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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking novel
Travis Thrasher does not write your "typical" Christian Fiction. His characters are sometimes pretty rough around the edges. They are flawed; they are searching; they struggle with broken dreams and with their beliefs. I can relate to some trait a character has in every single Thrasher novel. It's one of the reasons I enjoy his books so much.

The main...
Published on May 21, 2011 by Stephanie

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Grandma
This is not your grandma's Christian fiction. The protagonist, Tyler Harrison, uses profanity and drinks to excess. In addition, he makes some foolish choices. The plot, set in Chicago and written in a disjointed fashion, demonstrates the confusion of Tyler, a thirty-nine year-old man who is told by an angel that he will die within the following year. He sets out to find...
Published on May 10, 2011 by Sally


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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not for Grandma, May 10, 2011
This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
This is not your grandma's Christian fiction. The protagonist, Tyler Harrison, uses profanity and drinks to excess. In addition, he makes some foolish choices. The plot, set in Chicago and written in a disjointed fashion, demonstrates the confusion of Tyler, a thirty-nine year-old man who is told by an angel that he will die within the following year. He sets out to find out more about this prophecy. That's where confusion reigns.

There are many references to music and today's world that I did not understand. I think that a thirty-something person would get these references much better than I. I must admit, I found myself totally confused, but then, I am a grandma.

Note: contains profanity. Discussion questions included.

Thank you to Sarah Reck at Hachette Book Group for my copy.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A thought-provoking novel, May 21, 2011
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This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
Travis Thrasher does not write your "typical" Christian Fiction. His characters are sometimes pretty rough around the edges. They are flawed; they are searching; they struggle with broken dreams and with their beliefs. I can relate to some trait a character has in every single Thrasher novel. It's one of the reasons I enjoy his books so much.

The main character, Tyler, is a Christian. A struggling, questioning believer who drinks and occasionally swears- but a Christian nonetheless. Tyler is visited by an angel and given the 'gift' of knowing when he is going to die. '40' chronicles the journey he takes over the next 9 months. Readers gain insight into Tyler's life- flashbacks to his childhood...regrets he has...relationships he currently has and wishes he had...other directions his life may have taken.

'40' is one of-if not THE-most thought-provoking novels I've ever read. It raised many questions: What if I knew when I was going to die? What would I regret? What would I do differently? How would that knowledge change my relationships with my family? with my friends? with God?

Yes, '40' is dark at times. Yes, there is occasional swearing. But there is also restoration and change and faith. Thrasher uses all those things to bring to life a complex, introspective character who could be just about any one of us. I highly recommend this book-it's one of my favorites.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful storyline...But, May 11, 2011
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This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
I have so many thoughts about this book that I really am not sure where to start. Let me first say that this is the first Travis Thrasher book I have ever read, so I cannot say that it is the best or the worst book he has ever written. It is also the first book I have ever read that is written in first person, present tense point of view. I was a little worried about that at first because I have never been able to get into a book written in that style before, but Travis managed to expertly draw me in. I felt sometimes that the story was dragging, but the "what ifs" being posed made me want to keep reading. I thoroughly enjoyed the story itself, about a man who has managed to turn his back on God and live life his own way. But it turns out his own way hasn't been that great, and a few months after he turns 39 he is visited by an angel and told he won't live a day past his 40th birthday. I liked the way Travis posed the thoughts of guardian angels and what we have been protected from, and that if we could see what we had really been protected from it would scare us silly. I also liked the thought that no matter what our actions, however insignificant they may seem at the time, they may drastically alter the course of our lives. I think my favorite part may have been that the protagonist, Tyler, got to see and actually "meet" himself as he would have been under two different sets of circumstances. This book is definitely thought provoking and provides some wonderful Biblical truths. At times I felt like Travis was telling my own story as a child. However, I give it a three star rating because there is bad language throughout the book, including a couple of instances of using God's name in vain. I have listened to numerous interviews with Travis and I have heard him give his opinion of this topic. However, I have to disagree with that aspect of his reasoning. I do believe we need to address real life situations to make a story authentic, but there are ways to get your point across without using that kind of language. It just detracts from the story, and besides I hear that kind of language every single day of my life. When I pick up a Christian fiction novel to read, I expect it not to have that stuff in it. That is in fact, why I read Christian fiction. If this had been a mainstream publisher I wouldn't have even mentioned the language because it would be expected. Authors like Ted Dekker, for example, can spin a gripping serial killer story full of dark deeds and evil, taking you from the pit of evil into the glorious light of truth and never once use foul language or God's name in the wrong way. I would appreciate Christian fiction staying that way. I do plan to read some of Travis' past work, but I am afraid if his books continue to use this language under the name of Christian fiction, I will have to stop reading his work. I find that really sad too, because he really is a talented author and I love a good supernatural thriller.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but with a couple of faults, May 2, 2011
This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
40 a novel by Travis Thrasher is a fantastic book I would have given a 5 plus rating, but for two reasons. First I don't believe a Christian book should have any bad language at all, even through the person isn't a Christian at the time. Sure Christians swear at times, but that doesn't mean we have to read it in a book. I feel it is offensive and if I knew before about the swearing I wouldn't have agreed to read it.
The other reason I won't give this book a 5 star rating is because I would have loved the book to have a page or two more. I feel it wasn't finished. I know a lot of books let the reader think up their own ending, but I don't feel the story is really finished that way.
Tyler Harrison music producer, turned thirty-nine and he sees his guardian angel, Matthew. His angel insists that Tyler will die on his fortieth birthday, which is nine months away. During this time he thinks of his failures and that he really hasn't done anything in his life worth remembering. Matthew shows him several things that could have happened to him if he wasn't protected and I found that very interesting. 40 has some very dark happening, but I found them very fascinating. This book isn't for everyone just for those who long for a book
that will make them think.
It is full of lots of suspense, twists and turns. I really liked the way Travis wrote about the DJ named Ellis a pastor named Will, how they became his friends and how they impacted his life.
I really liked this book very much, but for the previous two points I mentioned. If I knew about either of these points, the language or the ending I wouldn't have agreed to read it, but also glad I did.
With all of that I still say this is a good book to read and I will recommend it.

