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La rebelión de los ángeles nos sitúa en el centro de la más audaz y quimérica de las empresas imaginables: destronar al anciano y todopoderoso soberano: el Dios de la mitología judeocristiana, el tirano del universo, el cruel Ialdabaoth. La acción comienza en la biblioteca de los Esparvieu, donde la plácida rutina diaria de su conservador se ve interrumpida por una serie d La rebelión de los ángeles nos sitúa en el centro de la más audaz y quimérica de las empresas imaginables: destronar al anciano y todopoderoso soberano: el Dios de la mitología judeocristiana, el tirano del universo, el cruel Ialdabaoth. La acción comienza en la biblioteca de los Esparvieu, donde la plácida rutina diaria de su conservador se ve interrumpida por una serie de misteriosos desórdenes y extrañas desapariciones, que nos conducen hasta los ambientes revolucionarios del París de principios de siglo. Sin necesidad de recurrir a fantasmas esotéricos, Anatole France logra una espléndida y divertida metáfora sobre la eterna lucha entre el bien y el mal, dando vida simplemente a los viejos es píritus familiares de la teología cristiana.


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La rebelión de los ángeles nos sitúa en el centro de la más audaz y quimérica de las empresas imaginables: destronar al anciano y todopoderoso soberano: el Dios de la mitología judeocristiana, el tirano del universo, el cruel Ialdabaoth. La acción comienza en la biblioteca de los Esparvieu, donde la plácida rutina diaria de su conservador se ve interrumpida por una serie d La rebelión de los ángeles nos sitúa en el centro de la más audaz y quimérica de las empresas imaginables: destronar al anciano y todopoderoso soberano: el Dios de la mitología judeocristiana, el tirano del universo, el cruel Ialdabaoth. La acción comienza en la biblioteca de los Esparvieu, donde la plácida rutina diaria de su conservador se ve interrumpida por una serie de misteriosos desórdenes y extrañas desapariciones, que nos conducen hasta los ambientes revolucionarios del París de principios de siglo. Sin necesidad de recurrir a fantasmas esotéricos, Anatole France logra una espléndida y divertida metáfora sobre la eterna lucha entre el bien y el mal, dando vida simplemente a los viejos es píritus familiares de la teología cristiana.

30 review for La rebelión de los ángeles

  1. 5 out of 5

    BlackOxford

    Raining Angels in Paris and Washington Can there be such a genre, biblical material excepted, as the anticipatory allegory? If so, Revolt of the Angels could well be a prime example. In this week's NYRB (Nov. 6 2017), Charles Simic has a piece commemorating Trump's election. In it he puts Trump in a literary context: "The only character I can think of in the world literature who resembles Donald Trump is Père Ubu in the play Ubu Roi (“Ubu the King”) by Alfred Jarry that famously opened and closed Raining Angels in Paris and Washington Can there be such a genre, biblical material excepted, as the anticipatory allegory? If so, Revolt of the Angels could well be a prime example. In this week's NYRB (Nov. 6 2017), Charles Simic has a piece commemorating Trump's election. In it he puts Trump in a literary context: "The only character I can think of in the world literature who resembles Donald Trump is Père Ubu in the play Ubu Roi (“Ubu the King”) by Alfred Jarry that famously opened and closed in Paris on December 10, 1896, after starting a riot. A parody of Shakespeare’s Macbeth... Ubu is a buffoonish pretender to the throne of Poland, a brutal and greedy megalomaniac who, after killing off the royal family, starts murdering his own population in order to rob them of their money." I think Simic is exactly right to place Trump historically in the French Third Republic, and not just because of his Ubu-esque personality. In fin de siecle France Politics are polarised. Religious belief is a defining issue. Racism is on the rise. Freedom, defined to suit, is the rallying cry of both Right and Left. Terrorism is on everyone’s mind. Fake news is the only kind there is. The foundations of the democratic state seem less than they have been in decades. The Revolution has been betrayed and the Nation belittled. Revolt of the Angels is a parody of this tumultuous period. But, frightenly I find, it is also a very precise allegory of today's USA - written a century before events. The characters and plot seem out of the Trumpian playbook The Angels in question, mostly guardian and therefore the alter-egos of the individuals they protect, have decided to mount a Miltonian rerun of the abortive insurrection by Lucifer. The Manichaean demiurge against whom they fight is Ialdabaoth (Obama). Heaven is the realm of the Democrats, who have had their unjustifiable way for far too long; earth is the territory of the Republican angelic guardians of freedom and independence from external rule. The ringleaders are Arcade and Istar (respectively Steve Bannon and Vladimir Putin) who plan to destroy the existing order - one merely the republican earthly order, but the other the heavenly democratic order as well, that is, the entire governmental system. These two arrange for the election of the angel Nectaire (Trump himself) as President and Contradictor despite his lack of previous military, governmental or even political experience. Many other supporting characters are identifiable: the female angel Zita (the inimitable Sarah Palin who has already been abed with some of the other guardian angels), the financing angel Sophar (Robert Mercer, Breitbart investor and Trump supporter), the Archangel Michael (Robert Mueller, defender of heavenly interests), the unnamed earth-bound angel still loyal to God (Jeff Flake, of course attacked mercilessly by the rest), Monsieur Sariette (Trump's personal lawyer, Michael Cohen, who knows where all the bodies are buried; but this could also be Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, who fits the description of a wizened gnome more exactly), not forgetting the religious support of the Abbé Patouille (a French facsimile of Jerry Falwell). The plan is simple:Our project," Istar said, "is a vast one. It embraces both Heaven and Earth. It is settled in every detail. We shall first bring about a social revolution ... "' '" this is facilitated by the lack of discernment among the mass of the human population, ""...in a country where the climate is soft and existence made easy? Even here, where necessity calls for intellectual activity, nothing is rarer than a person who thinks." Consequently the situation is ripe, "Beneath an apparently unchangeable exterior all is rotten within. A mere push would suffice to overturn an edifice which has not been touched for millions of centuries. Out-worn administration, out-worn army, out-worn finance, the whole thing is more worm-eaten than either the Russian or Persian autocracy." One might surmise that the execution of such a project demands some level of familiarity with military tactics. But one would be wrong because"The multiplication of technical means, by infinitely multiplying the opportunities for mistake, paralyses the genius of those in command. At a certain stage in the progress of military science, a stage which our models ...are about to reach, the cleverest leader and the most ignorant become equalized by reason of their incapacity....Great numbers, in war as elsewhere, annihilate intelligence and individual superiority in favour of a sort of exceedingly rudimentary collective soul." In short, Trump and Kim Jung Un seem well-matched. After all, as everyone knows deep down, "a war is a matter of business." Unlike the first time round, the rebellious angels do succeed in the divine overthrow. Satan becomes God. But (who could have thought anything else) nothing substantive changes in either heaven or earth. Those in charge have those not in charge to worry about, thus the perpetual cycle of cosmic as well as national politics. Now, of course, all this could be merely a product of my inflamed imagination. Trump may well have succeeded in mortally infecting my own discernment through his continual, pervasive rhetoric. But there is also the possibility that the entirety of the political events in America is following a perennial script, one not necessarily invented but certainly articulated by Anatole France. Just sayin'.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Jareed

