- Joseph De Maistre
N.D. Wilson writes about "dark-tinted, truth-filled reading" for children: "I would understand if hard-bitten secularists were the ones feeding narrative meringue to their children with false enthusiasm. They believe their kids will eventually grow up and realize how terrible, grinding, and meaningless reality really is. Oh, well—might as well swaddle children in Santa Clausian delusions while they're still dumb enough to believe them. But a Christian parent should always be looking to serve up truth. The question is one of dosage."
He says Christians should be protecting their children, but not over-sheltering them from the real painful world. Christian kids need "stories in which murderers are blinded on donkeys and become heroes. Stories with dens of lions and fiery furnaces and lone prophets laughing at kings and priests and demons. Stories with heads on platters. Stories with courage and crosses and redemption. Stories with resurrections. And resurrections require deaths."
Julie Silander has begun a list of such reading on StoryWarren.
I had been reading for some time of Olen Steinhauer as a superior writer of espionage novels. So I bought a copy of The Tourist, one of his Milo Weaver trilogy.
My perception is that there are two major strains of spy novel. One is the rah-rah thriller, in the tradition of James Bond and Jack Ryan, where the emphasis is on action but there’s little or no question who are the good guys.
The other strain is the John Le Carré school, probably more technically realistic, where the tendency is to reduce the conflict between freedom and tyranny to a game played by cynical and generally dispassionate professionals. In this kind of story it’s hard to tell one side from the other; in fact, our side generally comes off looking worse, as we get a closer look at its transgressions.
Judging by The Tourist, Olen Steinhauer seems to belong to the second group.
His hero, Milo Weaver, is a former “Tourist,” a roving professional assassin for the CIA. Now he has settled down happily with a wife and stepdaughter. Then he’s recalled to join the hunt for a famous assassin, loose in the USA. Once he catches him he learns things that lead him to question some of his most cherished relationships. Caught in a power struggle between the CIA and Homeland Security, he must take the risk of trusting an old enemy, and take the chance of losing everything that has made his life worth living.
The writing’s good, and Milo is an engaging character. But I disliked the cynicism of the story, the assumption that there’s really nothing to choose between America and any other world power. There isn’t much hope in this book. Cautions for language and mature subject matter.
I’ve been watching the new series of BBC’s Sherlock, of course, and of course it’s very good. If you’re on Facebook, you’ve probably seen, as I have, a number of positive reviews.
And I don’t mean to pan it here. I enjoy watching it. I think it’s extremely clever and well done.
But I have to say I think the series has lost its way.
The first season was remarkable, in my view, for being an update and a reboot that managed to keep the spirit of Conan Doyle’s characters and stories to an amazing degree.
Last season, I think, was a little less so. And this season even less.
The failure (it seems to me) is an overdose of something I ordinarily like – excellent characterization. Cumberbatch’s Holmes and Freeman’s Watson are wonderfully alive and interesting. But they've moved too much to center stage.
Remember, these are supposed to be mysteries. This season’s stories have been mostly about Holmes’ and Watson’s friendship. In Episode One, the great question was, Will Watson forgive Holmes for going off and letting him think he was dead? In Episode Two, it was, How will Holmes manage to function as best man at Watson’s wedding, considering his personality problems? In each case, the mysteries were shoved off onto the periphery.
I don’t mean to complain – much. But it’s important not to lose focus on your primary task, whatever you’re doing. A Holmes story that's more about relationships than mystery is not really a Holmes story.
Are Pynchon and Dickens essentially the same writer? Alan Jacobs notes, "The Pynchonian and the Dickensian projects have a great deal in common [big rambling eventful tragicomic books featuring outlandish characters with comical names], and as time goes on I think it will become more and more clear that there is something truly old-fashioned about Pynchon's career."
Jacobs says Pynchon's style appears to be to write long, complex books about people who don't read long books at all. His characters are caught up in the Interwebs, the TeleVision, and commercial products of all types. He says Pynchon may be driving at a warning: let the non-reader beware.
I meditated the other day, in this space, on the question of whether Lutherans are boring. It’s a given, of course, that I’m boring personally, but what about the rest of my brethren? I tried to think of some notable Lutheran I could point to and say, “You call that boring? Ha!” But I couldn’t come up with any.
And then one of my Facebook friends posted this video.
Now I don’t know whether Egil Ronningsbakken, the performance artist here, is a Lutheran or not. Odds are he’s at least nominally Lutheran, since most Norwegians are, but more and more Norwegians are purely secular nowadays, without even going through the traditional pro formas of baptism and confirmation.
