Thursday, April 21, 2011


End Of The World

Just a quick note because I know some of you out there will be interested. A free audiobook of Lord of the World by Robert Hugh Benson just went live at Librivox. In his article, Joseph Pearce explains:

Hugh Benson was lauded in his own day as one of the leading figures in English literature, yet today he is almost completely forgotten outside Catholic circles and is sadly neglected even among Catholics. Few stars of the literary firmament, either before or since, have shone quite so brightly in their own time before being eclipsed quite so inexplicably in posterity. Almost a century after his conversion, Benson has become the unsung genius of the Catholic Literary Revival…

The world depicted in Lord of the World is one where creeping secularism and Godless humanism have triumphed over religion and traditional morality. It is a world where philosophical relativism has triumphed over objectivity; a world where, in the name of tolerance, religious doctrine is not tolerated. It is a world where euthanasia is practiced widely and religion hardly practiced at all. The lord of this nightmare world is a benign-looking politician intent on power in the name of "peace," and intent on the destruction of religion in the name of "truth." In such a world, only a small and shrinking Church stands resolutely against the demonic "Lord of the World."

Yeah, I know, sounds like today’s headlines, doesn’t it? But the creepy thing is that Lord of the World was written in 1908. It’s considered one of the first modern dystopias, a genre which is like meat and potatoes around these parts. I mean, come on, in the few short years this blog has been around, I’ve already reviewed the likes of THX-1138, The Blood Of Heroes, Class Of 1999, Cherry 2000, Warrior Of The Lost World, Conquest Of The Planet Of The Apes, The Apple, Surf Nazis Must Die, and of course… ZARDOZ! There’s no way I’m passing up a chance to listen to Lord Of The World.

Let me know if some of you listen to it (or have already read it), I’d love to hear your opinions.


PaperSmyth said...

I tried to read it about 2 1/2 years ago... and crashed as he was describing the city, world govt, etc. I'm trained, in part, as a city/econ development planner and it got really boring at that point and I simply got busy with other things. That's the only excuse I've got.

I'll go back to it eventually. Maybe if I ever get my own MP3 player, I'll tolerate it better "with sound". Have you finished? What did you think?

EegahInc said...

I got distracted by something else about half way through, but I'll probably pick it back up finish it in a week or two. As far as the style of writing goes, it's standard turn of the century British stuff where lots of people stand around parlors talking, but it does have some interesting ideas in it. Some creepily mirror things happening today (I can't see Benson being a fan of mega-churches) and some just make you scratch your head (the Pope declaring martial law in Rome). And I like that none of the Catholics in it are presented as Saints even though it's pretty much a Catholics against the world type of story. I'll have to wait and see how it ends, but so far, if you threw in a few explosions and a demon or two, it'd make a decent B-movie.