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The Ambition: A Novel Kindle Edition

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Bestselling nonfiction writer Strobel (The Case for Christ) makes his fiction debut with a legal thriller that draws on his background in legal journalism. In Chicago, which specializes in deep-dish corruption, the mobster Bugatti brothers want a murder case steered to the right judge, so they send a payoff to Judge Reese McKelvie. McKelvie is a candidate for a U.S. Senate seat vacated as a result of corruption; his rival is pastor Eric Snow, who heads a suburban megachurch and who has developed political ambition. One member of Snow's congregation is Gina D'Orazio, girlfriend of investigative reporter Garry Strider. When Gina's faith prompts her to move out of Strider's apartment, the cynical Strider takes Snow's megachurch as his next investigative target. The much published author writes with great confidence and plots like a screenwriter. The book's ending has a rushed feel, as if some major developments are dropped rather than resolved. On the whole, however, Strobel succeeds in his new direction; his nonfiction fans will certainly want to check this out. ---Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Lee Strobel (www.LeeStrobel.com), with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, was the award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune. He is a New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty nonfiction books. A former atheist, he served as a teaching pastor at two of America’s largest churches. He and his wife live in Colorado.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1533 KB
  • Print Length: 288 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Up to 5 simultaneous devices, per publisher limits
  • Publisher: Zondervan (May 31, 2011)
  • Publication Date: May 31, 2011
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishing
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004DCAUYC
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
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  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Not Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #246,317 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Lee Strobel (www.LeeStrobel.com), with a journalism degree from the University of Missouri and a Master of Studies in Law degree from Yale Law School, was the award-winning legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and a spiritual skeptic until 1981. His books include four Gold Medallion winners and the 2005 Christian Book of the Year (coauthored with Garry Poole). He and his wife live in Colorado.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

27 of 27 people found the following review helpful By William Dahl VINE VOICE on May 17, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lee Strobel is a truly gifted writer --- we already knew that. This is his first attempt at a novel. Frankly, I hope it's not his last.

The evangelical Christian publishing industry in the U.S. is mired within the miasma of telling their story in new and refreshing ways. Clearly, Strobel has leveraged his remarkable literary talent to produce an honest-to-God "page turner." His character development, dialog, story-line and the richness of the context he creates for The Ambition are well, spellbinding. It's also easy to read. Frankly, the way the book ends CLEARLY positions The Ambition as the first in a series of novels from Strobel. I honestly hope so. Strobel is a talented story-teller who deserves the opportunity to provide readers with a sequel/series...leveraging the same context and characters for future literary enjoyment.

Strobel goes to great lengths at the end of the book to reaffirm that this is a work of fiction, and has absolutely nothing to do with his term as a pastor (and former atheist) at two of the largest mega-churches in the U.S. (Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in So. Cal. and Bill Hybel's Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago --- I believe - forgive me if I've made a mistake).

Of course, the book includes fundamental evangelical issues of prayer, miracles, healing, relationships, formal membership at a church etc. Yet, don't misinterpret what I'm saying here. This is a superb novel. It is distinctly NOT proselytizing submerged within evasive evangelical rhetoric.

It's about life, lives, intrigue, living, learning, power, authority, deception, wounds, mystery, faith, mistakes, power, authority, control, shame, miscalculation, living with tension, relationships - it is a great story told by a wonderfully gifted storyteller - with a few murders thrown in to boot.

I really enjoyed it and look forward to Lee Strobel's sequel. You will too!
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40 of 42 people found the following review helpful By Vonno on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've benefited from Lee Strobel's books for years; they're some of my absolute favorites. Up until now his writings have been aimed at making things crystal clear. But in THE AMBITION, Strobel's first novel (hopefully not his last), he does the opposite -- he keeps you breathlessly guessing! More than that, this book makes you feel like you're right there, living in and through the characters, experiencing what they do -- whether in the tensions of the legal chambers, the tastes of the local eateries, or the tragedies of Chicago's back alleys. Clearly Strobel has called up his years of experience as the legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and put them to good use, because this fiction breathes of gritty realism mixed with flashes of hope and optimism. What else can I say? You've just got to read THE AMBITION for yourself!
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Lisa M. Hendey VINE VOICE on May 18, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Before you dive into The Ambition, the new thriller by noted author Lee Strobel, make sure you've got some time set aside -- you're not going to be able to put it down! This is actually the first of his book's I've had the pleasure of reading. I found it to be a fascinating novel, filled with intrigue, unforeseen plot twists and characters that get under your skin quickly. Although written from a faith-based perspective and with many characters whose beliefs define them, Strobel's evangelical voice is never heavy handed. He gives us characters who, like ourselves and the people in the pews next to us, make mistakes, go through periods of spiritual dryness, and sometimes question their beliefs.

The story that unfolds in The Ambition is relevant in today's world of political ambition and megachurches. You'll quickly be caught up in the action, but you'll also be inspired and entertained along the way. I hope that Lee Strobel will soon follow up with another novel - I loved this one and can't wait to share it with friends.
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18 of 20 people found the following review helpful By Steve Taylor TOP 500 REVIEWER on April 10, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Lee Strobel's non-fiction books so when I heard he was releasing a fiction book I knew I had to read it. The book started off strong and therefore I was hopeful this was going to be good. Unfortunately it ended up being slow and predictable. The writing was okay but in the storyline there were way too many wasted pages that had little or nothing to do with the plot - slowing the book up to a crawl. Rarely do I speed-read a book but this one slowed to the point that I just wanted to get through it. Although the story was decent there were no twists in the plot or anything that made me say "I never saw that coming". The overall storyline was completely predictable and so were the minor plot lines. The characters were two-dimensional and many were almost identical except that they had different names. Sad. It seemed like the book was rushed to make it to the printer on time. Did anyone proof-read this story?

However, the message of the book was very good. A strong Biblical worldview was given without white-washing the church to make it look perfect. Strobel represented Christians as humans with faults but also showed them overcoming their sin and running to God for help. It's obvious Strobel has been inside the church and has a good grasp on the things that go on behind the scene. I've read true stories of churches that had bonafied miracles occur even though they did not believe miracles still happen today and seeing this in a novel was very interesting. The debate on whether Christian's should be involved in politics was tackled from a Pastor's perspective but not from a non-minister one. Still well-done and interesting.

If you are the type of reader that likes books that have a casual pace then this may be right up your alley.
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