Still, he’s at least Lutheran by heritage. And whatever you may call whatever it is he’s doing, you can’t call it boring. Frankly, just watching the video is almost physically painful to me, afraid of heights as I am.
I might mention that Preikestolen, the cliff where he’s performing here, is the precise spot I had in mind in the big climactic scene in The Year of the Warrior where Erling and his men confront a warlock under the northern lights. I called it the High Seat in the book, not in order to protect the innocent, but just because I assumed that Preikestolen (The Pulpit) wouldn’t be a name the Vikings would have used. So I made one up.
Lutherans. Not boring. Just bug-eye crazy.
A friend asked me to read an illustration of God's faithfulness yesterday morning. Perhaps, you've read or heard it. Here's the start of one version.
A mother took her small child to a concert by Paderewski to expose him to the talent of the great pianist. She hoped as she did to encourage her son in his piano lessons, which he had just begun.Her boy had wandered up to the stage and began to play "Chopsticks" (or "Twinkle, Twinkle" in other versions). Members of the audience called out to get the boy off the stage and asked who was responsible for him, but then Polish pianist Ignacy Jan Paderewski hurried out to the piano. He leaned over the boy and whispered, "Keep playing, son. Don't stop." The master reached around him and improvised a piece worthy of the concert audience.
They arrived early at the concert and were seated near the front. Standing alone on the stage was a marvelous Steinway grand piano. As they waited for the concert to begin, the mother entered into a conversation with the people beside her.
The story illustrates God's faithful encouragement to his people. The version I read was in a Charles Swindoll book, which elaborated on God's words to us. Keep going. Don't give up. That's the part where I teared up.
The story isn't true, unfortunately. It's a good illustration and has a bit of the variations you see in common among urban legends. Truth or Fiction says it may have been inspired by a poster for a Polish Relief event, showing Paderewski encouraging a young Polish boy at the piano.
But since we're talking about urban legend types, you may have seen the one about Read the rest of this entry . . .
Our friend Gene Edward Veith at Cranach blog links to a post where the blogger wonders why, if many young people are being attracted to liturgical churches, as has been widely reported, they aren't streaming to Lutheran churches.
Our friend Anthony Sacramone, at Strange Herring, provides an answer: Lutherans are boring:
Growing up, all the Lutherans I knew were boring. They minded their ps and qs and paid their taxes on time (begrudgingly—I was LCMS, after all) and kept their heads down and their feet on the ground. They were good citizens and thought things through and were practical, rarely all that imaginative (although every once in a while a teacher would try and shake things up, only to be brought to heel if no great measurable results were forthcoming). There were exceptions, of course. (An elementary school teacher pretty much drank himself to death.) But they were notable for being exceptions.
I would rise to the spirited defense of my Lutheran brethren (and Anthony is a Lutheran, by the way), but I think I need a nap.
Thomas Kidd of Baylor University talks about Christians wanting to sanitize the past and the restrictions on religious worship in the American colonies:
If religious liberty is one of our greatest national legacies, we can thank many early Baptists for being on the front lines of the fight for that liberty. In the Massachusetts Bay Colony, and later Rhode Island, Roger Williams was one of the first dissenting voices speaking out against a state establishment of religion, and against the state policing people's religious beliefs. (For Williams, religion was too important for the government to meddle in it.) In the era of the Revolution, Baptists emerging from the Great Awakening wanted full freedom to create their own churches and to preach to whomever they wished. In most of the colonies, such freedom was not readily granted.
We forget that at the same time as the fight for independence from Britain, Americans were also fighting for freedom from oppressive religious laws. There were Baptist pastors being fined and even jailed for illegal preaching in Virginia in the early 1770s.
I'm not the Norway expert I thought I was. I hadn't been aware that the Norwegian Olympic curling team is famous, not for winning matches, but for wearing silly pants.
I do not feel richer for the knowledge. It does make me feel better about my ancestors' decision to emigrate, though.
Tip: "Scott" at Threedonia.
The American Policy Roundtable has a podcast this week on Dr. Martin Luther King with a pastor who knew him personally, Dr. Sterling Glover. It's remarkable what some of us do not know about certain important figures in our country or the truth of the biggest civil problem of 20th century America.