    I read this book as part of my Nobel Prize for Literature Awardees reading list. As it turned out it is one the longest list I will ever try to finish. Sometimes I too wonder where I found the audacity to attempt to foray in this kind of reading list. The Revolt of the Angels is my initial foray into Anatole France's works, which definitely is not my last one. It was not his first, as France was apparently a poet and a journalist too, but is considered to be his most profound novel. I was a suck I read this book as part of my Nobel Prize for Literature Awardees reading list. As it turned out it is one the longest list I will ever try to finish. Sometimes I too wonder where I found the audacity to attempt to foray in this kind of reading list. The Revolt of the Angels is my initial foray into Anatole France's works, which definitely is not my last one. It was not his first, as France was apparently a poet and a journalist too, but is considered to be his most profound novel. I was a sucker for riveting titles and killer first lines, so I picked this book and read. And read I did. Anatole France, born 16 April 1844 and died 12 October 1924 was a French poet, journalist, and novelist. His was a lifetime of books. The family business was a bookstore, one which, arguably, could be the best environment to raise a future Nobel Prize awardee. He was schooled in a private Catholic institution which lends credulity to the fact that Anatole France was one hell of a radical as exacerbated by his writings. The rest, as one would say, is history. He was awarded the Nobel Prize in 1921. Shortly, in 1922, as a response by the institution we all know as the Roman Catholic Church, all his works were banned through the Prohibited Books Index, a list which has been abolished since 1966 and contained the likes of Sartre, Rousseau, Voltaire, Descartes, Locke, Hume, Galileo to name a few. Oh what a delight that list was. The book itself was written in 1914, a time when France was besieged by the incoming Germanic invasion brought around by the First World War and was troubled at home by the numerous Socialist objections. What dominated this part of French history however was the power struggle between the Church and the State, one that is contained in this exceptional book and which probably served as the backbone for this exceptional work. Overly simplifying this dialectical issue, the struggle existed because the Church is seen to be representing the archaic system of institution embodied by the Monarchy against the desire of the Republicans who utterly detested political and class affiliations that are perpetuated by these monarchies. So from here, Anatole France wrote. I obtained my FREE e-book copy through Project Gutenberg and was translated from the original French by Frederic Chapman. Apparently, licenses on century old books do not exist. As expected of a work in the early 1900s, a lot of old English words and ones derived from both Latin and French were used like architrave, frieze, verbena, narcissi, demiurge, though let that not deter you from missing on this work. The prose is beautiful as expected from an Nobel Awardee. Revolt of the Angels tells us of the story of Arcade, a Guardian Angel, the lowest caste of the nine-tiered order of these heavenly beings. It narrates his pursuit of knowledge and how such knowledge led to become the foundation with which he challenge GOD, or as he called it, the DEMIURGE – the creator of the material world – or Ialdabaoth. Yes, this is the same GOD most Christian churches would profess belief to. The book further tells us how he conspired with other ‘fallen’ guardian angels and plotted the overthrow of Ialdabaoth. Intertwined with Arcade’s story is Maurice’s plight of losing his guardian angel, his dishonor and fornication (to which a certain extent Anatole France himself engaged in). The novel’s theme perhaps lies in the age-old philosophical conundrum of knowledge (or science) pitted against religion. Perhaps this conundrum is epitomized by Arcade’s statement: “When the angels possess some notions of physics, chemistry, astronomy, and physiology; when the study of matter shows them worlds in an atom, and an atom in the myriads of planets; when they see themselves lost between these two infinities; when they weigh and measure the stars, analyse their composition, and calculate their orbits, they will recognize that these monsters work in obedience to forces which no intelligence can define, or that each star has its particular divinity, or indigenous god; and they will realize that the gods of Aldebaran, Betelgeuse, and Sirius are greater than Ialdabaoth.” (39) What comes across to me however is that we human individuals are like Arcade, like these Angels in revolt. We seek the truth behind things. We learn, and learn and still crave for knowledge. But to where does this knowledge lead us? To me too at the same time we are Maurice. Just like him we all seem to have fallen into a trap. We love life itself so much that we fear losing it, that in any semblance of hope or continuity, we have sometimes turned to belief in numerous institutions, uncritical and naïve. That instead of uplifting the human soul, we have formed for ourselves unbreakable shackles that continue to limit our perception of the world. "I sought out the laws which govern nature, solid or ethereal, and after much pondering I perceived that the Universe had not been formed as its pretended Creator would have us believe; I knew that all that exists, exists of itself and not by the caprice of Iahveh; that the world is itself its own creator and the spirit its own God. Henceforth I despised Iahveh for his imposture, and I hated him because he showed himself to be opposed to all that I found desirable and good: liberty, curiosity, doubt.” (139) But what does exactly limit our perception? Is it really a religion, a church, a system of belief? Is it not fear and ignorance that severely limits human understanding and compassion, so much so that in the first place, no actual conflict exists between these forces? Is knowledge really the answer? What does this knowledge refer to? In the closing part of the book, when the Army has been assembled and Arcade went to ask Satan to lead the army on their march, Satan said this in response: “As to ourselves, celestial spirits, sublime demons, we have destroyed Ialdabaoth, our Tyrant, if in ourselves we have destroyed Ignorance and Fear." “…We were conquered because we failed to understand that Victory is a Spirit, and that it is in ourselves and in ourselves alone that we must attack and destroy Ialdabaoth.” (292) The beauty of this statement lies in its verisimilitude. Our demons are given birth by ignorance. It is nurtured by fear and is encouraged by blind obedience. These demons have always been personal in nature. Yet the discrepancy in societal response has become fundamental in nature. We have raised countless institutions that are impersonal and by being so, wholly unresponsive. And more vital to all of this, we fail to recognize “that it is in ourselves and in ourselves alone that we must attack and destroy Ialdabaoth (292).” I have left the institutional church long ago, embarking on a more personal attempt in understanding things. In a sense, I have aspired to be spiritual without being religious, and have met a great many debates and contest on this aspect. Since then however, I have struggled to conquer my own demons. I have sought to eradicate cynicism and suspicion in receiving and responding to others, and have tried to look for that piece of kindness in everybody. The first step is always recognizing that perhaps the fault lies in ourselves, for this too is the hardest step to make. This here is a good book. It may literally challenge fundamental beliefs of the religious institution, but what it truly offers is a much needed case of retrospection and examination which doesn't hurt to engage in once in a while. I would recommend it to everyone except that one should still take caution choosing whom you recommend it too. Perhaps if you enjoyed this book like me, a similar theme albeit carried in another plot was written by Jose Saramago, yet another Nobel Prize awardee, entitled The Gospel According to Jesus Christ (3 STARS). Other Books by Anatole France: Penguin Island (3 Stars) This book forms part of my remarkably extensive reading list on Nobel Prize for Literature Awardees This review has been cross-posted at i'mbookedindefinitely

