lived.
One of the strongest points of this novel are the descriptions of Boniface Rohlmann's two paintings and the description of the passion play itself. William Barrett makes the village and the art come alive.
Make no mistake, this is a work of Christian fiction. It's clear that the author was a devout Catholic Christian. Yet, the protagonist is agnostic and he remains agnostic at the end. I kept expecting some hokey conversion experience and there was none. Instead, the protagonist comes to understand things about Christianity that he didn't before. He just doesn't come to believe. I thought this was an interesting aspect of this novel and wonder if it would be written the same way today. ...more
Good Omens is the first audio version I've listened to of a book I've already read in print. It was an interesting experience. Martin Jarvis does an eGood Omens is the first audio version I've listened to of a book I've already read in print. It was an interesting experience. Martin Jarvis does an excellent job of performing this insanely funny book. I love the voice he gave to Shadwell, a character who seemed fairly minor when I read the book myself. His comic delivery is perfect for the book.
The only reason I gave the audio version of Good Omens four stars instead of the five I gave the paperback is that I found it more confusing, especially near the beginning. Jarvis didn't put any pauses between scenes. When it transitions from the baby-switching scene to Anathema Device reading The Book back to the baby-switching scene and then to Newton Pulsifer's difficulty with electronics and back to the baby-switching scene, I would have been completely lost if I hadn't read the book before. I swear, Jarvis never paused so you'd know you were in a different scene. However, his excellent delivery made up for that as the book went on....more
I read this book in print back in 2009 and laughed my butt off. Christmas, murder, a warrior babe and zombies. Who could ask for more during the holidI read this book in print back in 2009 and laughed my butt off. Christmas, murder, a warrior babe and zombies. Who could ask for more during the holidays? When I saw the book on Audible, I thought I'd give it a re-read in audio. Sadly, the audio didn't entertain me quite as much as the print book. It was good, but there was something that just didn't click for me when listening. I suppose that humor in books is very subjective and that Tony Roberts, a good comedic actor, just didn't have the right tone for me. Like I said, it's subjective.
This is still one of the most memorable Christmas stories ever. Just don't let the kids get it....more