Another Alex Delaware novel from Jonathan Kellerman, another enjoyable reading experience. The series is long established now, and few surprises are to be expected, except perhaps in terms of whodunnit. But the virtues of the books are consistent. Good main characters, interesting, layered secondary characters. And a studied avoidance of cheap shots at almost anybody, including conservative Christians.
In Guilt, Alex and his gay cop friend, Milo Sturgis, are called to a house where a tree has been uprooted in a storm. Under its roots was found a metal box, and in the box the carefully wrapped skeleton of a baby. A newspaper in the box identifies the burial as from 1951.
Then, in a nearby park, another, newer baby skeleton is found, as well as the body of a young woman, a girl from Oregon who worked as a nanny. Suspicion soon points to an A-list celebrity couple raising their brood of adopted children in seclusion on a heavily guarded estate. It’s easy to imagine what might have happened.
But it’s not as simple as that.
The great joy of a Kellerman novel, novels written by a psychologist about a psychologist, is how the characters reveal themselves, in a sort of psychic undressing. A shallow expectant mother is revealed to be so frightened about the future that she’s having trouble coping. A celebrity turns out to be entirely different than one would expect – or is it all just an act at the end? Nothing interests me like complex human personalities, and that’s where Kellerman excels.
There are some Christian fundamentalists in this one, and Kellerman treats them with his customary decency. An Oregon evangelical pastor who wouldn’t impose his “personal” views about homosexuality on his parishioners seems a bit of a stretch, but it’s a generous stretch by Kellerman’s lights, so I take it in the spirit intended.
Recommended, with the usual caveats.
April 16, 1963--
You may well ask: “Why direct action? Why sit-ins, marches and so forth? Isn’t negotiation a better path?” You are quite right in calling, for negotiation. Indeed, this is the very purpose of direct action. Nonviolent direct action seeks to create such a crisis and foster such a tension that a community which has constantly refused to negotiate is forced to confront the issue. It seeks to so dramatize the issue that it can no longer be ignored. My citing the creation of tension as part of the work of the nonviolent-resister may sound rather shocking. But I must confess that I am not afraid of the word “tension.” I have earnestly opposed violent tension, but there is a type of constructive, nonviolent tension which is necessary for growth. Just as Socrates felt that it was necessary to create a tension in the mind so that individuals could rise from the bondage of myths and half-truths to the unfettered realm of creative analysis and objective appraisal, we must we see the need for nonviolent gadflies to create the kind of tension in society that will help men rise from the dark depths of prejudice and racism to the majestic heights of understanding and brotherhood.The audio from King's Letter From a Birmingham Jail is available for downloading until Thursday for free.
I must make two honest confessions to you, my Christian and Jewish brothers. First, I must confess that over the past few years I have been gravely disappointed with the white moderate. I have almost reached the regrettable conclusion that the Negro’s great stumbling block in his stride toward freedom is not the White Citizen’s Counciler or the Ku Klux Klanner, but the white moderate, who is more devoted to “order” than to justice; who prefers a negative peace which is the absence of tension to a positive peace which is the presence of justice; who constantly says: “I agree with you in the goal you seek, but I cannot agree with your methods of direct action”; who paternalistically believes he can set the timetable for another man’s freedom; who lives by a mythical concept of time and who constantly advises the Negro to wait for a “more convenient season.” Shallow understanding from people of good will is more frustrating than absolute misunderstanding from people of ill will. Lukewarm acceptance is much more bewildering than outright rejection.
Steve Laube gives this list of reasons some writers may never see their work in print:
- You Won't Do the Work
- You Are Hard of Hearing
- You Aren't Ready
- Your Idea has Already Been Done
- Agents and Editors are Blind to Your Genius
Statue of Alfred the Great at Wantage. Photo credit: DJ Clayworth.
News from England is that archaeologists think they’ve found a piece of Alfred the Great… or his son.
Preliminary tests suggest that a pelvic bone found in a museum box is either Alfred, or his son, King Edward the Elder. The bone was among remains excavated some 15 years ago at an abbey in Winchester, England, but they were never tested. Instead they were stored in a box at Winchester Museum until archeologists recently came across them.
"The bone is likely to be one of them, I wouldn't like to say which one," Kate Tucker, a researcher in human osteology from the University of Winchester told Reuters. Researchers say that, given the historical record, bones that old could only have come from Alfred or his family.
I hope they find more, especially the skull. Can’t get enough of those forensic reconstructions.
In the absence of a skull, the only way to find out what Alfred looked like would be to clone him. And I don’t think anybody over there really wants that. The first thing he’d want to do would be to drive all the foreigners out. Beginning with the Normans.