  3. 4 out of 5

    Jim

    This is a book that could only have been written in France. And poor Anatole France got on the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books for his efforts. The Revolt of the Angels is not really a work of irreligion as it is of gentle irony. It all starts when Arcade, the guardian angel of Maurice d'Esparvieu, starts reading books in the famed d'Esparvieu library and decides that the God whom he served was actually a demiurge named Ialdabaoth. He enlists other angels who are living among men to jo This is a book that could only have been written in France. And poor Anatole France got on the Catholic Church's Index of Forbidden Books for his efforts. The Revolt of the Angels is not really a work of irreligion as it is of gentle irony. It all starts when Arcade, the guardian angel of Maurice d'Esparvieu, starts reading books in the famed d'Esparvieu library and decides that the God whom he served was actually a demiurge named Ialdabaoth. He enlists other angels who are living among men to join him, and with the collaboration of Satan, storm Heaven. At one point, Arcade is upbraided by one of his fellow rebels:We are on the eve of surprising Ialdabaoth in his palace of porphyry, and you, who are burning to deliver the heavens, who were so eager to enter in triumph into your emancipated country,—you suddenly forget your noble purpose and fall asleep in the arms of the daughters of men. What pleasure can you find in intercourse with these unclean little animals, composed, as they are, of elements so unstable that they may be said to be in a state of constant evanescence? O Arcade! I was indeed right to distrust you.There is, indeed, a gentle Gallic touch to this revolt. It's interesting that the Church took such offense to it.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Joe

    A clever and mischievous take on the theology of modern society, The Revolt of the Angels follows the path of Arcade, a lowly guardian angel, as he happens upon the ugly truths of his divine master in the library of his human charge. Anatole France takes what could be a very dry polemic against the slavery of religion and makes it into a charming romp with his gifts for characterization and story-telling. As Maurice, the young man abandoned by Arcade, struggles to get his guardian back, we are s A clever and mischievous take on the theology of modern society, The Revolt of the Angels follows the path of Arcade, a lowly guardian angel, as he happens upon the ugly truths of his divine master in the library of his human charge. Anatole France takes what could be a very dry polemic against the slavery of religion and makes it into a charming romp with his gifts for characterization and story-telling. As Maurice, the young man abandoned by Arcade, struggles to get his guardian back, we are shown a wide variety of France’s artistic personalities, most of whom are fallen angels. As they gather together a make-shift rebellion against God, it’s hard not to get caught up in their underdog story, even as the ending delivers them a stunning, if rather intellectual, deathblow. “We judge human actions by the pleasure or pain they cause us.” “Hapless as we are, the same blind force which regulates the courses of atom and of star fashions universal order from our vicissitudes. Our ill-fortune is necessary to the harmony of the Universe.” “If to act we had to know the secret of Nature, one would never act at all. And neither would one live- since to live is to act.”

  5. 5 out of 5

    Abraham

    This book was a bit slow for me. But, didn't allow it to discourage and me kept on. At the end honestly can say was a fantastic read.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Krystal Hickam

    I loved this book. I found it at a Half Price Books and it just seemed to call out to me. It's classified as a satire, but I think that is because atheism isn't something that could be talked about back in the day when this book was first published. The main story is much like the title. A band of Angels wants to revolt against God and heaven. These fallen angels don't think that God is good, or that he is all powerful as he claims to be. They are educated, having read many philosophical books, I loved this book. I found it at a Half Price Books and it just seemed to call out to me. It's classified as a satire, but I think that is because atheism isn't something that could be talked about back in the day when this book was first published. The main story is much like the title. A band of Angels wants to revolt against God and heaven. These fallen angels don't think that God is good, or that he is all powerful as he claims to be. They are educated, having read many philosophical books, and some from the group had even served the fallen Satan, and found him to be more kind that God. The book is largely about their views and ideas and fighting/action scenes don't pop up too much. The Angels are very much human. While they are more beautiful, we see them make mistakes that every human does. The ending, is very tasteful, and I feel gives a good message to the reader. All in all, I really loved this book, and I think it's a good read for anyone, whether you are religious or not.

  7. 4 out of 5

    Chris

    This book offers a heartening plot idea: the overthrow of god by revolting angels who have discovered the true origin and function of the universe through science. Ordinarily such a story would provide plenty of good reading and feeling which any intellectual critique of religion can offer to anyone with an open mind. My low rating for the book is not because of the plot but because I just was not captivated by the writing. Maybe it was the translation. It would be great if a new author would wr This book offers a heartening plot idea: the overthrow of god by revolting angels who have discovered the true origin and function of the universe through science. Ordinarily such a story would provide plenty of good reading and feeling which any intellectual critique of religion can offer to anyone with an open mind. My low rating for the book is not because of the plot but because I just was not captivated by the writing. Maybe it was the translation. It would be great if a new author would write this story. Maybe someone already has?

  8. 5 out of 5

    Malum

    religion, trusting spiritual woo-woo over science, and the corrupting nature of ultimate power are all delved into in this novel, in which fallen angels come to earth to plan the overthrow of heaven (and the fallen angels are the good guys). This novel put me in mind of my favorite Russian novel The Master and Margarita. If you like one of these novels, you will likely find something to enjoy in the other.