I received my free copy from Sarah Reck at Faith Words/HachetteBookGroup, for my review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Didn't care for it., September 8, 2011
By 
LMS "Book worm" (WI United States) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
I found a description of this book in the flyer of my local Christian bookstore. I love thrillers (especially ones that mess with your head) and thought this sounded like an interesting read. For a variety of reasons, I really didn't care for this book.

First, I found the writing to be very disjointed. I get that this was supposed to represent Tyler's confusion and disorientation, but it was hard to follow at times. I also think this book would have been much more effective if it had been written from a 3rd person point of view. For example, I think it would have been interesting to have the perspective of the angel, Matthew.

Second, I found the story lacking. I just never really got into the story. Yes, I did make it to the end, but I struggled to do so. I would read a little, and toss it aside. I kept hoping the story would get better, but it just never did. I just found this book boring and kept wishing it would just end. I found it hard to sympathize or care about any of the characters. I didn't think any of them were really developed that well. This book just didn't seem to have much of a plot. It just seemed like a bunch of random things tied loosely together. I also didn't like the profanity present in this book.

Third, I found the end very confusing and unsatisfying. I don't always have to have things tied up in a neat little bow at the end, but the ending of this book just didn't do it for me.

Fourth, I am a HUGE music lover, but honestly, I found the constant references to music, songs, albums, artists etc annoying and dull. It just seemed like overkill to. Even though I did understand most of the references mentioned in this book, after awhile, I just started skipping over them.

Overall, I think this book was a huge waste of time and money. I was hoping for more, and this book just didn't deliver. I honestly don't think I will be reading any other works by this author. My recommendation would be to skip this book and pick up "Edge of Eternity" by Randy Alcorn instead.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars couldn't wait for it to be finished., February 5, 2014
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This review is from: 40: A Novel (Kindle Edition)
the main idea of the story was good...but, it dragged on and on for me. I almost didn't finish it, but, I wanted to at least give it a shot...quite disappointed. it just had a hard time keeping my attention.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thrasher keeps getting better and more creative!, February 15, 2012
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This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
Every time I finish one of Thrasher's novels, I keep saying he can't top this one. He always proves me wrong! "40" is his best to date.
Imagine knowing the exact date you will die. Is that a gift or a burden?
That's the plot of 40. Tyler Harrison is visited by an angel named Michael who tells him Tyler will die the day of his 40th birthday. Sounds terrifying, right? There's more. Tyler isn't a Christian, despite growing up the Son of a Minister, yet he accepts the identity of Michael. Deep down he believes this is a messenger of God.
The way he decides to live his life after this revalation is surprising and refreshing. Instread of immediately converting and becoming a good boy, Tyler goes the other way at first. Maybe that's why I found this novel so intriguing and refreshing. Thrasher created a charcater that once again felt real. That's Thrasher's gift. All his charcater leap off the page.
Tyler also meets a character that seems to be the Devil. or one of his Minions. Adds a clever twist to the story. Tyler faces temptaion and sometimes fails. Makes him actually more appealing. Most writers would have him only take the right path. Thrasher chooses not to, and shows Tyler's flaws. Made me relate even more to him.
One other thing I enjoyed about this novel and many others Thrasher has written. His knowledge of music, especially 80's alternative. Since I'm also in my 40's reading about all these bands brought back high school and college memories. Nice element to the story.
It's quite an emotional read. Hard to put down despite it's 400 pages. Highly recomended, along with everything Thrasher has written!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Different but loved it!, June 6, 2011
This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
I have read several books by Travis Thrasher and have absolutely loved every single one. 40 is different than any of the others I have read so far. 40 is thought-provoking and convicting. The questions Travis Thrasher raised really got to me and made me think. I have to admit it took longer for me to read this one than the others I have read. The entire story itself is amazing. It just seemed a little slow at times or I was analyzing to much (That's what I do often). It was not a quick read for me but enjoyable for sure. What would you do if you were told exactly when you were going to die by an angel. What Tyler feels, how he reacts, the things he sees are what make this book thought-provoking. The last chapter starts with--So what if this is your last day? What are you going to do?-- Wow...Tyler had 9 months to figure it out and the transformation in him was amazing. What would I do?????
Off to start another Travis Thrasher novel....Enjoy this one ya'll!!
Karen
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A New Way To See The Life You Have Lived!, May 25, 2011
By 
This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
How do you begin to live your life when you know when it will all end? Do you question whether what you've heard is real or wonder if this is some strange dream you are about to wake up from?

