Thursday, February 9, 2017

2017 Reading Quest 05

BookLife Goes On.

Author: Phillip Gulley

Info:  Copyright 2004: Waterville, ME:  Thorndike Press.

Where acquired: Library check out.

Rating (on a scale of 1-4 stars):   

What it's about:  Sam Gardener is a Quaker Pastor who deals with the trials and tribulations of shepherding a difficult flock.  His wife and children are his saving graces, and he tries to take on each challenge with humor and kindness.

What I Liked:
  • The book did have a few funny lines.
  • As far as grammar and mechanics goes, it was well written.
What I didn’t like: 
  • I had no idea this book was part of a series.  I'm used to reintroductions to characters, or at least a series name and number on the cover somewhere.
  • The characters in this book are a mishmash of pure evil.  They are mere churchgoers who show no indication of a relationship with Christ, or that they even want one.  They spend all of their time being right instead of righteous.  However, the Pastor is no hero; he's a limp wristed, people pleasing cynic who seems to only be a Pastor for a steady paying job, rather than an enjoyable calling from God he blessedly gets well paid for. 
  • For this to be Christian novel, it is absolutely faithless.  At one point, Pastor Sam angrily asks his hypocritical, backbiting congregation, "What does this have to do with Jesus?!"  However, I don't think he knows either.  Jesus doesn't seem to be foremost on anyone's mind, including the Pastor. 
  • Most of the humor came across as a slap in the face of bitter cynicism.
  • The angry tension throughout the novel was left unresolved.  Sorry, but no book I'm supposed to read for enjoyment should leave me with an angry case of heartburn.
Takeaway:  I'd read Gulley's Front Porch Tales a couple of years ago, but had no idea he'd written anything else.  This book was recommended by a friend who found the book delightful.  I don't see how.  Unlike Front Porch Tales, which was an enjoyable set of non-fiction short stories from the author's life, Life Goes On is the complete opposite--grasping, angry, and faithless.  If not for it's brevity, I would have left this tome unfinished.  I don't plan on reading any more of his works.  This book makes me want to reread a Father Tim novel so I can see what a true Pastor looks like.  I just might do that.

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