  9. 5 out of 5

    tENTATIVELY, cONVENIENCE

    It's becoming obvious that many of my bk 'reviews' are actually just excuses for anecdotes w/ just a little bk review thrown in here & there. That's the case here. I've been writing a math humor bk called "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of PNT (Perverse Number Theory)" - in fact, it's more or less finished now: I'm just working on the Glossary & the Index. Part of this bk entails my navigating thru my notes about math bks that I read between, roughly, 2003 & 2005. In one of the It's becoming obvious that many of my bk 'reviews' are actually just excuses for anecdotes w/ just a little bk review thrown in here & there. That's the case here. I've been writing a math humor bk called "Paradigm Shift Knuckle Sandwich & other examples of PNT (Perverse Number Theory)" - in fact, it's more or less finished now: I'm just working on the Glossary & the Index. Part of this bk entails my navigating thru my notes about math bks that I read between, roughly, 2003 & 2005. In one of them, I ran across mention of Anatole France's novel entitled (in English translation) "The Revolt of the Angels". I'd made a note to myself to find & read that. Then, in another note I found France quoted by one of the math bk authors. So that strengthened the resolve to read something by him. Now, I've known about A France for at least 32 yrs & I have his "Penguin Island" in my library - but I'd never read that or anything else by him. I was never that curious. In the back of my mind (in the visual cortex? Just Kidding), I think I always thought of him as a pop novelist & never had much interest. ANYWAY, the reason why I knew about him ±32 yrs ago is because of something that I eventually worked into this bk I just wrote. SO, read the relevant excerpt below & then I promise to move onto the actual review: "Beckmann goes on to diss Aristotle, who he describes as the "one whose teachings held up the progress of science for close to 2,000 years". Ha ha! "Aristotle, we are invariably told, was 'antiquity's most brilliant intellect,' and the explanation of this weird assertion, I believe, is best summarized in Anatole France's words: The books that everybody admires are the books that nobody reads." Coincidentally, I've been vacillating about whether to talk about what I call Bird-Brainism, wch I've so far decided against, but now that A. France is mentioned, the time for a segue has clearly come. "While reading these math bks, some non-math bk might be mentioned that seemed interesting, so I'd make note of it. In the Turing bio, Elmer Rice's play Judgment Day, about the Reichstag fire trial, was mentioned; Nobel Prize winning French author Anatole France's La Revolte des Anges (The Revolt of the Angels) was mentioned elsewhere. I've gotten both out of the library recently. "Anatole France has the fate, perhaps somewhat unfortunate, of being the guy whose posthumously determined small brain size (2.24 pounds as opposed to the average 3 pounds) is used to demonstrate that "big brain" doesn't automatically correlate w/ "intelligence". "When I was in my early 20s I took a Physical Anthropology class at a community college. That's probably where the subject of France's brain-size & its significance was mentioned. The 1st paper I wrote for that class is reproduced below: "The Significance of Efficient Brain-Use "Anthropologists have used cranial capacity as an indicator of the degree of mental ability. This makes Neanderthals "superior" to "twentieth-century" people. This practice is based on the belief that the brain's ability to manipulate functions is relative to its # of cells. However, a major mental ability increase is not necessarily accompanied by brain-size increase. "NAVIGATION: Bird-Brainism "Bird-Brains must remain small & light & still function complexly in order for flight to occur. This requires great brain efficiency rather than great size. Homonids could follow this example & make birthing less painful for the mother with a smaller head size. "If one accepts the idea that words & images are a major building block of thinking, one step toward greater brain efficiency might be to exploit the ambiguities of language to permit a multitude of simultaneously productive thoughts. In a society of interdependent specialists, the ability to create & send & receive useful synopsises can simplify the need for each individual to go through processes redundant in terms of the societal whole. Telepathy can make a person part of a giant brain without the need for a one-body housing. "There is a religious myth of winged homonids as beings on a higher evolutionary plane than non-winged homonids. It should be obvious by now that these beings, commonly called angels, should more properly be called Bird-Brains." SO, I finally got "The Revolt of the Angels" out of the library & just finished reading it at 2AM today. I was pleasantly surprised, it was, perhaps, more interesting than I expected. I wd've given it a 4 star rating but he makes stereotypical statements about Jews that I found so offensive that it lowered my estimation of his intelligence. In fact, he wrote it around the beginning of so-called World War I, in 1914, & he somewhat conflates Jews & Germans together as bad guys at one point. Now, that's an oversimplification - since I'm taking it out of context - but, still, it's interesting considering later German anti-semitic developments. The plot of the bk is basically that there are angels on Earth who've chosen to be here b/c they prefer it to heaven for one reason or another. One of them is one of the main human characters' guardian angel & he decides to stop working in that function in order to organize a revolt of the angels against God - who's represented as not being the actual creator but merely a demiurge dictator. Satan is represented as intelligent & benign, by contrast. One of the things that interests me about this bk is that it cd clearly be called "Satanist" insofar as Satan is depicted favorably & many of the protaganists are allied w/ him. Nonetheless, A France won the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1921. That's fine w/ me but it seems strange given the way this world usually works. A writer of a flagrantly "Satanist" bk getting the Nobel Prize? I wd've been tempted to deny it to him just on the basis of his Jewish stereotyping - but that's a different story. I will say that I think he's a good writer.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Mel

    I read Revolt of the Angels again for Bibliogoth, practically in one sitting. I really enjoyed it. Revolutionaries disguised as angels and politics disguised as religion. It has old libraries full of books, love affairs, and bombs. It’s a book that hardly anyone has ever heard of but if you can find a copy it’s well worth a read.

  11. 5 out of 5

    Dxarmbar06

    Phenomenal read and apparently a national treasure in France. The French speaking world is so much more literate than the trite English speaking world. Has that "thing." People looking for a certain type of literature know what that "thing" is.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Chuck

