Island of The World

      Michael D. O'Brien
Island of The World

Island of the World is the story of a child born in 1933 into the turbulent world of the Balkans and tracing his life into the third millennium. The central character is Josip Lasta, the son of an impoverished school teacher in a remote village high in the mountains of the Bosnian interior. As the novel begins, World War II is underway and the entire region of Yugoslavia is torn by conflicting factions: German and Italian occupying armies, and the rebel forces that resist them—the fascist Ustashe, Serb nationalist Chetniks, and Communist Partisans. As events gather momentum, hell breaks loose, and the young and the innocent are caught in the path of great evils. Their only remaining strength is their religious faith and their families.

For more than a century, the confused and highly inflammatory history of former Yugoslavia has been the subject of numerous books, many of them rife with revisionist history and propaganda. The peoples of the Balkans live on the border of three worlds: the Islamic, the orthodox Slavic East, and Catholic Europe, and as such they stand in the path of major world conflicts that are not only geo-political but fundamentally spiritual. This novel cuts to the core question: how does a person retain his identity, indeed his humanity, in absolutely dehumanizing situations?

In the life of the central character, the author demonstrates that this will demand suffering and sacrifice, heroism and even holiness. When he is twelve years old, his entire world is destroyed, and so begins a lifelong Odyssey to find again the faith which the blows of evil have shattered. The plot takes the reader through Josip's youth, his young manhood, life under the Communist regime, hope and loss and unexpected blessings, the growth of his creative powers as a poet, and the ultimate test of his life. Ultimately this novel is about the crucifixion of a soul—and resurrection.


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    Voyage to Alpha Centauri: A Novel

      Michael D. O'Brien
Voyage to Alpha Centauri: A Novel

Set eighty years in the future, this novel by the best-selling author Michael O'Brien is about an expedition sent from the planet Earth to Alpha Centauri, the star closest to our solar system. TheKosmos, a great ship that the central character Neil de Hoyos describes as a "flying city", is immense in size and capable of more than half light-speed. Hoyos is a Nobel Prize winning physicist who has played a major role in designing the ship.

Hoyos has signed on as a passenger because he desires to escape the seemingly benign totalitarian government that controls everything on his home planet. He is a skeptical and quirky misanthropic humanist with old tragedies, loves, and hatreds that are secreted in his memory. The surprises that await him on the voyage-and its destination-will shatter all of his assumptions and point him to a true new horizon.

Science fiction and fantasy literature are genres that have become dominant forces in contemporary worldwide culture. Our fascination with the near-angelic powers of new technology, its benefits and dangers, its potential for obsession and catastrophe, raises vital questions that this work explores about human nature and the cosmos, about man's image of himself and where he is going-and why he seeks to go there.

Michael O'Brien, iconographer, painter, and writer, is the popular author of many best-selling novels including Father ElijahThe Father's TaleEclipse of the SunSophia HouseTheophilos, and Island of the World. His novels have been translated into twelve languages and widely reviewed in both secular and religious media in North America and Europe. He lives in Ontario with his wife, Sheila, and family. 

Praise for Voyage to Alpha Centauri:

"Michael O'Brien is a superior spiritual story teller worthy to join the ranks of C.S. Lewis, Flannery O'Connor, Graham Greene, and Evelyn Waugh." 
- Peter Kreeft, Ph.D., Boston College 

"Some Sci Fi novels are scientism fiction, worshiping science. Others are science friction, where high tech makes humans lowly. Voyage to Alpha Centauri, though, neither creates a new god nor blames science for our sin. Its narrator excitedly embarks on a 19-year trip aboard a sleek, huge spaceship, only to learn of oppression in the heavens as on earth, with big brothers watching and demanding lying conformity. Michael O'Brien shows us the battle that ensues and its sensational result as he skillfully portrays a clash of world views without end, amen." 
- Marvin Olasky, Editor-in-chief, World Magazine

"Ingenious, expansive, and enduringly wise, Voyage to Alpha Centauri is a tour de force of storytelling and moral imagination--sparkling in its humanity, rich in its embroidery, and chilling in its plausibility. It is a parable of an age that could easily become our own, with its concomitant wonders and dangers, an exploration of the most sublime heights and of the greatest depths of human possibility, and a thought-provoking meditation on the ethical limits of knowledge. InVoyage to Alpha Centauri, Michael O'Brien has given us a literary treasure and a deeply satisfying read."
- Corban Addison, Author, A Walk Across the Sun


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