Sunday, January 23, 2011

Book Review: Island of the World by Patrick O'Brien

Island of the WorldIsland of the World by Michael D. O'Brien

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Borrowed from a Library. Hope to own.

This book is beautiful beyond words. Painful, excruciating at times. But even there the words are beautiful.

Joy, infinite joy. Sadness, deep sadness. It will make you think. I can't review such a book.

Island of the World is the life story of Josip Lasta, a Croatian, a Catholic, a traveler of the world, a mathematician, a poet. He is raised in an idyllic village, horrors descend with the Second World War and its immediate aftermath. Life resumes. Joy is found again. And then the horrors of totalitarianism end the world a second time. Improbably, he escapes and wanders the earth, living a lifetime in New York City. His country is freed and he returns.

Oh, there is more. So much.

I suspect more than a passing knowledge of The Iliad and The Odyssey would have been helpful as this, too, was a journey of a man returning home to his beloved.

Several bloggers have recommended it and named a life-changing book and their favorite book; I may have to concur.

View all my reviews


  1. Is this the same Michael O'Brien who wrote A Landscape with Dragons? I loved that book. Has he written fiction before?

  2. Kelly, it looks like he's the same author according to Amazon. He has a bunch of novels.

    Fair warning, he's very Catholic. (also paints icons) Here's his website.


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