Tuesday, 17 May 2011

A book review - My first one since primary school!

Now theres been a lot of talk and worrying about the end of the world lately with people getting everything ready for the big bosses big inspection.
Personally I'm not worried and it's not because I'm Buddhist. No it's because I've got a massive student loan and if it does turn out that this is it then I'll make sure that I moon the tax department as I go past [1]

But I didn't write this post simply to poke fun at people who don't believe what I do because they are free to believe what and how they want. Although I will say that I hope they are the ones that end up with egg on their face because the alternative is seriously going to harsh my groove.

No the subject of todays post is a rather good series of books that I picked up recently. The LEFT BEHIND series. There are 16 books in the entire arc which is set in the end times when the Antichrist comes into power, the rapture takes place and everything, quite literally, goes to hell.

On the whole this is a well written series although, having said that I don't think that they are going to be looked at much now that I've finished them but that's just me.  Each of the books can easily be read in any order without the need to check the other volumes to get the back story about this or that particular characters motivations [2].
A definite point in their favor is that none of the books are simply one particular book of the bible with the names changed and everyone shifted into the 20th  Century as with other books that I've picked up and then thrown through a window that I thought was open.  Of course the Bible is a large part of it with The resistance using it to figure out what the Antichrists next move is going to be but while the messages are there the reader is not bombarded with them at every turn.  

The Villain:
The Antichrist himself, Nicholas Carpathia [3] is a truly dangerous opponent who knows exactly how to manipulate the system and the people in order to get what he wants rather than as a bumbling Dick Dastardly type who can only gnash his teeth as the goodies get away once again.
Note: This is a bad guy.  Not THE bad guy 

Through politics he rises to power on the world stage and it isn't long before everyone is singing his praises and his every command is followed.

The Heros:
Except for a small group of people that saw the light and were saved. They work hard to put the message out to the masses, who naturally refuse to see that anything is wrong, that we're living in the end times and Mr Carpathia is the Antichrist. [4]

One of the main members of the resistance is high up in the ranks of the Carpathian Cabinet having been brought in for a specific task and Mr Carpathia sees him as a loyal and trustworthy minion. He works undercover to pass intelligence along to the resistance which is a move that I approve of because it allows the reader to see the villains scheming [5] and victories [6] without resorting to the old Batman style of “Meanwhile, in his nefarious lair....”

The only real gripe I have with the series is how the resistance handled death. Some of the situations that they would get into ended with one or more of their number paying the ultimate price but almost ever time this happened the general reaction was along the lines of:
“Oh Tom's just died by the way”
“Meh, we'll see him again when Jesus returns”
“Yeah, not long now. Lookout! Here comes the plot!”

It isn't a big thing but the fact that they'd always remind each other that Tom was now in heaven and that the second coming and his triumph was assured grated a little and made me wonder why they were even bothering to fight the good fight.

  1. This demonstrates the importance of being prepared but to be fair I moon the tax department every time I go past it.
  2. Devil = Baddie. Now read on
  3. Appropriate but still a groaner
  4. Insert Count Von Count style thunderclap here
  5. Much
  6. Few


  1. I've read some of them, but never finished the series. It's kinda like, I already knew where it was going, ya know? I liked your review on them though; I may give them another go.

    Buddhist, huh? Do you read any of the masses of literature? I ask, because I've only read the Dalai Lama and lots of Thich Nhat Hanh....and maybe you have a fave book to suggest, from someone else? I'm southern Baptist, by the way, so except for the whole "be good little boys and girls" ideal, it's a lot different from Buddhism. Still, I like to read on other practices and beliefs. *shrug*

  2. Currently my two favorites are
    Journey to the west. - can be downloaded free
    Osamu Tezuka's Buddha - Eight books stretch across the span of his life from the father of Astroboy [and is apparently being turned into a movie]
    I know that they aren't the most spiritual of Tomes so I hope you get points for trying :)

    Also have a look at
    which is great for papers written by those much more venerable than I'll ever be.

  3. Thank you so much for the recommendations. I have heard the story of the Monkey King, but have never read Journey to the West in it's entirety. I definitely will. It seems a beautiful story.

    Buddha...the manga? LoL...how awesome is that, I love manga! I'll definitely read these as well. I saw his "Phoenix" in anime (never read the manga) and it was decent (being fair, it was a bit dated in the style...I can't remember when he'd written it...but, illustration has grown leaps and bounds even in the last decade, so was expected since it was based on his illustrations.) Anyway, ...I look forward to this one.

    Also, thank you for the link; I never would have found it otherwise. *curtsies*