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Crossing the Lines: A Novel Paperback – Bargain Price, June 1, 2009


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: David C. Cook; New edition (June 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1434799840
  • ASIN: B003E7EXW2
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.5 x 1.1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,441,410 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

About the Author

After 25 years in advertising, Richard Doster, editor of byFaith, a publication of the Presbyterian Church, brings his rich Mississippi upbringing to the written page. He currently lives in Atlanta with his wife Sally, and while he's been published by the Atlanta Constitution Journal, this is his first novel.

More About the Author

Flannery O'Connor once said that fiction is a plunge into reality and a shock to the system. Her stories, and I hope mine, provide a true glimpse of a broken world--not merely to shock--but to inspire.

My books are, as one reviewer said of Safe at Home, part "comfort food, history lesson, social retrospective, and personal challenge." As you read them I hope you'll take the advice once given by Sir Frances Bacon: "Read not to contradict and confute, nor to believe and take for granted, nor to find talk and discourse, but to weigh and consider."

Customer Reviews

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It is a supremely spiritual, even Christian, story.
Marty Davis
I found this helpful since I haven't done an in-depth study of Martin Luther King Jr. or that time period before.
Nora A. Stlaurent
The author chose to weave fiction and fact, having his characters story compatible with historical details.
Embrace Life

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Nora A. Stlaurent on June 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
Richard Doster pens a heartfelt, powerful, thought provoking book that gives a broad view of when things started to forever change in the South. It was as much of a surprise to Martin Luther King, Jr. as it was to the rest of the world when a group voted him to lead a fight of justice, for all! Martin Luther tells a reporter, "There comes a time when people get tired of being plunged across the abyss of humiliation."

Martin Luther tries to explain that this movement is not about desegregation - it's about community. "We want the same things. We might come at it from a different direction; might see things from a slightly different angel, but we both want a place were people thrive, where they're free, where everybody loves his neighbor." Jack Hall, reporter for the Atlanta Constitution, doesn't see this happening in a peaceful way--he's scared to be part any of this movement--what will his neighbors and friends think?

To Jack, Martin Luther King says, "Justice is love correcting that which revolts against love. .... True peace--the kind the Bible talks about--has got to be more than the absence of hostility. It's got to be the presence of something good. You can't have peace until you've got justice and goodwill and honest-to-goodness brotherhood," Jack starts to think about life in a new way after hearing Martin Luther's speeches and his pastor's sermons. He thinks God just might want to use him to get Martin Luther's story out to the world.

Richard Doster has a section in the back of the book called "Fact or Fiction," In it he describes what is real in the book and what he's changed to help the story along. I found this helpful since I haven't done an in-depth study of Martin Luther King Jr. or that time period before.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By J. Seybert on June 2, 2009
Format: Paperback
As a kid growing up in a quiet northern California suburb, the early days of the civil rights movement in the late 1950s came only as close as our black & white TV screen and the occasional photo-spread in LIFE magazine. Richard Doster brings those images to real life in Crossing The Lines, his second novel set in the south.

Crossing The Lines continues the story of newspaper reporter Jack Hall whose big break comes when he is asked to join the sports writing team of a major Atlanta daily. Because he had some experience reporting on the "negro" community at his previous paper, Hall's editor sends him to Montgomery, Alabama to report on a minor incident involving a woman who refused give up her seat in a WHITES ONLY section of a city bus.

There's news out of Montgomery that there might be a short-lived bus boycott and Hall agrees to go, despite the protestations of his wife.

"I seem to possess an unusual background; I guess I'm one of the few reporters in the world who's actually seen a boycott, who's been to a Negro church, and interviewed a Negro pastor."

Hall meets a young Martin King, a young pastor who impresses the cynical newspaperman with his faith and quiet demeanor. The two form a relationship built on mutual benefit and Hall becomes an eye witness to some of the civil rights movement's most pivotal events.

Doster weaves his fictional characters into stories of actual events so seamlessly that it is difficult to know where reality ends and fiction begins. The dialog given King and others is historically accurate based on the author's exhaustive research.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Carolyn Curtis on June 20, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Here's what I like: to be thoroughly entertained while I learn something worth knowing.

Crossing the Lines provided me with that experience. I heartily recommend it to several populations: 1) boomers happy to relive that era when "our" music and other cultural phenomena began hitting the scene; 2) younger readers who might not know the background of the birth of rock 'n' roll, country music, blues and other sounds the South contributed so mightily in the 1950s and '60s; 3) Southerners (and wannabes) nostalgic for a period when the South rose again to take leadership in important ways, including literature, music and -- certainly -- social justice and opportunity for all; 4) both black and white readers interested in reviewing incredible events and the brave people behind them in an era when America was on the cusp of major change in race relations; 5) all readers who enjoy a fabulous yarn, a literary masterpiece and a novel whose characters, events and settings stay with you long after you reluctantly finish the last page.

Did I leave anyone out? Hope not...Crossing the Lines is really THAT good! It's fiction that matters, which -- let's face it -- can't be said about all novels.

Carolyn Curtis
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Dennis Lee on July 1, 2009
Format: Paperback
Crossing the Lines: A Novel
Once again, Richard Doster has authored a book that stirs the emotions and challenges the intellect - what more could one ask for? He brings to life historical events from my youth that provided new insights and motivated me to study the history of the civil rights era and great Southern novelists further. Brilliantly weaving together topics of social justice, sports, music, publishing, and literature with a heart breaking tension within the fictional Hall family, this book keeps you thinking long after you finish the great read!
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