    elegant, and very fun

  13. 4 out of 5

    MichaelK

    3rd reading (2018) It's still a shock how obscenely boring those first 36 pages are. With each read I care even less for the human-only subplots. 2nd reading (2017) I still loved it, though the opening was even slower than I remembered (I didn't re-read my earlier review before re-reading the book): those first 36 pages do draaaaaaag. I skimmed over a lot of the chapters with only human characters, because the angel chapters are where the important action is. I love this book for meshing together b 3rd reading (2018) It's still a shock how obscenely boring those first 36 pages are. With each read I care even less for the human-only subplots. 2nd reading (2017) I still loved it, though the opening was even slower than I remembered (I didn't re-read my earlier review before re-reading the book): those first 36 pages do draaaaaaag. I skimmed over a lot of the chapters with only human characters, because the angel chapters are where the important action is. I love this book for meshing together biblical imagery and modern political discourse in the story of the growing angelic revolution. I didn't care much for the human-only subplots. 1st reading (2016) Short Review: 'The Revolt of the Angels' by Anatole France is a satirical fantasy that plays with Christian mythology: a Guardian angel in 20th century France spends too much time in a library, studying science, philosophy, and history, which convinces him to join the fallen angels, who have been recast as somewhat comically inept radical left-wing revolutionaries ("we shall carry war into the heavens, where we shall establish a peaceful democracy"). Jokes at the expense of government, hard-left politics, war, religion, and more. Long Review: In 1921, Anatole France was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. In 1922, the Roman Catholic Church added all of his books to its Index Librorum Prohibitorum (Prohibited Books Index), which was only abolished in 1966. Nowadays, Anatole France is quite unknown in the English-speaking world: of his many books, only two are in print in English: The Gods Will Have Blood (1912), published by Penguin Classics, and The Revolt of the Angels (1914), published by Dover Thrift in 2015. Reading the latter, it becomes obvious why the church banned France's work. Minor spoilers ahead. "I am about to reveal to you a secret on which hangs the fate of the Universe. In rebellion against him who you hold to be creator of all things visible and invisible, I am preparing the Revolt of the Angels." TROTA has a slow opening: we are given the history of a French family and their library, and a mystery of missing books. It is not until chapter 10, page 36 of 165, that the story actually gets going. Maurice d'Esparvieu's guardian angel has been stealing books and educating himself. The angel has studied the Bible and the Talmud, and the scholarship surrounding them; has "devoured the works of theologians, philosophers, physicists, geologists, and naturalists"; has read and re-read Lucretius; and has concluded that God is a lying tyrant. Reaching this conclusion, and grasping the scale of the deception, turns Arcade into a revolutionist. "I believe in the God of the Jews and the Christians. But I deny that he created the world; at the most he organised but an inferior part of it, and all that he touched bears the mark of his rough and unforeseeing touch. I do not think he is either eternal or infinite, for it is absurd to conceive of a being who is not bounded by space or time. I believe him limited, even very limited. I no longer believe him to be the only God. For a long time he did not believe it himself; in the beginning he was a polytheist; later, his pride and the flattery of his worshipers made him a monotheist. His ideas have little connection; He is less powerful than he is thought to be. And, to speak candidly, he is not so much a God as a vain and ignorant demiurge. Those who, like myself, know his true nature, call him Ialdabaoth." (The name Ialdabaoth comes from Gnostic mythology, which is worth looking up on Wikipedia. It's a fun mythology.) The angel abandons his post as Maurice's guardian to begin his new life as a rebel. He meets other fallen angels to organize a second revolt against God. They plan to smuggle propaganda into Heaven, to spread knowledge of evolution and cosmology among the loyal angels ("It is certainly no light task, because the Kingdom of Heaven is a military autocracy and there is no public opinion in it."). They purchase weapons, make bombs, and ready themselves for all-out war with Heaven ("we shall carry war into the heavens, where we shall establish a peaceful democracy"). Four chapters in the middle of the novel tell the history of Heaven and Earth from a fallen angel perspective, with the rise of Christianity being a very negative event ("The Christians burnt books, overthrew temples, set fire to the towns, and carried out their ravages as far as the deserts."). One can see why the Catholic Church banned France's work. Overall, the novel is very good. There is a sometimes bleak, sometimes cheeky humor throughout. After the slow beginning, the story advances at a decent pace. I thought the final chapter was superb. My only gripe is that the stories of the human characters (Maurice's family and associates) are not as interesting as the growing angel rebellion: I found myself wanting to skip the human sections, even though these provided most of the cheeky humor. I recommend this novel, and would read more of Anatole France's work.

  14. 4 out of 5

    A Ab.

    This is a manifesto for an individual inner self revolution. Satan has access to d’Esparvieu family library,one of the ‘vastest libraries in the world’.It’s librarian prefers the books to remain on the shelves untouched, lest they may be damaged! But this is not for Satan; he is invisible, so has access to the library and is reading them ferociously .”I have learnt.I have thought.I have lost my faith.” He tells of “the progress his mind had made towards knowledge and liberty, of his philosophical This is a manifesto for an individual inner self revolution. Satan has access to d’Esparvieu family library,one of the ‘vastest libraries in the world’.It’s librarian prefers the books to remain on the shelves untouched, lest they may be damaged! But this is not for Satan; he is invisible, so has access to the library and is reading them ferociously .”I have learnt.I have thought.I have lost my faith.” He tells of “the progress his mind had made towards knowledge and liberty, of his philosophical reading, his studies of nature,his anger and his contempt when he recognized the deception of the demiurge,his voluntary exile among mankind, and, finally ,of his project to stir rebellion in Heaven”. He revolts against God.He thinks that “It is absurd to conceive of a being who is not bound by space or time.” He is a critic of God, and revolts against all the norms of the society, and wants to built from anew a social order where human beings are free and where "the liberty of the individual” is protected and respected. But once he wins and “had himself crowned God”,he begins to derive pleasure from all the praise he receives for his wisdom and power. And he gradually maintains the old doctrine and even gives the power to pope again “In thee I confirm the right and power to decide matters of doctrine,to regulate the use of sacraments, to make laws and to uphold the purity of morals.And the faithful shall be under obligation to conform thereto.Thou art infallible. Nothing is changed”. “Nothing is Changed”! Anatole France ,has his doubts about the result of the revolutions, and the positive changes that should occur for the salvation of mankind.Even at one point he argues that the financiers steal the revolutions for their own benefits, “Can it be that we are the sport of financiers?…War is a business. It has always been a business”. There will be no change ,unless there is a change in individuals wisdom, knowledge and consciousness.“God, conquered, will become Satan; Satan,conquering, will become God….it is in ourselves and in ourselves alone that we must attack and destroy Ialdabaoth”. However he does not give in and does not lose hope. “ if victory is denied us now,it is because we are neither worthy nor capable of victory.Let us determine wherein we have failed.Nature shall not be ruled,the scepter of the universe shall not be grasped,except by knowledge alone.. let us meditate;seeking the hidden causes of things; let us observe the course of nature;…let us strive to penetrate her infinite grandeur,her infinite minuteness…When she obeys us we shall be as Gods.” Enjoyed reading it.It was a good read.

  15. 5 out of 5

    Olya Neshcheretnaya

    This is a novel about a coup attempt in the heavenly firmament. The angels, frustrated in the politics of God, descend upon Earth to prepare the overthrow of their master. In General, the author is ridiculing the events of 1812 in France. The problem is that if you're not aware of the historical events of the time, it is unlikely to be able to capture the essence of satire, presented by Anatole France this work. If the "Island penguins", the author ridicules the history of France, and we, as reade This is a novel about a coup attempt in the heavenly firmament. The angels, frustrated in the politics of God, descend upon Earth to prepare the overthrow of their master. In General, the author is ridiculing the events of 1812 in France. The problem is that if you're not aware of the historical events of the time, it is unlikely to be able to capture the essence of satire, presented by Anatole France this work. If the "Island penguins", the author ridicules the history of France, and we, as readers, recognize this through subtle humor and satire in "the Revolt of the angels" is problematic, not least because of the historical period, taken as a basis, is quite small, and knowledge about it is either not understood, or forgotten, simply not enough to immediately understand what it was about. Therefore felt a certain dissatisfaction with from reading. Although I realize that it's my fault: ignorance led to misunderstanding of the story. It is unlikely I will advise friends to read this novel, in contrast to the "Island penguins".

  16. 5 out of 5

    Petyhaker

    I think it's a must read "black humour" political comedy. A smart and unconventional comedy with a deep dive analysis in politics, religion and human nature. The plot was brilliant and imaginative, while the characters are - i believe - intentionally unrealistic and shallow which makes an excellent contrast with the seriousness of the situation and the events that take place - and, of course, makes the book hilariously ironic.