Come to think of it, I’m going to have an extraneous piece of hip bone available myself in a couple weeks. I wonder if there’s any market for it as a relic. Invest now, before I’m canonized.
This is funny and a totally appropriate spoof on a recent movie you may have seen. If you haven't seen it or read any criticism of it, then you will miss half the jokes.
Dude, was I right or what?
Dennis Lehane, best known for superlative contemporary mysteries, takes on a historical tale in Live By Night, the story of a Boston gangster who becomes a bootlegger king in Tampa. It’s a very good novel. I’m not entirely sure what it’s about thematically, and I’m fairly sure I disagree with the subtext. Still, a worthy read.
Joe Coughlin is a cop’s son, but chooses to become a gangster (he prefers the term “outlaw”). He first sees Emma Gould while robbing an illegal poker game, and he starts dating her even though a mob boss is obsessed with her. One thing leads to another, and Joe ends up doing five years in prison while Emma ends up in a wrecked car in a river.
Joe can never forget her, though he’s sure she’s dead. In prison he gets close to a mob leader who, on his release, sends him down to Tampa to run the rum running operation there. This leads him to great wealth and success, and marriage to a beautiful Cuban woman. He tries to do his job in his own way, showing mercy to people when he can, but gradually he realizes he’s a gangster, not an outlaw. And his longing for lost Emma haunts him until he achieves at last a painful clarity.
I think author Lehane recognizes, and wants us to understand, that Joe is not without his self-delusions. The title of the book, Live By Night, is a reference to his belief that there are day people and night people, and that the night people are more glamorous and more honest, because they’re not hypocrites like the day people. This is of course a rationalization; the only choices in life aren’t between being a corrupt cop or an open criminal. One could, for instance, be a dirt farmer. The work might kill you, but you’d have small scope for corruption.
No, Joe’s real motivation is an addiction to risk-taking, and Lehane admits as much.
All in all, I suspect the real message of the book is essentially Marxist. The Americans are bad because they’re racist and rich. The Cubans, though Lehane admits they’re just as racist, are poor and therefore pure in some sense. The book ends before Castro shows up, so Communism is only addressed in an oblique way.
There is an running theme of religious aspiration, but Lehane doesn’t seem to see much hope in it.
But it’s not a heavy-handed book. Anything but. Live By Night is a well-written, moving story. Cautions for language and adult themes.
The Steve Laube Agency has purchased Marcher Lord Press (MLP), "the premier publisher of Science Fiction and Fantasy for the Christian market." Follow the link for answers to a handful of questions about the acquisition, especially if you didn't know there was a publisher of SF/F for the Christian market.
Steve Laube has not purchased the MLP imprint Hinterlands, which is defined this way: "to publish science-fiction and fantasy stories with mature content and themes (i.e. PG-13 or R-rated language, sexuality, and violence)." This is the imprint that published A Throne of Bones, which Lars reviewed last year. Apparently, that title raised the ire of a writer's group that issues a prominent award, which was the motivation for starting the imprint--like zoning a red light district, I guess.
With the purchase of the press but not the imprint, another publisher could buy Hinterlands or the rights could revert to their authors. Mike Duran asks, does this "signal the end of Christian publishing’s 'mature-content experiment'?" He suggests that it may be, but two things point away of it:
1. Vox Day's A Throne of Bones was the first and most well-received title. The imprint's chief says he received “astonishingly few” submissions for publication. Does that mean there isn't much of an audience for this type of work or that too few authors are willing to go that direction?
2. Duran says Day is something of a lightening rod and some authors have refused to be associated with him. He doesn't say they are right to shun him, but he does point to evidence that they may be doing it. To that end, he wonders whether "the non-acquisition of Hinterlands is more of a renunciation of Vox Day than a rejection of mature content."
What do you think? You may already read books with this kind of content anyway. Have you read any of these titles (I'm having trouble identifying them).
Here's a very weird little video, featuring a couple of fellows, one of whom is apparently speaking Old Norse authentically. The other may be doing the same, but I'm not sure. There's obviously some humor going on here, probably crude in view of the "grabbing" gag.
But it's fun to hear Old Norse done in an impressive voice.
Let me take this opportunity to apologize for posting so much about my hip problem lately. That’s not what you come here for, and I appreciate your patience. My most recent discovery has been that using crutches instead of a cane punishes my body a whole lot less, so I’m now in considerably less pain than I was. Thanks for the prayers.
