Sunday, October 21, 2007

Left Behind, by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins and Deer Hunting with Jesus, by Joe Bageant

This was so so bizarre to read that it's hard to know where to start.


The Rapture happens, and the 'saved' get sucked up to Heaven, leaving their clothes and prosthetics behind. The unsaved, including rascally journalist Buck, almost adulterous pilot Rayford, his doubting daughter Chloe, and others soon find that the end of the world is nigh, and that an obscure Carpathian politician is the devil.

It was badly written, the anti-Semitism was hard to swallow, and, well, ridiculous. It was like watching wrestling or porn or something- hard to believe that people read this and harder still to believe that some people believe that the 'rapture' is really coming.

It is terrifying, actually, because while reading this book, I also read Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War by Joe Bageant, which was wonderful.

Bageant had been raised in Virginia in a family that believed in the rapture, and one day as a child he went into his family home, and no one was there. He describes the terror he felt, as he came to think that the rapture had happened and that he had been left behind as a sinner, and he wrote about how years later, when he talks with people who were raised that way, others had the same horrific experience. Of course, his parents and brother came back home from visiting the neighbors, but he said that it was sheer terror. It seems like child abuse to me to fill someone's head with this kind of dangerous malarky.

That being said, Left Behind had decent action-adventure type stuff, if you could get past all the terrible writing and hideous premise. Deer Hunting With Jesus was one of the best books I've read this year and I recommend it without reservation.

Left Behind Quality: 5 Popularity: 8 Overall: 13

Deer Hunting With Jesus: Dispatches from America's Class War Quality: 10 Popularity: 8 Overall: 18

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