All Hallows' Eve: A Novel

Open Road Media
2
Free sample

In post-Blitz London, humanity’s last hope of defeating a powerful magician’s insidious plans lies with a ghost trapped in a surreal city of the dead

During World War II, soon after Ms. Lester Furnival married her beloved Richard, she died in an accident. Now she wanders the dark and lonely streets with her friend Evelyn. An empty mirror image of the London she once knew, the city is a place where time has lost its rules and structure, and where Lester can catch heartbreaking glimpses of the world she left behind.

But all is not well in the realm of the living. The other London has fallen under the sway of the magus Simon Leclerc, a master of black magic and necromancy who would sacrifice the soul of his own daughter in the pursuit of ultimate power. With her widowed husband entangled in the sorcerer’s toxic web along with an enigmatic artist who can paint only the truth, Lester must somehow thwart Leclerc’s malevolent plan if she is to find salvation—for the evil necromancer desires nothing less than total dominion over both worlds.

A ghost story unlike any other, All Hallows’ Eve is the final novel by the remarkable Charles Williams, whose brilliant literary excursions into the spiritual and supernatural realms remain unsurpassed more than six decades after his death. Williams was arguably the most creatively daring and ambitious of Oxford’s famed Inklings, the literary society that included such notables as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Owen Barfield, and his chilling, breathtaking, and deeply felt fiction remains the gold standard for provocative and intelligent contemporary fantasy.
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About the author

Charles Williams (1886–1945) was a British author and longtime editor at Oxford University Press. He was one of the three most prominent members of the literary group known as the Inklings—the other two being C. S. Lewis and J. R. R. Tolkien. Williams wrote poetry, drama, biography, literary criticism, and more, but is best known for his novels, which explored the primal conflict between good and evil. T. S. Eliot, who wrote an introduction to Williams’s All Hallows’ Eve, praised the author’s “profound insight into . . . the heights of Heaven and the depths of Hell, which provides both the immediate thrill, and the permanent message of his novels,” and Time magazine called him “one of the most gifted and influential Christian writers England has produced this century.”
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Additional Information

Publisher
Open Road Media
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Published on
Feb 17, 2015
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Pages
288
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ISBN
9781504006682
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Language
English
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Genres
Fiction / Christian / Classic & Allegory
Fiction / Fantasy / Dark Fantasy
Fiction / Visionary & Metaphysical
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Content Protection
This content is DRM protected.
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A charismatic and immortal leader rises up out of Africa to violently alter humankind’s destiny

There is great unrest on the African continent, and explosive uprisings that originated there are finding their way to Britain’s shores. A man named Nigel Considine, a charismatic leader who calls himself the High Executive, is raising a great army to conquer the world. Universal love is his stated goal, to be achieved through violence if necessary, and his dogma has unleashed a terrible backlash of brutality, prejudice, and hatred throughout so-called civilized London. But who is this immortal prophet-king whose words inflame the passions of untold thousands of disciples? Is he a power-hungry madman, as the unrepentant agnostic Sir Bernard Travers has flatly stated, or is he the Antichrist, as Travers’s dearest friend, the vicar Ian Caithness, believes? Perhaps the deathless Considine is the light of the age—indeed, of all ages: a saintly personage to be adored and followed without qualm or question, as the poet Roger Ingram is beginning to suspect. But be he master criminal or twisted genius, supernatural demon or savior reborn, the High Executive’s coming is destined to change the world.

No twentieth-century author explored themes of faith, spirituality, and the supernatural with more verve and originality than the phenomenal Charles Williams, who along with colleagues C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Owen Barfield, was a member of the University of Oxford’s famed Inklings literary society. Blending fantasy adventure with breathtaking spiritual concepts, Williams’s acclaimed works, including Shadows of Ecstasy, are must-reads for any lover of intelligent, thought-provoking metaphysical fiction.
In this classic tale of spirituality, morality, and the occult, a dark plot to murder an unsuspecting Englishman who possesses the world’s rarest tarot deck unleashes uncontrollable elemental forces

The original and most mystical of all playing-card decks, the tarot has seduced seekers of otherworldly knowledge for centuries—and of all its cards, the most potent are the twenty-two symbolic images that comprise the Greater Trumps. By a strange twist of fate, the very first tarot deck, dating back centuries, has come into the possession of Lothair Coningsby, a uniquely unimaginative Englishman. Though he has no intention of relinquishing his treasure, there are others who covet the tarot’s power. Henry Lee, for one—fiancé of Coningsby’s beautiful daughter, Nancy—is driven by an obligation even deeper than his devotion to his beloved. Henry is of Gipsy blood, and the Romany believe that they alone are the true guardians of the mystical tarot. Invited to spend the holidays at the out-of-the-way home of Aaron Lee, Henry’s grandfather, the unsuspecting Coningsbys are blind to the chilling conspiracy taking shape around them. For on this stormy Christmas Day, their hosts are preparing to commit foul murder to gain possession of the coveted occult deck, unleashing devastating primal forces that no human could possibly contain.