Tyler Harrison is about to have a life changing encounter. An encounter with an man named Matthew that will tell him, just nine months shy of turning 40 that he will die on his birthday. Not one second more, not one second less.

Tyler goes through what I believe we all would, confusion, doubt, denial, anger, and finally resolution. He begins to take each day and figure out a way to look back at the things he has done in his life to see where this may all wind up. He looks back at the way he saw his father raising him, all the anger he held inside, and how for so many years, he kept all his feelings bottled up just waiting for the opportunity to lay it on the line and be honest with his dad. How disappointed, how rejected and how he would never measure up in his father's eyes.

When faced with his father being debilitated and unable to speak, he begins to wonder if his father hasn't received some form of righteous judgement after all. Yet what Tyler will begin to uncover is the lies that are woven in our life to prevent us from seeing the truth that lies within our reach. Lies that the enemy would love to hide from us and keep us in the darkness. In the end, Tyler will finally see it won't be about the things we wanted or needed to make us happy in this life but the opportunities within relationships that would define who we would become in the end.

In the latest novel 40 by Travis Thrasher, we live through the eyes of record and music producer, Tyler Harrison and he fights the inner turmoil going on in coping with the reality of receiving the gift of knowledge over his own immortality and how he chooses to spend the precious moments he has left. I think Travis' portrayal of the conflict and emotions is perfect especially when considering what we ourselves would do if faced with the same news that we had only a few months left to live.

I received this book compliments of Faith Words and Hachette Book Groups for my honest review and once again was not disappointed with Travis Thrashers ability to write from the heart and soul of his characters. What a wicked web he has woven in this timeless tale. Another 5 out of 5 stars!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow...., May 4, 2011
This review is from: 40: A Novel (Paperback)
Tyler Harrison is going to die on his 40th birthday. Tyler knows because an angel named Matthew told him so.
With death imminent and uncertainty clouding his soul, Tyler sets out on a nine month journey towards inevitability and the unknown. How do you live your life when you know exactly when you are going to die? Do you change anything? Do you make amends? Do you bury your head beneath the covers of your unfulfilled life and pretend like it's not going to happen? These are the questions that haunt Tyler, along with the hallucinations and visions that terrify him to no end.

A music producer in Chicago, Tyler has made quite a name for himself and is on the verge of making a big break with an up and coming star. In the past he's always been able to lose himself in the music, letting his work consume his life. But with Matthew's big birthday announcement, nothing in Tyler's life makes sense anymore and not even his love for music satisfies. All the things he'd like to forget, things like his divorce and his rocky relationship with his evangelist father, all of those things are staring him in the face and are demanding attention. As Tyler's birthday draws near he is unknowingly heading towards a collision with destiny and the lack of faith that has plagued his life.

40 is Travis Thrasher's most personal novel to date and it's certainly no accident that this novel is being released just a couple of weeks after the author's 40th birthday. This is a very emotional and brooding story filled with Tyler's inward reflections and struggles over his past. Thrasher's own love for music shows through in not only the setting, but in the way the plot unfolds like a mind bending concert dominated by somber ballads interspersed with the occasional bones igniting anthem.

The "detail" police will be glad to know that Thrasher doesn't sell us short with the portrayal of a music producer's profession. Tyler is wholly believable as both a music producer and aficionado. I'm almost convinced Thrasher has actually spent some time in the studio, possibly chewing the fat with the likes of Brian Eno as he puts forth a stellar effort here to "get it right".

As I was reading 40, I knew there was a twist coming, but when I finally arrived I was floored by both the masterful execution leading up to it and the soul stirring implication left upon the reader. The first person narration was spot on, the suspense and drama played out just right throughout, but this twist elevates the story in such a profound way. This display of storytelling prowess is why I continue to come back to Thrasher's writing and why I'm continually dismayed that he isn't as widely recognized as he deserves.

40 is personal not only for Travis Thrasher, but also for readers who are willing to ask the hard questions about life, faith, and the journey that weaves them together. Wow...

Review copy provided by publisher.
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40: A Novel
40: A Novel by Travis Thrasher (Paperback - May 4, 2011)
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