If you know your Bible, the story of Elijah vs the prophets of Baal is one of the most resonant. Elijah stands out in the Old Testament as a powerful prophet, the voice of God in a land turned to paganism. Zach takes this story and puts it into an urban setting with guns and explosions, drugs and fast cars. Eli is a rough diamond, a man plagued by doubts but he acts as a man of God even in the face of violent opposition. The modern language and action movie style scenes make this a story that is more applicable in today's world, a way to re-imagine this ancient prophet and make him come alive. The scene with the prophets of Baal is especially well written, perhaps a difficult task given how well it's known. Recommended for people who like their Bible stories in shades of blood and dust.
Christian fiction is currently comprised of two types of books: Amish girl coming of age stories and everyone who tries to be C.S. Lewis but fails completely. Zach Bartels breaks the mold. Heck, he hasn't even written in this genre and he's broken the mold. In fact, I believe Bartels has created a new genre which has yet to even be explored. The idea of adapting the bible into modern action-packed stories is no longer a novelty but a reality. He takes a classic Old Testament showdown between Elijah, the prophet of Jehovah, and the Baal worshipers. Elijah has been chosen by god as his instrument to bring repentance to the land of Israel. The problem is, Israel and it's king want nothing to do with it. So what does a prophet do when no one will listen? Take names and pour out the justice of the Lord in hopes that his people turn back. Bartels brings to life the genre where the Bible meets Boondock Saints, God meets gunplay and heretics meet hellfire at the end of a 9 mm. In fact, I hope he comes up with an adaptation of this book and transforms it into a graphics novel.
So, why should you buy a book like this? You shouldn't really need to ask, but here are 5 reasons:
5. Your mom wouldn't like a book like this. 4. All your famous reformed bloggers rated it the second best release in 2010, right behind "Younger, Restlesser, Reformeder". 3. You're more likely to get a date with a girl while reading this than reading a social rhetorical commentary on 2nd Kings. 2. You're wasting all your time writing scathing diatribes about Gut Check books (from your grandma's basement and on her Pentium II of course) without bothering to ever read them. 1. This book is beyond worth it. Between the wit, the character development, the plot and the action scenes, this book is worth every dollar you spend.
So, instead of blowing your wad...of cash on the next Amish girl story or that story where Mack goes into the shack, feel free to buy a book that captures the essence of the biblical story while giving a great ride along the way.
I purchased 42 Months Dry: A Tale of Gods and Gunplay after seeing a request from the author for top reviewers to review the book. I am not a top reviewer, but I thought I would review the book anyway. I can only hope that the author will return the favor.
The thing that made it stand out is that it is a retelling of a biblical account of the life of a prophet in a modern setting. I used a similar approach when I wrote the book For the Love of a Devil. Mine was based on Hosea, but in this book Zach Bartels tells the story of Elijah.
42 Months Dry: A Tale of Gods and Gunplay is different than you might expect because Bartels puts a gun and a cigarette in his main character's hand and the character is known to curse in fits of anger. That may be offputting for some readers. The tone of the story is rather dark and the body count is high, but for people who like that kind of story, I don't think they will be disappointed.
Bartels is a skilled storyteller and it is obvious that he studied Elijah before writing the story. That is more than can be said for some authors who have attempted to retell a Bible story. If you are looking for a Christian Thriller, you will do well with this book.
Best thriller I've read in a long, long time! This is Vin Diesel as Elijah the prophet in a modern day, alternate reality. This is John Mcclane living free and dying hard in a New York-esque Israel. Bullets fly. Spirits haunt. Dieties empower. In this reality, all the circumstances surrounding the actual story of Elijah are in place and unfolding in our time. King Ahab and his demonic streamroller of a wife, the contest of gods at Mt. Karmel, 42 months wihout rain, the call of Elisha - it's all there - in a rust and dirt and glass-shattering, bullet blazing, fiery, explosive sort of way. To make things more interesting, a great deal of attention is given to the military turmoil between those sworn to protect the king and the political security force that came along with the foreigner queen. Do not fret at my references to Die Hard and Riddick. Eli Tishbie has way more depth than his tough guy counterparts. You'll also fall for Zara, the poor widow Eli saves and builds a relationship with. This is not just a run of the mill, action thriller. The inclusion of the supernatural sets it apart. The demonic spirit of Baal is a character. Eli occasionally is gifted with almost super-hero abilities. Prophets can see a tongue of flame flicker of the heads of other prophets. There are dreams and visions- most of which are pretty psychadelic. I would not mind seeing Tarantino add visuals to these well mastered words. This is a short, worth-while read. It starts like a bullet and ends bullet hole!
I found this to be a highly enjoyable and creative retelling of the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. There are some takes on Elijah that may make some readers uncomfortable, but I found the risky stuff pretty believable. The Old Testament Prophets were a pretty colorful lot. I mean Ezekiel rolled around naked for a while and there was a high blood count during Elijah's ministry. Also he did appear kind of high strung, he did get all depressed after Jezebel came after him.
So if you're going to relocate Elijah into a modern setting but have him still existing prior to the New Covenant, this is probably what you would end up with. Besides there are car chases and gun fights, dudes should find it enjoyable.
It was very exciting and kept my interest. It inspired me to go back and read 1&2 Kings from which this book is not so loosely based. I found it faciniating how he could take a story written 5000 years ago and have most of the relevant facts written in modern day times. Can't wait for his next book.
Loved it. Read it in one night. This book was very well written and gave me several little "A-HA" moments. It's easy to forget that Bible characters were real everyday people - flawed like we are, but used by God anyway.