  17. 4 out of 5

    Beka Sukhitashvili

    Goood, like angels and Demons! Satire, ironies, caricature ...

  18. 4 out of 5

    Brent Buell

    One of my favorite books. It turns the world of religion upside down. It was part of the inspiration for my novel RAPTUROUS.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vicky Hunt

    If the angels spoke... what would they have to say about religion? In the case of Anatole France's talking angels, whether they are fallen angels or heavenly angels; they reveal a great deal about faith, religion, and God's plan for our lives. France plays the devil's advocate in this cynical story that reminds me of The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis. The big difference is that C. S. Lewis was a Christian believer, and his book very well gave you the ability to compare and contrast belief w If the angels spoke... what would they have to say about religion? In the case of Anatole France's talking angels, whether they are fallen angels or heavenly angels; they reveal a great deal about faith, religion, and God's plan for our lives. France plays the devil's advocate in this cynical story that reminds me of The Screwtape Letters, by C. S. Lewis. The big difference is that C. S. Lewis was a Christian believer, and his book very well gave you the ability to compare and contrast belief with practice of our faith. Meanwhile, Anatole France had a a satanist worldview, though it would be difficult to differentiate between whether he was a theistic satanist, or an atheistic satanist. I make a differentiation here, because from The Revolt of the Angels it is nearly impossible to make a distinction, as he seems to play both sides of the argument well. I won't even try to avoid spoilers here... so here's your chance to opt out if you are still reading. Read on for a simple summary and argument of the story, which was published in the last 10 years of his life. He was a prolific writer, and expressive so as to make all his writing well-loved by many. I've provided subheadings & a conclusion for a TL;DR version. Anatole France takes the idea of Maurice, a young man in his twenties who in the early part of the twentieth century, while living a debauched amoral lifestyle, claims to be a good Catholic, though France points out that Maurice is NOT a good Christian. Since Maurice does as he pleases, without regard to the Ten Commandments, or the Bible, his guardian angel gets bored because he has been so ignored. The bored guardian, Arcade, entertains himself by reading the countless books in Maurice's family library, which is big enough to have a librarian hired by his uncle. Arcade, being invisible keeps dropping the Bibles and theology books, and all the great works of philosophy everywhere he goes following Maurice around. He very well can't hold on to them easily since he has no pockets and the books fall through him. The nervous librarian can't discover the mystery of the missing books. But, eventually Arcade appears to Maurice and the whole story is revealed to the reader. From there, we learn that the guardian has decided that he wants to bring back, or re-instigate satan's failed rebellion, since he believes that God is an imposter for the real God. He refers to God as merely a demiurge who claims to have created the universe, while only having control of probably a small portion. The major reason for this belief is that he claims that it is apparent that God has no real idea of how the universe even works. This is only defended by the fact of man discovering the Western hemisphere. According to France, this means that God didn’t know men were on the other side of the Earth, or He didn’t know the shape of the Earth, because God didn’t reveal Himself to the people there. He shows no facts to support that claim. I doubt it, at least. Ultimately, we meet a handful of main angels: 1. Arcade - the fallen Guardian angel, who is corrupted by Science 2. Theophile Belais - a fallen archangel who lives as a musician on earth because he fell in love with a woman on Earth and chose to fall, though he loves God still. He knows he has rebelled and does it anyways for love. 3. Zita - a fallen archangel who lives as a poor ugly woman on Earth, because she is a Nihilist. She was filled with ambition and a love for intrigue, or perhaps gossip, since the translation doesn't seem so good. 4. Istar - a fallen cherubim who lives as a chemist/pharmicist, and is a humanist & non-militarist 5. Nectaire - an old gardener who lives in the woods and plays his flute; the most revered of them, because beauty here is the trump card. He plays beautifully on that flute. Beauty is portrayed as of most value in the scheme of the world. 6. Max Everdingin (Sophar) - God's treasury keeper, who fell after falling in love with money, when he looked down on Earth and beheld banking and finance in the new Republic of France. He loved the God of the Hebrews, but could think of nothing but money. These angel characters each present an argument against God, in that they show the opinions of Science, music/art, freedom/self-interest, love vs. God's judgement, and liberty/ curiosity/ doubt; in that order. Very well chosen points all, and excellent characterization. France is a superb writer. Heavenly angels are not well represented, with the exception of one: 1. Michael - The archangel, God's warrior, knowledgeable and discerning, a militarist captain of the militarist God. Military is seen as being of the least value in the world, ultimately, though this is frequently contradicted, as we will see. I mean, they are fighting a rebellion/war. Beliefs: *Arcade believes in Science. Men are capable of understanding. *Istar believes in the goodness of man and things. Anarchy of itself will create order and harmony. *Zita believes in interests and passions. *Sophar/Max believes in finance and the 'virtuous bank.' Goals of the Planned Revolution: This group of fallen angels, led by Arcade, desires to establish a peaceful democracy on Earth, to reduce the citadel of Heaven, to overturn the mountain of God, and to storm Celestial Jerusalem; utilizing angels from all of the following 9 ranks. 1st Choir: Seraphim, Cherubim, and Thrones 2nd Choir: Dominations, Virtues, and Powers 3rd Choir: Principalities, Archangels, and just plain angels (which includes Guardian angels.) Ultimately, Maurice decides he can't live without God in his life, and goes in search of his Guardian angel. When he can't convince him to return to his protection, he decides to be Arcade's guardian angel, though he shares with him all the sins he loves himself. Meanwhile, Arcade has to coerce the other fallen angels into the rebellion, since they never really seem to buy into his idea that they can win. Nor do half of them really want to fight God. But, Arcade forces them. I found many things that I think are mis-claims. I'll just list them in reverse order of importance, saving the big one for last. 'Misclaims' in the arguments of the book: 5. The fallen angels claim to have lost satan's rebellion because of ignorance of how the world works. Science and nature. So, God destroyed them with thunderbolts. When they were cast on Earth, they felt sorry for man who was so ignorant, and decided to teach him how the world works. This is a contradiction. How could they teach what they didn't know themselves? They know nothing of nature, and yet they taught man everything. 4. The fallen angels take credit for teaching the Greeks, but they ignored the Barbarians. This seems random to me. It certainly can't be proved. How do we know God didn't teach the Greeks and devils teach the barbarians? I certainly doubt it happened this way. Either way, this playing favorites with mankind continues, as the devils teach the Romans, but not Remus' sons. They take full credit for the 'success' of the Romans in art and culture, but claim no fault for their wars. Some concession is made for the fact that war was important for man to learn in these early years, because it taught him courage and nobility. When the world war breaks out, the angels retreat to their garden and play the flute, leaving man to salvage himself. All in all, the devils play and sing with mankind, and teach them to make music and art. But, they abandon their Pagan followers when war breaks out, plagues fall, and famine spreads. They do at points blame these on the Jews, of course, admitting that these maladies weren't all the fault of God. Well, why not blame the plague on the Jews? Everybody else was blaming them. But, that is a far cry from truth. (Besides racism, there are multiple examples of misogyny in his ideas as well, even in the middle of denying being misogynistic at one point.) 3. Then the Romans became Christians, and that is ultimately presented as the cause of their demise. No reason is given to explain how these Romans enlightened by devils fell into the clutches of the Christians. The fallen angels have no problem working with the Catholic church, and move right into the monasteries; teaching the monks how to build statues and icons to worship for their beauty. This fits their agenda well, as it is ultimately seen as an anti-Christian sentiment, and beauty is equated with idolatry, by France. Eventually, Martin Luther the German monk, salvages Christianity with the reformation, by forming the Protestant faith, and they claim that Christianity would have been dead, if that hadn't happened. They concede that eventually the Catholic Church reforms itself due to these external pressures. They theorize that as they continue to work with man, he is sure to achieve greatness and lay aside war in the latter half of the century. This does not happen, as we know now with WWII, and many other problems still here. Of course, Anatole France is gone and doesn't know that the demons failed in this, too. But, religion, Christianity, and Jesus all still exist. And, mankind is still given free will by God to choose how he will live his life. 2. Much of the flowing and beautiful description of creation is stolen from the Bible in Isaiah and Genesis, and attributed to the beauty of fallen angelic visions. There is, in addition many instances of Scripture being used correctly and yet a single false statement added to the 3 true ones, so that the whole argument is twisted into a lie. Overall, though you can see France definitely was familiar with the Bible. 1. The fallen angels claim that virtues and morals lead to murder. This is the largest fallacy in the book. It is presented throughout. Yet, we see men committing adultery and murdering over adultery. We see men loving things, and murdering over those things. We see men living totally amorally, and yet those same amoral men are unhappy murderers. This argument is reinforced with 3 sub-claims (Taken directly from the book.) a. It is difficult to subject physiological impulses to perfectly defined rules. b. It is almost impossible systematically to constitute a natural moral law. Nature has no principles. c. Nature furnishes us with no reason to believe that human life is to be respected. d. Nature, in her indifference, makes no distinction between good and evil. Regardless of whether you believe in God, or not; it stands to reason here and now that you must know that nature has principles that must be respected. If not, then try an experiment with that, by ignoring the principle of the conservation of energy for the next year of your life. If you don’t respect thermodynamics, you will freeze in the Winter and have a stroke in the Summer. But, that’s nothing. Skip the smaller points and go straight to the last two. There is good and evil, of which Anatole France has verified by choosing from the things on Earth that he deems as good: knowledge, beauty, and freedom to sleep with anybody and everybody. He has made value judgements himself by describing monogamy as a dangerous and bad way to live. By claiming to lift up mankind as the greatest import, he has affirmed that human life is good and to be respected. He himself chose to have his human painter character Guinardon murdered for greed, while the mistress he left his lifelong mistress Zephyrine for was in the bed of another man. Who did he have to sit with his body and mourn his death? The abandoned Zephyrine came and wept over his body until the sun rose, when she died for grief herself. Seriously?! Does he himself not believe his own philosophy? This was the biggest mistake he made. He himself chose this outcome. Could he have not chosen to have the second mistress there with Guinardon? Of course not. He himself believes that Guinardon did wrong by failing to marry Zephyrine who’d been faithful to him all those years, and then leaving her as a sad old woman to weep over his body. Anatole himself realizes the value of the human heart, love and life itself. At the very least, he is hypocritical in his atheistic faith. Conclusion: I must end. And so does the rebellion. But, everything predicted about God was incorrect in the end. Anatole doubts satan’s own goal, and… well I really should leave that out at the least so I will. I loved the writing style, the characterization, and the exhaustive familiarity with the topic. I would have liked to have seen more heavenly angels introduced in detail. I didn’t feel as good about the way France argued his points. Though he had very good points, I think they could have been proven better by a sober Catholic Priest. I did like the credit he gave Martin Luther, though. I settled on a 3 rating because of this range of good and bad I see in the overall story. And, it’s certainly not his best work overall, though it was the best I’ve read of his writing style.