As a reward, here’s a book review: Time Release, by Martin J. Smith.
It’s hard not to compare Time Release to Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware novels. Like the Delaware stories, this one centers on a psychologist summoned by a policeman friend to help him investigate a series of murders. But the differences are numerous too. The setting here is Pittsburgh and its grim environs, rather than Los Angeles, and Smith’s characters, psychologist Jim Christensen and detective Gary Downing, are a lot more damaged by life. Christensen is still recovering from the loss of his wife, on whom he “pulled the plug” after brain death, and Downing’s career has never recovered from the way he botched a drug poisoning case, reminiscent of the Tylenol murders. He lost his objectivity because one of the victims was his secret lover, something he has never shared with anyone.
Now the poisonings seem to have resumed after ten years. Downing thinks the surviving son of his chief suspect may have repressed memories that would help his case. Would Christensen talk to the young man and see?
Christensen reluctantly agrees, not realizing that in doing so he is putting his remaining family in mortal danger. Some secrets are almost too hard to face, and some people would kill the innocent rather than face them.
Time Release is an adequate thriller. I never thought that it soared, and the relentless grimness of the story wore me down a bit. Religion is not a major theme, but is always in the background. Christensen, who has become an atheist, takes a cheap shot at the Bible at one point, but he still prays when desperate, and we’re given no reason to think that’s a stupid thing to do.
The price of the book is low, and I didn’t hate it. Worth reading if you like this sort of thing. Cautions for language and adult themes.
“If men read fewer books on manhood and more really good stories they’d be much better for it,” Barnabas Piper tweeted sometime last year. He fleshes out his reasoning in this post, saying stories make you want to be better, show you role models and anti-heroes, and get under the surface. If it's true, he says, that we learn more by what we catch than what we are taught, then good stories are the places where we will catch what we want to learn.
In a post, reviewing a 1991 book called The Cipher, our friend Loren Eaton says he wishes more writers were pursuing the horror genre. "Oh, the genre lives on in cinemas, but it has largely vanished from book racks. I've wondered why for the longest time and actively looked for any authors that specialize in it..."
Loren had high hopes for The Cipher, but found it a bit thick and dismal. "I guess the crux of the matter is this: Horror should seem horrifying, but you need to feel that something worthwhile could be lost during the story for it to become so. Such a sense is completely absent in The Cipher. Things start out badly. They grow marginally worse by the end. In between is 350 pages of mostly senseless, self-inflicted suffering."
In the comments, a few names and titles are kicked around.
For context on his perspective, Loren discusses all he learned about H.P. Lovecraft in 2013.
My hip replacement procedure is scheduled for January 30. Your prayers are appreciated.
Today I transitioned from a cane to crutches, because I needed that mundane kind of support too.
One of our friends, Nick Harrison of Harvest House, asks on his Facebook wall:
"What can we all do to boost men's fiction? What authors do the men you know read? What are their complaints about the state of men's fiction (if they have any complaints)? I'd especially like to hear from male readers, but all who can offer some insight are welcome to respond."
So what do you think? Don't confine your answer to Christian books. What fiction do you or the men you know read? Answers from the original post include Dale Cramer, Athol Dickson, Michael Connelly, Robert Crais, David Baldacci, Vince Flynn, John Hart, John Lescroart, and Lee Child. I mentioned names you've seen here, like Bertrand, N.D. Wilson, and Andrew Peterson.
BIG UPDATE in the comments below.
Just an update on my health situation. It's a short one -- I don't know anything I didn't know Tuesday.
I have an appointment to see my surgeon tomorrow. I assume I'll learn something then.
They gave me pain killers, which help a fair amount. One odd side effect is the hiccups, and a diminishment of appetite.
I'll keep you posted.
Here's another curious poem.
"Jesus Feeds the 5000 Using Various Cutting Edge Recipes from 1950s Magazines"
"So the disciples gorge themselves on honey dipped spam
crowned with the many crowns of identical pineapple rings
as they jostle for spots on the picnic blanket, and the children..."
Poet Scott Cairns has written some revealing, thoughtful reflections as psalms to the Lord. Clearly, these poems are written for people who are not as awesome as we are. We have claimed our blessing and walk as strong as the Nephilim. We don't grovel before the Lord, like the man in this poem:
“Idiot Psalm 1”
O God Belovéd if obliquely so,
dimly apprehended in the midst
of this, the fraught obscuring fog
of my insufficiently capacious ken,
Ostensible Lover of our kind—while
that I might glimpse once more
Your shadow in the land, avail
for me, a second time, the sense
of dire Presence in the pulsing
hollow near the heart.
