Monday, 18 November 2013

Book Review: Fallen Angels by Harold Bloom

Publisher: Yale University Press
Publication Date: 30 October 2007
Genre: Non-fiction, Religion
Source: Trolley Dash I won through exclusive books

Goodreads Synopsis:
In this lovely gift book published for the holiday season, Harold Bloom again combines his lifelong interests in religion and literature. He begins by observing our present-day obsession with angels, which reached its greatest intensity as the current millennium approached. For the most part, these popular angels are banal, even insipid. Bloom is especially concerned with a particular subspecies of angels: fallen angels.  He proceeds to examine representations of fallen angels from Zoroastrian texts and the Bible to Milton’s Paradise Lost to Tony Kushner’s Angels in America, arguing that familiarity with this rich literary tradition improves our reading and spiritual lives. Bloom’s text is accompanied by more than a dozen original watercolors, line drawings, and illuminated letters by award-winning artist Mark Podwal.

Every angel is terrifying, Rilke wrote. For Bloom, too, this is true in one sense, since he maintains that all angels are fallen angels. The image of Satan, the greatest of fallen angels, retains the ability to fascinate and frighten us, he argues, because we share a close kinship with him. Indeed, from a human perspective, we must agree that we are fallen angels.Fallenness is ultimately a human condition: the recognition of our own mortality. Throughout world literature angels have always served as metaphors for death. We may take consolation, however, in our double awareness that angels also represent love and the celebration of human possibilities

My Review:
I was not originally going to post a review for this book. It was horrible. I got this book through a trolley dash I won through Exclusive Books in November 2011. I picked it because of the title, when you have 1 minute to grab as many books as you can... well there is no time for blurb check and other considerations. 

I cannot understand how this book got 4 or 5 star ratings. With so many degrees and what nots behind his name, I found him to be very negative. It made me want to crawl up and cry - had I taken it to heart. 

"Momentarily set aside your probable skepticism, and assume with me that we are fallen angels." - Really? Harold focuses on all the negative in the world and stamps on all hope in my personal opinion. I would not have chosen this book had I know it was a 'Literary Essay'. 

Cover talk - It sucked. 

My Rating:

Author Bio:
Bloom is a literary critic, and currently a Sterling Professor of the Humanities at Yale University. Since the publication of his first book in 1959, Bloom has written more than 20 books of literary criticism, several books discussing religion, and one novel. He has edited hundreds of anthologies.


  1. A book that writes about angles, fallen or otherwise, should not stamp on hope. Angels are supposed to be the messengers of hope, aren't they? The number one fallen angel I can keep out of this, but for everyone else, I'd like to think that there is light even at our darkest moments. I suppose, Chanzie, you can be glad it was a free read!

    1. I am so glad it was a free book John! It probably was my fault for not taking a closer look but I only had a minute to grab as many books as I could, I was thinking PNR mode, not literary fiction mode. I agree with you there is light even at out darkest moments, we just need to look *

  2. I am sorry to hear that the book was not good. The blurb alone sounds pretty negative. I can understand why you might not have liked it. :(

    1. Oh well! You win some and you lose some <3

  3. What a book on angels and no hope? How sad, I am so sorry this made you want to curl up and cry. *hugs*

    1. Thanks Kimba :) Lucky there are many great books to make up for a book like this! *hugs*


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