  20. 4 out of 5

    Herman

    Straight up I did not enjoy this book. I gave it three stars because I recognize it as a trailblazing genre-creating piece of work but it was hard to read just dry ponderous slow with long detail descriptions that didn't add anything to the story and it didn't sound like how someone would speak or think, but maybe, that is a reflection of the writer's world in a time before electronics people probably were better read and therefore they thought and spoke like they were reading out of the New York Straight up I did not enjoy this book. I gave it three stars because I recognize it as a trailblazing genre-creating piece of work but it was hard to read just dry ponderous slow with long detail descriptions that didn't add anything to the story and it didn't sound like how someone would speak or think, but maybe, that is a reflection of the writer's world in a time before electronics people probably were better read and therefore they thought and spoke like they were reading out of the New York Times, but too my 2019 ears, and way of thinking, I'm just finding this style of speech and mind's eve overview description to be just so annoying... "Old Ingres had written at the bottom of the page in case he should forget: 'Mademoiselle Cécile, admirable legs and thighs'—and so as to make Mademoiselle Cécile into a saint in Paradise, he gave her a robe, a cloak, a veil, inflicting thus a shameful decline in her estate, for the tissues of Lyons and Genoa are worthless compared with the youthful living tissue, rosy with pure blood; the most beautiful draperies are despicable compared with the lines of a beautiful body. In fact, clothing for flesh that is desirable and ripe for wedlock is an unmerited shame, and the worst of humiliations"; and Gaétan, walking carelessly in the gutter of the Rue Garancière, continued: "Old Guinardon is a pestilential idiot." France, Anatole. The Revolt of the Angels (Xist Classics) Ok classic or not that shit is just nearly unreadable. Just two parts of this book really interested me and that was the Gardener story which was the heart and soul of this book quite good world history recap as told from a fallen Angel's perspective. Towards the end of the book when Satan and God had another war this time Satan won (opps! spoiler alert) and this reflection of Satan/God as he sit after the war and get's use to being the one in charge. ""O Lord, my God, I recognise Thy voice! Thy breath has been wafted like balm to my heart. Blessed be Thy name. Thy will be done on Earth, as it is in Heaven. Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil." And Satan found pleasure in praise and in the exercise of his grace; he loved to hear his wisdom and his power belauded. He listened with joy to the canticles of the cherubim who celebrated his good deeds, and he took no pleasure in listening to Nectaire's flute, because it celebrated nature's self, yielded to the insect and to the blade of grass their share of power and love, and counselled happiness and freedom. Satan, whose flesh had crept, in days gone by, at the idea that suffering prevailed in the world, now felt himself inaccessible to pity. He regarded suffering and death as the happy results of omnipotence and sovereign kindness. And the savour of the blood of victims rose upward towards him like sweet incense. He fell to condemning intelligence and to hating curiosity. He himself refused to learn anything more, for fear that in acquiring fresh knowledge he might let it be seen that he had not known." You see what I mean about the language I mean props for plot and storyline but Anatole France you suck at writing dialog.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Mike W

