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Riven Paperback – January 1, 2009

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this painfully slow story, Jenkins (Left Behind) builds two protagonists' story lines-each from different generations and different walks of life, yet destined to cross paths through God's providence. When readers meet young Brady Wayne Darby, he is still struggling to make it through high school, barely weaseling his way out of troubles that often come his way. With the Rev. Thomas Carey, Jenkins introduces an elder pastor, down on his luck and trying to find a new flock-eventually landing himself a prison chaplaincy on death row. Though the story ends with a predictable redemption, along the way, readers are assaulted with a heavy dose of despair, with women who cause the men in their lives endless trials and a plot that takes its sweet time. Since the novel is a complete departure from Jenkins's high-octane Left Behind series, longtime fans may be surprised by his versatility even as they grow impatient with the story's lugubrious development.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Booklist

You would never expect the paths of Brady Darby and Thomas Carey to cross. The teenage Brady is an outsider from the wrong side of the tracks who’s trying to find his place in life while still somehow protecting his little brother from their negligent mother. Thomas is a preacher without a flock, as he and his devoted wife, Grace, are forced to move towns once again after allowing membership at yet another church to dwindle under their watch. At every turn, Brady’s decisions seem to backfire, even when he tries change by participating in the high school musical. At the same time, Thomas and Grace are immediately rejected by their latest congregation for refusing to give in to politics, and their only child seems to reject them and their lifestyle. Several years later, the worlds of Brady and Thomas collide at a juvenile halfway house. They act as life forces for each other even as their individual worlds sink deeper into misery. Christian fiction author Jenkins covers much ground in this weighty book, and while heroes are made out of those who come to God, Jenkins avoids preachiness and, instead, lets goodness shine. Expect demand as Jenkins’ following grows with every outing. --Mary Frances Wilkens --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.; Reprint edition (January 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1414309198
  • ISBN-13: 978-1414309194
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 5.4 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (191 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #279,471 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author of more than 180 books with sales of more than 70 million copies, including the best-selling Left Behind series, Jerry B. Jenkins is former vice president for publishing and currently chairman of the board of trustees for the Moody Bible Institute of Chicago.

Jerry's writing has appeared in Time, Reader's Digest, Parade, Guideposts, and dozens of Christian periodicals. Twenty of his books have reached The New York Times best-seller list (seven debuting number one). The Breakthrough, the final book in Jerry's Precinct 11 trilogy, released from Tyndale House Publishers in September 2012.

Jerry owns Jenkins Entertainment, a filmmaking company in Chicago, and the Christian Writers Guild, which aims to train tomorrow's professional Christian writers. Each student is personally mentored by a seasoned professional.

In January 2013, Jerry launched Christian Writers Guild Publishing (CWGP). Students take a six-month mentored course to guide them in writing their manuscripts, then CWGP publishes their books.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

85 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Robert Busko VINE VOICE on July 29, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Let me admit up front that Riven by Jerry B. Jenkins is the first Christian fiction book I've read. I read it because, as a public library director, I felt the need to sample a genre that so many of my patrons want us to buy books to support. I must say that, though I wouldn't want a steady diet of Christian fiction, (who wants a steady diet of any fiction genre?) I did find much to enjoy in Riven.

First I thought the characters were realistic and believable. Thomas Carey, a man called to the pulpit but frustrated by having to deal with members of a congregation who want to control the church rather than use it for the purpose it was intended. Dealing with small and petty people drives Thomas away from that which he loves. Thomas eventually becomes a prison chaplain and in doing so finds his true calling. Then there is Brady Wayne Darby, a man that after one bad decision after another ends up on death row placed there for a murder that didn't have to happen. It is the juxtaposition and interaction of these two characters that supply the real meat of Riven.

Second, the pace of the story, while slow, allows the characters and their situations to develop without one plot gimmick or twist. Jenkins reminds me of fiction the way it used to be written; without the literary equivalent of special effects and without the over use of formulaic writing.
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26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By M Sylvester on August 6, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Riven is a masterful work focusing on the human condition and redemption. Jenkins contrasts one who has tried to do right throughout his life and "failed" with another who has done everything wrong and refuses to take responsibility for his actions. Isn't that a current mindset? Surely, I am not responsible for what I have done? As the two main characters collide, a chain reaction ignites and races to fulfillment, resulting in a brilliant display of the greatest price ever paid, the ultimate responsibility. Both Christian and secular readers will find more than enough to ponder.
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46 of 52 people found the following review helpful By Harriet Klausner #1 HALL OF FAME on July 24, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Pastor Thomas Carey was called at an early age to spread the Word and over the course of several years he became a pastor at different places around the United States. His last calling ended in a disaster because a layman wanted to be the power behind the ministry; something Thomas could not accept. He takes the position as chaplain at the SuperMax state penitentiary at Adamsville.

Brody Wayne Darby has spent his whole life committing one crime after another starting when he stole at the Laundromat where he worked. As he grew older, he committed increasingly more serious crimes and did time. When he was released, he vowed to go straight until a woman hurt him and he killed her. He pleaded guilty and was sent to Adamsville.

In the years he ministered at the prison, Thomas met no sincere inmate. He feels empty until he meets Brody; both come away from their encounters feeling as if God is working through them.

Jerry B. Jenkins is one of the best Christian authors writing today. His latest work is a dark complex contemporary fiction tale driven by two seemingly opposite characters; their polar differences make each even more believable and the story line plausible. RIVEN is a memorable tale starring a man who feels he is a failure and another who only has death waiting for him in three years time. They met and both feel the Lord is working through them giving each what they need. This book will move the audience in so many ways and make them feel so many things. This is a masterpiece.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Jennifer Bogart on September 14, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Riven is the story of two men - a sinner and a saint. Thomas Carey is a devoted man of God. Committed to pouring himself out for God's people, he and his wife Grace are devout followers of Jesus; never failing in their devotions, always striving onwards and upwards, despite the lack of fruit from their ministry. Brady Wayne Darby is the archetypal bad boy. Raised in a trailer park by an alcoholic mother, he soon falls pray to the sinful nature that begins to devour him. Like us all, he is unable to escape from sin under his own power. He quickly falls prey to lying, theft, drug abuse, and various felonies that lead to repeat visits to correctional institutes over the course of his adult life.

While the contrast of these two lives may seem contrived within the context of a review, it is anything but. The characters of these two men are developed over the course of hundreds of pages. We follow each of them through their struggles, their difficulties and their crises. We become first hand witnesses of their lives; we come to know them as personally as a friend or relative.

I know these men as I have known few other characters - I will never forget them. Thomas, so stubbornly faithful, clings to the rock though he lacks a fruitful ministry. Brady slips deeper into darkness, the burden of his sin mounting, and no hope in sight. I came to love them both. I have never developed such a heart for an unsaved character. Brady must have been difficult for Jenkins, a believer, to write. Once a man is saved it is difficult to remember the burden, the despair, being lost. Jenkins captures it all, magnificently. Thomas and Brady need each other, and when they finally meet the world is shaken for Jesus.

I'm surprised that controversy hasn't arisen over this title.
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