Left Behind   April 21st, 2010

Originally Written 04/26/05

When I first joined Audible a few years back, they offered a few free books to download. One of them was the first of the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye andJerry Jenkins. I was curious about it, so I checked it out. That book just plain stunk.

Now to be fair, it was an abridged version of the book, so it had been edited and compressed. However, even giving it the benefit of some doubt, I don’t believe that the editing could account for how bad the writing was. It struck me as a really bad Tom Clancy kind of novel, where the characters would stop and take a break from the action to talk about religion. It had turgid narration, ridiculous plots, unbelievable and cardboard thin characters, and some really lame dialog.

The characters didn’t talk in any fashion like real people did, instead they sounded like they were always giving a lecture or a sermon, not to mention the actual sermons which were sprinkled liberally through the text.

One of the biggest annoyances in the book for me is that the Rapture occurs and a good portion of the population just vanishes. That causes some buzz, but then after the first chapter and a couple of brief background news stories, nobody mentions it again. It’s such a profound event, but it’s tossed aside. The author made his point and since the characters didn’t have any real internal lives, the rest of the world just ignores it.

Now granted I wasn’t the book’s target audience, but that’s still not an excuse for bad writing. If you ignore the leaning of the book, and look at the story itself, it’s barely even second rate. And that’s what annoyed me. I’m all for authors having a theme and putting some of their thoughts and views in a book, but above all else, have a good story. When a book becomes a sad vehicle for your agenda, then it’s an insult to the reader’s intelligence.

This entry was posted on Wednesday, April 21st, 2010 at 5:29 am and is filed under Books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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