book cover of As It Is in Heaven

As It Is in Heaven

(1999)
A novel by

 
 
It seems right that the lovers in Niall Williams's As It Is in Heaven hail from Italy and Ireland, those sentimental favorites among nations. Williams won kudos and laurels, fans and fame for his first novel, Four Letters of Love, and his second finds him once again illuminating a simple love affair with his own special brand of fine and even brave mawkishness. Dubliner Stephen Griffin, though possessed of a "thin and long" body, is stunted emotionally by the loss of his mother and sister in a tragic car wreck. That is, until one evening he ends up at a tiny concert hall in County Clare, listening to the Venetian beauty Gabriella Castoldi play the violin. Williams writes with fairy-tale breathlessness of the audience: "The room was balmy with delight. And when the people sat again for the slow and romantic melancholy of the Puccini, they were pillowed on a deep and heartfelt gladness.... Stephen looked at the woman whose name he did not yet know and his heart raced." Such mauvish passages abound. Here is an author who never met a bold pronouncement on the subject of Love that he didn't, well, Love. At one point, for instance, Stephen "heard the victory of Love over Death." What makes Williams's writing work--to the degree that it does work--is the way his fuzzy, myopic generalizations are coupled with keen observation: "Stephen danced like a man who had been given wooden legs. They flew out in sharp angles and measured air like a pair of pincers." A stack of suitcases is "an Italian hilltown." At its best, this gentle magical realism reads like Mark Helprin without the irony. And like Helprin, Williams is in thrall to the glamour of geography. Stephen and Gabriella pursue each other through Clare and Kerry to Venice and back. The course of true love never did run smooth, but the bumps here prove none too discouraging. --Claire Dederer

Genre: General Fiction

Similar books by other authors

thumb
The Secret Scripture
(McNulty Family, book 2)
Sebastian Barry

Used availability for Niall Williams's As It Is in Heaven

Hardback Editions

June 1999 : UK Hardback
thumb

Title: As it is in Heaven (hb)
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-330-37530-X / 978-0-330-37530-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


September 2000 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-7595-9474-0 / 978-0-7595-9474-6 (USA edition)
Publisher: Twtp Assorted
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


January 2000 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-7862-2282-4 / 978-0-7862-2282-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Thorndike Pr
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


August 1999 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-446-91304-9 / 978-0-446-91304-1 (USA edition)
Publisher: Warner Books, Incorporated
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1999 : USA Hardback

Title: As It Is In Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-446-92334-6 / 978-0-446-92334-7 (USA edition)
Publisher: Warner Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1999 : USA Hardback

Title: As It is in Heaven (Glassbook)
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-446-96005-5 / 978-0-446-96005-2 (USA edition)
Publisher: Oxmoor House
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


July 1999 : USA Hardback
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-446-52548-0 / 978-0-446-52548-0 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Paperback Editions

May 2000 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-330-37531-8 / 978-0-330-37531-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


1999 : USA Paperback
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-446-67601-2 / 978-0-446-67601-4 (USA edition)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


April 2000 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: As it is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-330-39174-7 / 978-0-330-39174-0 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   


June 1999 : UK Paperback
thumb

Title: As It Is In Heaven (Audio Bk)
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-330-39238-7 / 978-0-330-37531-3 (UK edition)
Publisher: Picador
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   Amazon AU   


Audio Editions

May 2000 : UK Audio Cassette
thumb

Title: As It Is In Heaven (Audio Bk)
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 0-333-78257-7 / 978-0-333-78257-6 (UK edition)
Publisher: Macmillan Audio Books
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1999 : USA Audio Cassette
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 1-57042-703-8 / 978-1-57042-703-9 (USA edition)
Publisher: Hachette Audio
Availability: Amazon   Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1999 : UK Audio Cassette
thumb

Title: As it is in Heaven: Unabridged
Author(s): Niall Williams
ISBN: 1-86042-641-7 / 978-1-86042-641-4 (UK edition)
Publisher: Soundings Ltd
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


Kindle Editions

December 2010 : Canada, UK Kindle edition
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
Publisher: Pan
Availability: Amazon UK   Amazon CA   


August 1999 : USA, Canada Kindle edition
thumb

Title: As It Is in Heaven
Author(s): Niall Williams
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Availability: Amazon   Amazon CA