Sunday, January 24, 2010

Not Worth the Look

I guess Drew and I were on the same track this week.  I, too, read a book I picked up while at Mardel in Texas.  A little background to the story of this book (Eyes to See, ed. by Brett Lott):  Mardel had this amazing after Christmas book sale, and I went a little wild.  I have never purchased so many books at the same time in my life...but they were such a good deal!  You might know the sale shopping maxim: If it is on clearance, there is a reason.  Well, my book this week was subject to this maxim. 
Further background to this book:  In my book searching, book buying, excited state, I was less than attentive to the description of this book and might have passed on it otherwise.

What I thought the book was: a non-fiction lit-crit type book that discussed the hidden messages/meanings of some of the great novelists who were of the faith.

What the book actually is:  a collection of short stories by famous authors (and some not so famous) who are "of the faith"; if the reader is also of the faith, he is supposed to see hidden spiritual meaning to the stories.

With that said, I sat down to read this one and enjoyed the introduction by the editor a great deal.  He promised stories of conflict, of faith, of worship.  I was excited! 

I was disappointed. There are 10 short stories in this collection and 3 of them were decent enough to recommend. As to the faith aspect, I think the editor stretched his imagination a little bit.  Standouts were "The Blue Cross,"  by G.K. Chesterton, "A Good Man is Hard to Find," by Flannery O'Connor, and "The Story of the Other Wise Man," by Henry Van Dyke.  I am trying to not view the less than enjoyable ones as introductions to these authors and will give them a try in a longer format someday.  I don't want to say I hated this book, but it was tedious to read and I did not look forward to visiting the subjects of most of the stories, however brief the visit.  However, in looking up the book to create a link, I discovered that Lott published a second volume.  It doesn't matter how good the deal is, I think I will pass.


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