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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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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.

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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.

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  • Mary Clare Murphy
  • 17-10-17

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.

6 people found this helpful

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  • sempervirens
  • 21-04-18

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

6 people found this helpful

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  • Cathie
  • 30-01-20

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.

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  • PleasedGA
  • 23-09-18

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.

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  • slow but happy reader
  • 29-08-18

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!

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  • Fr. Joseph
  • 16-05-19

Prophetic with clear and refreshing Theology

Aside from an interesting view of the future of technology from 100 years ago, political and social predictions seem frighteningly believable. The theological insights are clear, insightful, and have a refreshing perspective.

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  • Fredrick Nerri
  • 10-09-21

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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 11-08-21

enjoyable read

the book starts off a little slow but once it gets going it keeps your attention. I enjoyed the story and at times it is as if the author is writing today. worth the read for anyone interested

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  • Anonymous User
  • 08-07-21

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.

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  • Amazon Customer
  • 06-06-21

Christians please read

Remarkably relevant for today. Paints a pretty grim picture of a world without faith in God but complete faith in man.