Once more, O Lord, from Your Enormity incline
your Face to shine upon Your servant, shy
of immolation, if You will.
I don't do personal blogging as much as I used to (no need to thank me; your look of dewy-eyed gratitude is thanks enough). But I got medical news today which you have a right to know, since it'll probably affect my posting.
I saw an orthopedist, and they did an MRI (just like on TV!). Turns out I have a condition called "osteonecrosis." In other words, some of my bone, specifically the balls of my hip joints, is dying. This is a condition most common in people who've abused steroids, of whom I am most decidedly not one. At least one hip replacement appears to be in my immediate future. I'll be seeing a surgeon soon.
Here are some questions Dean Koontz has answered in various forums:
You had an agent in your early years tell you that you'd never be a best-selling writer. Did that discourage you or make you more determined to succeed?
Koontz: I have more self-doubt than any writer I’ve ever known. That is one reason I revise every page to the point of absurdity! The positive aspect of self-doubt – if you can channel it into useful activity instead of being paralyzed by it – is that by the time you reach the end of a novel, you know precisely why you made every decision in the narrative, the multiple purposes of every metaphor and image. Having been your own hardest critic you still have dreams but not illusions. Consequently, thoughtless criticism or advice can’t long derail you. You become disappointed in an agent, in an editor, in a publisher, but never discouraged. If anyone in your publishing life were to argue against a particular book or a career aspiration for reasons you had not already pondered and rejected after careful analysis, if they dazzled you with brilliant new considerations, then you’d have to back off and revisit your decisions. But what I was told never dazzled me. For example, I was often advised, by different people, that my work would never gain a big audience because my vocabulary was too large.
Read the rest of this entry . . .
By the time we heard the sirens, we were two blocks from the mall, in a cobbled backstreet as dark as a deer path in the woods under a half-moon. A sudden wind broomed the stillness of the night as the man I would eventually call Father hooked the disc of iron, lifted it, and set it aside. Piping across the hole where the iron had been, the wind played an oboe note, and I went down into that sound and into a world that I could never have imagined, where I would make a better life for myself.
One of the great problems in writing fiction – and I’ve written about this before – is the problem of the Good Character. Good characters in fiction, C. S. Lewis said somewhere (The Four Loves, I’m guessing offhand) “are the very devil.” They tend to be kind of dull, and they pale particularly in comparison to the villains. This is probably, I suspect, because most of us know evil better than we know good.
In his latest novel, Innocence, Dean Koontz approaches that problem in what I think is an entirely fresh way, and the result – in my opinion – is gloriously successful. Koontz just keeps getting better and better as a writer, both thematically and stylistically. He has his misfires, but when he succeeds the results are wondrous. And so it is with Innocence.
Addison Goodheart is a monster. All his life, anyone he has allowed to see his face has been overcome, not only with fear, but with hatred and a desire to do him harm. After his mother sent him out into the world alone, he found his way to an unnamed city, where a man he called Father gave him a home in the city’s tunnels, and taught him how to survive – because Father was another monster like Addison. After Father’s death, Addison survives alone until one night, wandering the city’s central library (which he knows how to enter secretly after hours) he sees a beautiful girl in Goth makeup being pursued by an attacker. After helping her escape, Addison makes the girl, Gwyneth, his friend, and they form an odd alliance. She suffers from a social phobia and won’t let him come near her, while he must keep his face covered. It works for them. She draws him into her struggle to save the life of a comatose little girl whom evil men are trying to kill. But, as they come to learn, that’s only a part of their challenge. Very big changes are coming about in the world, and Addison and Gwyneth are at the center of the greatest storm in history.
Innocence is, in my opinion, a masterpiece, one of Koontz’ best books. Right up there with the Odd Thomas stories. Beautiful, profound, moving, and (although not an explicitly Christian book) deeply informed by Christian truth. I give it my highest recommendation.
I'm reading Gladwell's book, David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants, now with plans to review it on your favorite lit-blog (by which I mean, this one). Here's a great interview with Malcolm Gladwell by Eric Metaxas at an event Metaxas hosts regularly in New York City. I love this. Dick Cavett totally steals the scenes for the seconds he is in them, but the rest of the interview is great too.