I just finished reading Angels All Around Us: A Sightseeing Guide to the Invisible World by Anthony DeStefano and have learned my lesson about judging a book by its cover. While I enjoyed reading the book, I must say that this book is certainly not what it is advertised to be. Yes, the topic of angels was discussed and I was quite impressed by DeStefano’s ability to condense Saint Thomas of Aquinas’s works on angels into a book that was easy to follow. However, this book was more of a bare bones introduction to a lot of fundamental Christian beliefs regarding charity, the existence of pain, the Holy Trinity, demons, souls, and quite a few other topics.
On an introductory level, this book is great for readers out there who have not yet read the works of some of the more contemporary Christian thinkers of our time (like G.K. Chesterton and C.S. Lewis). It is also great for young Christians, or even new Christians, who are not yet ready to tackle the beautiful, but extremely difficult, theological works of St. Augustine and St. Thomas of Aquinas. In this book, DeStefano demonstrates a great talent for breaking down some pretty dense Christian works into pieces that can be easily digested by a wide audience of readers. With that said, I must point out that this book is probably not suitable for Christians with doctorates in theology.
This book was a quick read and pretty easy to follow. I liked how DeStefano broke down all of the subjects covered into concise paragraphs. I would recommend this book as an introduction to angels, grace, spiritual warfare, God, the role of suffering, the soul, Christian beliefs regarding the afterlife, and quite a few other subjects. It is not necessarily a book about angels and the invisible world. However, it is a great introduction to angels and the many elements of the invisible world. It is also a great summary of much of what you would expect to learn within the Catechism of the Catholic Church.
As a Catholic, I would consider it a form of Cliffs Notes that may be very helpful for individuals out there who may not have a lot of time to invest in digging through the Summa Theologica. One thing I really liked about this book was its bibliography. DeStefano includes a pretty extensive list of books and authors that will be a great help to anyone who wants to continue learning once this book is finished. Among the many books included in this bibliography are JPII’s On the Christian Meaning of Human Suffering, Chesterton’s The Everlasting Man, Dante Alighieri’s Inferno, C.S. Lewis’ The Great Divorce, Saint Therese of Lisieux’s The Story of a Soul, and quite a few other well-known and well-loved Christian works.
Disclosure: The opinions and thoughts expressed herein are my own. I was not paid for my review. I was given a free copy of “The Duty of Delight” by Blogging for Books for review.