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The Dirty Parts of the Bible -- A Novel [Kindle Edition]

Sam Torode
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1,244 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $12.99
Kindle Price: $2.99
You Save: $10.00 (77%)
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Book Description

"Funny as hell, with a heart as big as Texas"

The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a humorous adventure across America during the Great Depression---a rollicking tale of love and liquor, preachers and prostitutes, trains and treasure, sure to appeal to fans of Water for Elephants, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Mark Twain, Willie Nelson, and Johnny Cash.

Semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award

Publishers Weekly says:

"While the title suggests a raunchy read, this rich and soulful novel is actually a rather well-done bildungsroman [coming-of-age story] steeped in wanderlust and whimsy that at times recalls The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and at others a tamer On the Road. The story begins in 1936 as 19-year-old Tobias is thumbing his way from Remus, Mich., to his uncle's farm in Glen Rose, Tex., to find a hidden bag of money, after his father, a Baptist pastor, drunkenly slams his car into the church and is removed from the parsonage. The author does an excellent job in making well-charted territory (riding the rails; scavenged campfire meals under the stars) seem vibrant and new. Snippets of scripture, Southern spirituals, and folk ballads lend context and flavor to the text. Most impressive are the jangly dialogue and the characters' distinctive voices, which are authentic and earthy but not remotely hoary. When Tobias finally arrives at his uncle's, the surprises that await him are more than enough to keep his--and readers'--interests piqued." (Review from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award)

"The Dirty Parts of the Bible has it all ... a plot that brings lots of laughs and a few tears, a writing style that is comfortable and matches the story, and characters that are pure joy." --Front Street Reviews

"The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a grown-up Mark Twain-type adventure with lots of spirit and humor." --Reader Views

"A fun read." --The Nashville Scene

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

It's 1936, and Tobias Henry is stuck in the frozen hinterlands of Michigan. Tobias is obsessed with two things: God and girls. 

Mostly girls, of course. 

But being a Baptist preacher's son, he can't escape God. 

When his father is blinded in a bizarre accident (involving hard cider and bird droppings), Tobias must ride the rails to Texas to recover a long-hidden stash of money. Along the way, he's initiated into the hobo brotherhood by Craw, a ribald vagabond-philosopher. Obstacles arise in the form of a saucy prostitute, a flaming boxcar, and a man-eating catfish. But when he meets Sarah, a tough farm girl under a dark curse, he finds out that the greatest challenge of all is love.

About the Author

Sam Torode is the author of The Dirty Parts of the Bible: A Novel and its companion volume of poems, The Book of Craw: A Hobo's Testament.

Product Details

  • File Size: 942 KB
  • Print Length: 280 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: ST Book Arts; 3 edition (August 9, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B003K15MO0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #9,373 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
193 of 195 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There's so much to love about Sam Torode's story and writing. I have 75+ plus books on my Kindle that I've _read_ since August, and The Dirty Parts of the Bible is the first one to grab me and take me to another era from page 1. The style of the prose, the imagery, and the guileless thoughts of a young boy of the 30's come across so vividly and takes you away to another place and time. That's what every good story should do, and many of the contemporary fiction books I read don't have much of this quality.

The story made me laugh out loud often in the first chapter of the Kindle sample, and so I had to buy the book right away. I gladly paid $2.99 -- a total no-brainer. The clever interplay of scene, language--and surprisingly scripture and conservative Christian values in a home of a Pastor's son--works beautifully. If you know much about the Bible, this story will strike a chord with you--it's almost like an inside joke. Very clever.

The title has such a hook and sounds like the story itself may be "dirty," but it's not. There's some naughty parts in the story that's the kind of stuff that makes kids laugh in the back of a classroom. The title fits the story and the character of Tobias Henry.

Sam Torode is a book designer, and it's clear that the same level of care and creativity he used for this book's cover and titillating title went into writing this Huckleberry-Finn-for-Adults story of Tobias Henry.
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93 of 95 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Fun and Thought-provoking Read January 17, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I simply enjoyed this book. Having grown up Baptist and am now currently a minister in another denomination, many of the questions of morality and Scriptural interpretation that I continue to wrestle with in my line of work, are brought up in this text. And they are brought up through funny yarns, crisp one-liners, and vivid imagery (Sarah shows up for the dance in a dress made red by dying it in wine - a beautifully multilayered image).

