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The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips: A Novel Paperback – November 5, 2008


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: FaithWords (November 5, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0446196991
  • ISBN-13: 978-0446196994
  • Product Dimensions: 5.2 x 0.9 x 8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,365,077 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In recent years, Baldwin (The Unusual Suspect) has put his acting career on the back burner in order to develop his Christian ministry. Not surprisingly, his foray into fiction writing is part detective movie and part sermon. Religious fiction sometimes sacrifices plot development to preach a message, and Baldwin, unfortunately, is unable to avoid this temptation. The lead character, Det. Andy Myers, responds to a call and finds a boy he knows who appears to have been brutally murdered. The boy's father, an ex-con and recent born-again Christian, does not seem to be fazed by his son's death, believing him to now be in a better place with God. Myers is appalled by the father's lack of emotion and goes on a crusade to make sure he is convicted of his son's murder. Myers is the most three-dimensional character in the book and is developed with some skill. But he is surrounded by a number of unbelievable figures who obfuscate an uneven plot that ultimately does not satisfy. (Nov. 5)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

Review

Intentionally or accidentally, Baldwin has braided together what young Americans seem to crave today; fame, cool, and answers. Answers from a man who called himself the son of God, and another one who calls himself Stevie B. (Salon.com Lauren Sandler 2006-01-00)


Since finding Christ after the September 11 attacks, Baldwin's nurtured a unique kind of religious conviction, one that's equal parts scripture and Mountain Dew Code Red. He talks about it, and why you should find it, too, in his new book, THE UNUSUAL SUSPECT. Pull up a pew. (Esquire Sean Gibson 2006-01-00)

Customer Reviews

Don't waste your time on this trash.
P. Jones
His transformation and ultimate conversion to Christ throughout the book is key to the story and the author's intention was to make that transformation clear.
Sally
This is Stephen Baldwin's first fiction book with Mark Tabb.
Nora A. Stlaurent

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Sally on November 19, 2008
Format: Paperback
This is an unusual read for several reasons! First, the author is a celebrity. Having seen Stephen Baldwin on NBC's Celebrity Apprentice, I was quite excited to have the opportunity to read his first work of fiction. Written in conjunction with Mark Tabb, this murder mystery with a twist is an enjoyable book. Secondly, this purported Christian fiction contains profanity--quite a bit of it--which is why the following disclaimer was sent out:
The statement from FaithWords is:
Normally, it is not the policy of FaithWords to include foul language in our fiction titles. The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips has dialogue which reflects the heart of the main character. His transformation and ultimate conversion to Christ throughout the book is key to the story and the author's intention was to make that transformation clear. We apologize if this inclusion offends our readers. We are committed to publishing fiction that depicts the power of Christ's love in even the darkest life and situation. Harry Helm, Associate Publisher, FaithWords
Thirdly, my observation is that the profanity and adult themes contained in the novel are not attributable to only the main character. Other characters speak with profanity too, and some of the adult themes are spread amongst them throughout the story.

Fourthly, although this is not a book of humor, I laughed out loud when I read the Santa scene. I can't tell more without revealing secrets, but it's funny. I bet you'll laugh too at the Santa part.

The characters are believable. The story is believable. And, (sigh) the dialogue is believable. I must say that it's a good story, and I enjoyed it.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Stacey VINE VOICE on November 7, 2008
Format: Paperback
Stephen Baldwin and Mark Tabb have touched the heart with "The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips." This is a beautifully written, heart-wrenching dramatic tale of the death of one too young and the man, his father no less, who is accused of the deed.

Like Anne Rice's "Interview With A Vampire," I became lost in the storyteller's tale, forgetting that the storyteller was sitting with an interviewer. This book has a solid story, engaging characters and writing that draws the reader intellectually and emotionally. With regard to the controversy of language use, I can see why the writers believed it was necessary. Its use did not diminish the impact that the story had on me. In fact, it may actually have brought scenes more alive out of shock value.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Christina Lockstein on November 21, 2008
Format: Paperback
The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips by Stephen Baldwin and Mark Tabb is an unusual Christian fiction book. Police officer Andy Meyers responds to a call to find a dead boy, Gabriel, whose father is reacting strangely. Meyers had been sleeping with the boy's mother and bonding with the child, so he feels a deep-seated need for justice for the boy's death. The father doesn't react like Meyers would expect with tears and hysteria. Instead, he's calm and talks about how Gabriel has gone home to be with the Lord. This infuriates Meyers who sets out to prove that the father killed Gabriel because he was angry about the affair. The plot is delightfully twisted and convoluted, especially because the narrator is Meyers' son, who he abandoned as soon as he discovered his wife was pregnant. Despite the complicated plot, Baldwin and Tabb keeps things running smoothly from the death to a trial and finally an execution. There has been some concern about the strong language used in the book. While I admit, it is stronger than most Christian fiction on the market, it's nowhere near as strong as plenty of secular fiction, and it's always used appropriately to the character and never for titillation. The only character who is a Christian is Gabriel's father, so the occasional cuss word helps create the character and scene. It works. The authors keep the reader guessing as to exactly what happened to Gabriel, as well as what Andy is going to do next. I thoroughly enjoyed this book and hope that Baldwin continues writing!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Kelly Klepfer VINE VOICE on December 14, 2008
Format: Paperback
Christian publishing has crossed a barrier with the publication of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips.

For starters, this story is compelling. Told through the narration of Andy Myers' son. The son he never wanted, I might add. Narration is not my favorite point of view because it tends to lack intimacy. But I connected with the characters in Death and Life. I also love crime fiction and Death and Life is full of cop/legal drama. The writing is creative and easy to read and the story is positively page turning.

I mentioned that Christian publishing has crossed a barrier with this story because the dialogue is peppered with raw language -- think PG-13. I am not super offended by language and am able to watch or read something and not get caught up in coarseness if the story is compelling enough. Death and Life is full of three, four and five letter words that will stomp on sensitive toes.

Interestingly, I've seen a lot of debate in Christian author loops that discusses this issue and the challenge of writing real and raw when the characters are limited to "Aw, shucks, Ma'am." The fact that Stephen Baldwin has opened the door is going to ease things for the storytellers who want to write real if it includes raw. The bottom line consensus in this debate seems to be that story does rule. And in this case, The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips shares a story that is worth reading.
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