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Publisher's Summary

Secular humanism has triumphed. Everything the late Victorians and Edwardians believed would bring human happiness has been achieved: Technology has made it so no one needs to work for a living, the social sciences ensure a smooth-running social order, and, in the name of tolerance, religious beliefs have been uprooted and eliminated except for a single holdout - a largely discredited and rapidly shrinking Catholic Church. Yet people are unhappy.

What has been created is a sterile world of crass materialism, a world without spiritual dimension, a world where people daily choose legalized euthanasia over the emptiness of existence. Out of this culture of despair, there arises a charismatic leader: Julian Felsenburgh. Soon the masses are in Felsenburgh's thrall, and he becomes leader of the world. But in their eagerness for change, have the citizens of the world embraced the Antichrist and hastened the end of days?

Father Percy Franklin remains a bastion of stability, even as the Catholic Church disintegrates around him. Finally outlawed and driven underground, it is only this small and shrinking church that stands against the "Lord of the World".

Public Domain (P)2017 Blackstone Audio, Inc.

What listeners say about Lord of the World

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    4 out of 5 stars

Supringly prophetic ,

While written in 1907 this book is surprisingly prophetic, more so than Brave New World or even 1984.
There are a few niggles though. The use of Latin, especially in the final chapter, is untranslated and I had to google for the English translations.
Overall though a pertinent and interesting take on the rise of a humanistic society.

13 people found this helpful

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Great Plot! Amazingly PRESCIENT! But, BORING!!

I was really happy to find this book about the "end times" and "the anti christ", written in 1907 by a Catholic priest. Benson's work was one of the first dystopian novels.

Benson's prophecies about the future are amazing. Some, not so much (his version of airplane travel!)

His description of Socialism/communism/humanism are the best I've ever read! The way he has the antagonists use Christian ideas to explain Man as God is well worth reading this book.

Benson was writing in a world that was still very moral. He did not imagine how the world, very quickly, would not only become non-Christian, but immoral. For example, people in his future still get married, they still have a strict code of right and wrong, just without God. Benson did not realize how quickly the social fabric woven by 1500 years of Christendom could unravel with these new anti-God ideas.

Benson had a great idea in writing this book, but, he is very ponderous! He is not a great. or even a good writer at all.
I found myself yelling at the audiobook, out loud "Yes! get on with it" And fast forwarding through these scenes! Benson constantly over-describes the weather, the sky, and other meaningless details not needed for the story.
And, at times, it is mind numbingly boring!!!!

But I slogged on to the end.

Glad I read it, but glad I'm finished!!!

7 people found this helpful

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The narrator is great, except for his Latin

What did you love best about Lord of the World?

tremendous story, very apt for our time

Who was your favorite character and why?

Mabel realizes the lie she had been sold

What aspect of Simon Vance’s performance would you have changed?

Simon Vance badly mangles the ecclesiastical Latin pronunciation. His pronunciation is closer to classical Latin pronunciation, but that's not appropriate for the many Catholic Latin prayers, scripture, and chants scattered throughout the book. (Although you won't notice if you're not accustomed to praying in Latin)

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

No, the various bits require some time to sink in

10 people found this helpful

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A little spooky considering our times.

It’s like a current event book for our times. Masonry ideas rule the day, the Church is dealing with corruption, sexual scandal, changes on liturgy and doctrine and is rapidly on the decline. The stage is almost set, time for the main event.

4 people found this helpful

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Wonderful

Though some of the depth this book would be lost on anyone who is not Catholic, it stands as one of the great apocalyptic novels of the twentieth century. The performance was excellent with captivating passion that assists the listener in immersing himself in the story. A great read for all and a must read for all Catholics.

4 people found this helpful

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Respect for Robert Hugh Benson

I wish I had read this book years ago. Some reviews did not like the Latin at the end but any Catholics who know the Latin Mass will know the beauty of such an ending.

3 people found this helpful

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Uncanny and Beguiling Portrayal

Benson in 1907 crafted the dystopian tale 'Lord of the World.' Too bad for us that this master died at 43. Many of hIs descriptions vividly set forth in this book are now fleshed in and can be experienced in our own neighborhood!

3 people found this helpful

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Fantastic Audiobook

Wonderful narration by Mr. Vance and a superb story by Fr. Benson. I highly recommend this audiobook.

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Excellent Reading

Simon Vance gives by far the best narration of this title available on Audible, avoid the other versions.

1 person found this helpful

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Very important piece, if a little confusing.

It's a bit hard to understand at points though very good, sad, and an important message. I just recommend getting fallow up information afterwards.

1 person found this helpful

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  • European Reader
  • 06-20-18

Incredible

This historical novel reminds me of Damian North’s trilogy, Pontifex Maximus … a brilliant dystopian novel from the Catholic / Christian point of view. A classic, recommended by Pope Francis and Pope Benedict.

1 person found this helpful

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  • William
  • 04-09-22

Wooden, dogmatic, unconvincing, indigestible

As a vision of what religion can do to save humanity it is uninviting and completely unconvincing.
Written as a vehicle to convey ideas, and without literary skills, the story is a reactionary denunciation of modernity with characters as flat and non-human as Ayn Rand's stock puppets. The elitist and violent values advocated to stem the encroachment of Commie materialism include the pope's visionary reintroduction of the death penalty, a wailing at high rates of tax on inherited wealth compared to earned wealth. This desolate and depressing view of humanity is hardly going to serve as a recruiting sergeant for the Catholic church.

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  • N. Hammond
  • 07-08-19

Excellent

Excellent. Muddled. Confusing. This book will be a troubling and hard to follow piece of fantasy for those who like their sci-fi crisp or their mysticism worldly; moreover, I suspect that this mix is exactly what Benson intended. Don't look for Verne or Wells, Huxley or Heinlein, for what lies before you is a world of Bingen and Eckhart, Dante, Ferrer and Loyola; it is not for faint hearts or easy riders, yet it is all too human. Simon Vance does well with what has to be an alien format for any modern narrator, in a story that is at once trite but also troubling. So, suspend disbelief, and let the fantastic do its work - sneering at you even more than you may want to sneer at it.