Sunday, May 6, 2012

"Heroes and Monsters" by Josh James Riebock

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While I know it's not good to judge a book by its cover, when I saw this book, I immediately wanted to read it.  The pictures were okay, but they weren't the main selling points for why I wanted to read this book (I am not very fond of snakes).  What really got my interest piqued was the subtitle beneath the "Heroes and Monsters" line that read "An Honest Look at the Struggle Within All of Us."  As a book reviewer that specializes in Christian literature, I've had my fill of self-help books, devotionals, and theology books.  Don't get me wrong; those are wonderful books.  However, I rarely get a book that is published by a Christian publisher that is a literary story.  Sure, you've got your Amish romances every now and then (to roll one's eyes or not to roll one's eyes, that is the question) and books like that.  Yet, rarely is there a well-crafted story with imagery and symbolism...and the protagonist / author being a guy.  This story follows a young man's journey through life.  We read of his tough family situation, his broken relationships, his marriage, his jobs, and so much more.  To sum up what happens in the book with a "plot summary" would bludgeon any attempt at a book review for this work.  There are sad situations, honest introspection, and fun drawings every now and then.  The parallel with Jesus as a man named Jack is quite clever.  However, I wish the author would have clearly spelled out the Gospel and Named the Name.  As a Christian reading a book from BakerBooks publishing, I can see the link to Jesus.  However, I can not guarantee others will.  Perhaps the biggest clues are words like "church" and "baptism" that may clue readers in.  People can say what they may.  At the end of the day, this book is a look inside the soul of a man.  I love how the author put his face on the back cover because he looks like a nice, normal young man.  It goes to show you that even the most clean-cut people are oftentimes dying in the inside.  Call Him Jack or call Him Jesus, we need the Savior.  HalleluYAH.      

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