    One of the great plot ideas I’ve come across. It’s good satire but ultimately underwhelming.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Terese

    It's not often you come about a well-written, easily read, funny and clever book, which also happens to carry a significant message. If you're a hardcore Christian, this probably isn't for you, but to others - this book was a joy to read. Vivid characters too, thought there isn't necessarily a lot of in depth details on most of them, France still made them very present and lively.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Daniela

    This book is basically a treatise on atheism. It is also a good example of the "novel of ideas". The story is fairly simple. A guardian angel discovers a library that belongs to the father of his charge, and starts reading. As he reads he realises that the Being he recognized as master and as God of all things was nothing but a demiurge, one among many, ignorant and cruel, who enforces his rule in Heaven by sheer force. He then sets off to rally the other "fallen" angels and spark a rebellion ag This book is basically a treatise on atheism. It is also a good example of the "novel of ideas". The story is fairly simple. A guardian angel discovers a library that belongs to the father of his charge, and starts reading. As he reads he realises that the Being he recognized as master and as God of all things was nothing but a demiurge, one among many, ignorant and cruel, who enforces his rule in Heaven by sheer force. He then sets off to rally the other "fallen" angels and spark a rebellion against said demiurge. I liked how ideas were presented here. There's the obvious praise of Classical Antiquity as a superior culture and the positivist despise for the Middle Ages. There's the criticism of the Third Republic and of the several groups that composed it - mainly royalists and catholics. Catholics especially, are often the target of hilarious and violent criticism. But then again, it's not surprising considering the time and setting. I believe this could also be considered a good example of early 20th century fantasy. Overall, I enjoyed it although I thought it was a bit rushed in some bits. Still, it makes very good points on the nature of liberty and on the importance of knowledge. It's also a great introduction to Anatole France.

  24. 5 out of 5

    Demetrelli

    A very original book with a neat writing and a nice flow that keeps you turning every page. What I especially liked was the description and building of characters. Each one was unique and has a specific role to play in the plot, a certain meaning for story that the writer wanted to convey. There were believers and nonbelievers, humans and angels alike, each one with their own story, very often a comical yet realistic one. I generally liked how France interwines the polarization of religion vs. sc A very original book with a neat writing and a nice flow that keeps you turning every page. What I especially liked was the description and building of characters. Each one was unique and has a specific role to play in the plot, a certain meaning for story that the writer wanted to convey. There were believers and nonbelievers, humans and angels alike, each one with their own story, very often a comical yet realistic one. I generally liked how France interwines the polarization of religion vs. science without falling into cliche dialogue or descriptions of events. He also takes notice of how these two opposites are reflected into society (whether it's that of humans or heavens). A minor thing that set me off was the beginning that describes a long lineage, it made me feel a little lost and wary of what I was going to read but after the first few pages I totally changed my mind. Overall, a great entertaining read that gives a lot to the reader!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Andrada

    After the Divine Comedy, I suppose this is the complete opposite viewpoint and felt like a complete rejection of God in his Christian setting. It’s in a lot of ways contradictory(angels losing faith in itself is a rather amusing idea). Although I thought the premise was interesting and angels becoming revolutionaries in the anarchist/socialist fashion of the beginning of the 20th century was a welcome analogy, it ultimately felt much like an invective against absolute power as well as religion. After the Divine Comedy, I suppose this is the complete opposite viewpoint and felt like a complete rejection of God in his Christian setting. It’s in a lot of ways contradictory(angels losing faith in itself is a rather amusing idea). Although I thought the premise was interesting and angels becoming revolutionaries in the anarchist/socialist fashion of the beginning of the 20th century was a welcome analogy, it ultimately felt much like an invective against absolute power as well as religion. I felt like it tried to vilify Christianity a bit too much as, well, most people opposed to its ideas are likely to. Ultimately though there is no black and white in ideology and taking up either of the extremes is likely to produce rather bitter results.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Salome Popiashvili

    There's not a lot of book I'm enjoying but this one was good. It is refined, nicely moderated and tasteful work, and of course story line is perfectly formulated. There was one think I consider interesting and it was the idea of demons facilitation of human kinds development. I think Anatole France was inspired by John milton's Lost Heaven because as I remember there (Lost Heaven) is really inspiring part, where devil is thinking about why he choose this way, he choose freedom, free will and etc. There's not a lot of book I'm enjoying but this one was good. It is refined, nicely moderated and tasteful work, and of course story line is perfectly formulated. There was one think I consider interesting and it was the idea of demons facilitation of human kinds development. I think Anatole France was inspired by John milton's Lost Heaven because as I remember there (Lost Heaven) is really inspiring part, where devil is thinking about why he choose this way, he choose freedom, free will and etc. and it's really interesting point of view which gonna question traditional way of thinking about god and evil.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Tim

    This is the first book I've read straight through without pause, in a while. Well, without pausing for another book at any rate. Engaging and entertaining, it is well worth the time spent. While not a comic novel, I did find several amusing bits in it, like the following: "From his earliest childhood, this young hopeful's sole concern with work had been considering how he might best avoid it, and it was through his remaining ignorant of the Ecole de Droit that he became a doctor of law and a bar This is the first book I've read straight through without pause, in a while. Well, without pausing for another book at any rate. Engaging and entertaining, it is well worth the time spent. While not a comic novel, I did find several amusing bits in it, like the following: "From his earliest childhood, this young hopeful's sole concern with work had been considering how he might best avoid it, and it was through his remaining ignorant of the Ecole de Droit that he became a doctor of law and a barrister at the Court of Appeal."

  28. 4 out of 5

    Luis

    This is alternately shockingly modern, and weirdly old-fashioned. I found it via a China Mieville list of socialist sci-fi/fantasy, and it fits his bill: realizing The Boss is corrupt, and wanting to fix it. That story is, of course, timeless. But the angels choosing Paris to launch their revolt? A library taking a central role? And a mid-book history monologue that would make Ayn Rand blush? All... perhaps somewhat more challenging for th modern reader. Still, I enjoyed it!

  29. 5 out of 5

    Matt Stucky

    This is the first of Anatole France's books that I have read, and it won't be the last. It seemed easier to read than author's in America from the same time period. The French and Catholic history of the time was deep, but I felt you had to really read into it, as it wasn't a major part of the story.

  30. 4 out of 5

    ben

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I liked how the fallen angels became Greek gods, and how they taught humans the life skills that we know now. Also god and Satan's roles have totally switched. A new spin on holy life and religious history.

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