I can't wait for the next novel from this guy.
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66 of 70 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring! November 9, 2011
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This is the best book I have read in a long time. It is sometimes laugh-out-loud funny, and other times spiritually inspiring. I loved it so much that I bought copies for my friends, who loved it as much as I did. I highly recommend this book, especially to those who were raised in strict, religious households. The characters are true to life. Many novels with Christian themes depict the characters as unrealistically all good, or all bad. The characters in this work are portrayed as humans really are; a complex mix of strength and weakness, of faith and doubt. This book was a great boost for me when I needed it. I hope reading it brings you as much joy as it did me.
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31 of 31 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Modern Myths October 18, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This book was successful on several levels. The Depression-era tale of a young man seeing a different side of life riding the trains and living with hobos was combined with the realization that truth comes in many forms. Tobias' father viewed the world in black and white and allowed no shades of grey. Truth was found in the Bible and each line was to be taken literally. Craw, on the other hand, saw the many shades of grey and believed that myths lead us to truth in a more subtle way. Stories are not lies but are a way of illustrating concepts to make them more understandable. One character noted that the Bible states the world was created in six days but who is to say that each day was twenty-four hours. Perhaps to God a day was equivalent to a million years earth time.

Others have suggested that the ending was contrived, but I feel it amplifies the entire feeling of the book. Not everything must be taken literally, and we each slay our dragons in our own way.
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36 of 38 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Great start, weak ending. January 4, 2012
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This started out so funny and witty and just quirky. I couldn't stifle the giggles at certain parts- it had such great potential... so I'm really not sure what happened in the author's mind toward the end. All of a sudden, it stopped being funny or interesting and got weird. The ending felt rushed and it didn't flow with the rest of the story. It was a real let-down after the first 2/3 or so of the book was such a fun read.
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21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thinking and Smiling February 12, 2011
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I hope no one is put off by this book's title, because I think atheists, agnostics, and believers alike would find something to love in it. This book starts out in a very light-hearted manner but don't be fooled-it has some weighty messages to impart. I found myself highlighting many times when Tobias and his mentor Craw would get into the kind of discussions you might find yourself engaged in at 2:00AM in a saloon or coffee shop, take your pick. It draws you into a lost era and the kind of adventures that are impossible to have now but still so enthralling. Who hasn't wanted to jump a train and see how the other half lives?

Mr. Torode seems to have a gift for period dialogue, and I'm sure his grandparents helped him with that. Sarah had many facets that made her easy for me to identify with, Tobias is a self-effacing, hilariously innocent hero, and Craw is a true gentleman when it's called for and wise when it's necessary. It's cinematic, optimistic, cynical and joyous, and no animals were harmed in the making-except for poor Old Squeal. But at least you get to find out what pork rinds used to be called. "Cracklins" is the better, more descriptive term. Since when is a pig a fruit?
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
Stupid. I think I have to write a book.
Published 1 day ago by Abigail
4.0 out of 5 stars Good, fast read
This book was not what I expected, given the title, but I was pleasantly surprised. Good, easy, fast, read with a great storyline.
Published 3 days ago by Audrey
5.0 out of 5 stars The Dirty Parts of the Bible--A Novel
A hellfire and brimstone Baptist preacher sends his son to Texas to retrieve money the preacher had hidden there in his 1920's young and wild days. Read more
Published 3 days ago by Annie Katz
4.0 out of 5 stars Great, fun read
I'm so glad I downloaded this book. The premise sounded interesting and, fortunately, the book lived up to and passed my expectations. Read more
Published 3 days ago by maipie
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great story! Creative, witty!
Published 3 days ago by Amazon Customer
5.0 out of 5 stars Had to read in one sitting
I could not stop reading this book from the minute I picked it up. It has given me new perspectives on so many different things: love, drinking, sex, friendships, religion, the... Read more
Published 4 days ago by Wolverine
3.0 out of 5 stars Three Stars
Wasn't to bad, I'd probably read more from this author.
Published 7 days ago by JoElla Wagers
5.0 out of 5 stars Amusing and thought provoking
Amusing story as Tobias enters manhood. He travels via boxcar, with the help of hobo Craw, to uncover family treasure and falls in love with Sarah, a girl with a dark curse.
Published 8 days ago by Kathleen Rose Puckett
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Amusing, picaresque novel, with some thoughtful comments on traditional religion.
Published 9 days ago by DeeOne
4.0 out of 5 stars Good
a good book
Published 10 days ago by James
Search Customer Reviews

More About the Author

I'm a writer, artist, and book designer enjoying life in Nashville, Tennessee.

On my father's side, I'm a distant relation of Henry David Thoreau (Torode and Thoreau are alternate spellings of Thorold, a family originating on the Isle of Guernsey). On my mother's side, my ancestors include Texas farmers, preachers, outlaws, banjo players, and Cherokee Indians.

A few of my favorite storytellers are Nathaniel Hawthorne, Mark Twain, P. G. Wodehouse, John Kennedy Toole, Flannery O'Connor, Ray Bradbury, and Garrison Keillor.

Philosophically, I'm a Transcendentalist (following cousin Henry), and my favorite thinkers include Ralph Waldo Emerson, Marcus Aurelius, Epictetus, Joseph Campbell, and Rupert Sheldrake.

Groucho Marx said it best: "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."

Readers can connect with me at

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