The brilliant fiction of Charles Williams, who was a member of the Inklings alongside fellow Oxfordians C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Owen Barfield, is considered to be among the most provocative, imaginative, and intelligent explorations of spirituality and the supernatural produced during the twentieth century. The proof lies in his magnificent classic The Greater Trumps, a many-layered tale of hubris and faith that is arguably one of the greatest mystical thrillers of all time.
Worse things than gators lurk in the Louisiana swamp. . . . The author of The Faceless One fuses the twisted imagination of Fritz Leiber with the razor-sharp plotting of Joe Hill in this rollicking horror thriller.
 
Appearances can be deceiving. Take Jimmy Kalmaku. Anyone passing him on the streets of Lake Nisqually, Washington, would merely see an elderly man. But Jimmy is actually a powerful Tlingit shaman, with a link to the god Raven and a résumé that includes saving the world.
 
Or take his friend and roommate, George Watters. Another ordinary retiree, right? Wrong. Like Jimmy, George is more than he seems to be. He too has a link to the supernatural. He too has saved the world.
 
Then there’s Professor Foxfire—also known as Deadlight Jack. Dressed in the garb of a stage magician, he seems a figure of magic and fun. But he isn’t fun at all. He isn’t even human. And his magic is of the darkest and bloodiest kind.
 
When George’s grandson vanishes on a family vacation to the Louisiana bayou, George and Jimmy fly across the country to aid in the search. Once they arrive, family feuds and buried secrets bring George face-to-face with the ghosts of a forgotten past; Jimmy finds his powers wilting under the humid Southern sun; and deep in the swamp, Deadlight Jack prepares his long-awaited revenge.

Advance praise for Deadlight Jack

“Mark Onspaugh’s novel, Deadlight Jack, takes you on an incredible journey that slings you from the far Northwest to the bowels of the Louisiana bayous. And on this journey, with a masterful flare, Onspaugh brings nightmarish folklores to life. The story will haunt you, and the vibrant, unforgettable characters will take root in your heart and refuse to leave. A must read!”—Deborah LeBlanc, author of Voices

“Onspaugh maintains an undercurrent of eldritch terror while keeping the plot buoyed by fast-paced action scenes. . . . A nicely chilling read for fans of otherworldly horror.”—Publishers Weekly

Praise for Mark Onspaugh’s The Faceless One

“A stunning debut . . . a chilling dark fantasy with an Alaskan shamanic backdrop . . . The beauty of this weird world is as profound as its terror. I could not turn these pages fast enough!”—Janet Fitch, author of White Oleander and Paint It Black

“Onspaugh’s writing captures that same eye-popping strangeness I loved so much in the works of Charles Beaumont and Fritz Leiber. The Faceless One is classic horror from an author who has earned his stripes and knows how to scare you blind.”—Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award–winning author of Dead City and The Savage Dead
In this provocative, classic metaphysical thriller, a group of suburban amateur actors plagued by personal demons and terrors explore the pathways to heaven and hell

Certain inhabitants of Battle Hill, a small community on the outskirts of London, are preparing to mount a new play by the neighborhood’s most illustrious resident, the writer Peter Stanhope. Each actor struggles with self-absorption, doubt, fear, and sin. But “the Hill” is not like other places. Here the past and present intermingle, ghosts walk among the living, and reality is often clouded by dreams and the dark fantastic. For young Pauline Anstruther, who is caring for an aging grandmother and frightened by the specter of a doppelgänger who gets closer with each visitation, the prospect of heaven exists in the renowned playwright’s willingness to bear the burden of her terror. For eminent historian Lawrence Wentworth, the rejection of his desire pulls him deeper inside himself, leaving him vulnerable to the lure of the succubus and opening wide the entrance to hell.

A brilliant theological thriller, Descent into Hell is an extraordinary fictional meditation on sin and personal salvation by one of the twentieth century’s most original and provocative literary artists. Charles Williams, a member of the Inklings alongside fellow Oxfordians C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Owen Barfield, has written a powerful work at once profoundly disturbing and gloriously uplifting, an ingenious amalgam of metaphysics, religious thought, and darkest fantasy.
One man must save the human race from total destruction when a small British village is invaded by a terrifying host of archetypal creatures released from the spiritual world

In the small English town of Smetham on the outskirts of London, a wall separating two worlds has broken down. The meddling and meditations of a local mage, Mr. Berringer, has caused a rift in the barrier between the corporeal and the spiritual, and now all hell has broken loose. Strange creatures are descending on Smethem—terrifying supernatural archetypes wreaking wholesale havoc, destruction, and death. Some residents, like the evil, power-hungry Mr. Foster, welcome the horrific onslaught. Others, like the cool and intellectual Damaris, refuse to accept what her eyes and heart tell her until it is far too late. Only a student named Anthony, emboldened by his unwavering love for Damaris, has the courage to face the horror head on. But if he alone cannot somehow restore balance to the worlds, all of humankind will surely perish in the impending apocalypse.

An extraordinary metaphysical fantasy firmly based in Platonic ideals, The Place of the Lion is a masterful blending of action and thought by arguably the most provocative of the University of Oxford’s renowned Inklings—the society of writers in the 1930s that included such notables as C. S. Lewis, J. R. R. Tolkien, and Owen Barfield. With unparalleled imagination, literary skill, and intelligence, the remarkable Charles Williams has created a truly unique thriller, a tour de force of the fantastic that masterfully engages the mind, heart, and spirit.
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