Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher: A Novel Paperback – May 27, 2008
Wiley Summer Savings Event.
Save up to 40% during Wiley's Summer Savings Event. Learn more.
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
Top Customer Reviews
I'm tempted to say that American Christians _need_ books like this, and that you have a moral duty to buy it and tell your friends about it. But that might be overdoing it a tad. So I'll just say it's a page-turning good time. And pee-yer-pants-funny. And totally depressing. But in the best way.
The book is an easy read, but don't let that fool you. The characters are complex and realistic. Stennett uses all kinds of literary devices, such as flashing forward or back, but does so masterfully, resulting in a satisfying reading experience. Stennett has a firm grasp on American Christianity and how it is perceived by those on the outside. Even Oprah makes an appearance in this book. (That's right. Not just mentioned, but actually has dialogue. What kind of writer has the guts to do that?)
The only knock I have on this book is the constant pop culture references. Most of them are funny, but sometimes it feels as if Stennett is trying too hard to be hip. But overall, I give this book a stellar review. The character of Ryan Fisher is unbelievable. I couldn't figure him out. Sometimes I hated him, and others I wanted to cheer for him. He was real, and that's what a writer should do.
I'm trying hard to be objectional, but I'm on the verge of calling Rob Stennett a genius.
In case you can't tell already, I really like this book. You will too. Oh yeah, and the cover is very cool too.
I'm a Christian and have attended all sorts of churches. Liberal Lutheran, fundamental Baptist, Assembly of God, conservative Lutheran, non-denominational megachurches. I currently attend a Baptist church. I found myself thoroughly engrossed in this book. I found myself guffawing out loud on many occasions. The writing is breezy, witty, and engaging (though the somewhat lightweight style grows weary.) From my perspective the author pokes fun at the shallowness of the megachurchs and their targeted marketing practices. I found almost all of it to be spot on. However, for someone that doesn't attend church, most of the book won't be funny. Instead, most of the events will simply be part of the narrative.
The satire is sneaky in that it is done (mostly) in an informative manner without much explanations attached. For example, early in the book Ryan attends a megachurch where he notices the ushers are all friendly, all smiling, all wearing coordinated blazers with shiny nameplates as they hand out the church bulletin. He feels like a celebrity on his first visit. A few weeks later, the novelty has worn off--the ushers scarcely notice him. Instead they are looking for first time visitors with which to bestow their welcoming upon. This is exactly what happens in megachurches. The author could have spent a couple more sentences detailing Ryan's disillusionment and disappointment, but he doesn't. He just presents this aspect of the megachurch as a matter-of-fact and leaves it up to the reader to make judgments. This matter-of-fact style is used throughout the book. The author doesn't cast judgment on these sorts of things, he just lets the reader know what is going on.Read more ›
The book is extremely clever and Stennett's satire is brilliant and dangerously accurate. The book pokes fun at many elements of American "Churchianity" as only an insider can; however, it is not biting or malicious in its criticisms, as has become the trend among so many angry children of Evangelicalism, who have realized that irreverently beating up on the Bride of Christ can be pretty lucrative business. Stennett is an incredible developer of characters, and though parts of the book are verging on "over the top," the plot felt natural and eerily believable. Which, I think, leads into one of the main take aways from the book...it is possible to plant, and even grow, a church with absolutely no depth of relationship with Jesus; which incidentally, is something almost all of us suspect after five minutes of watching Christian TV, and wondering why the Pastor on his golden throne telling little old ladies to trade their life savings for prosperity prayer cloths seems somehow so different from the Jesus we find so beautifully portrayed in the Gospels. Somehow in the midst of this novel filled with belly laughing humor, a very somber message rings out reminding those of us, whose task it is to plant and pastor God's church, to take a long hard look in the mirror and deal with the Ryan Fisherism in our hearts.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Author Rob Stennett has a fun satirical wit, and that is on full display in this novel. Rob came up with an interesting premise—could a flimflam man create a church—and ran with it... Read morePublished 14 months ago by Kerry Nietz
I just finished reading "The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher" and I really liked it. I can tell that I'll be thinking about it for quite a while. Read morePublished 20 months ago by C. Azar
This is my first real book by Rob Stennet and it was Great! I had read his short stories like Chicken and now The Living and the Undead, but never his full length books. Read morePublished on January 19, 2014 by Paul
I did enjoy some of this book but was left at the end confused and disappointed. While a fun read, there were too many problems for me to recommend this book to anyone. Read morePublished on March 17, 2013 by Carrie Kindle Lover
Rob Stennett's tale of Ryan Fisher is a masterful work of satire. He is not afraid to skewer evangelicalism's sacred cows, and he does it with a flair and panache that even... Read morePublished on August 10, 2012 by Chad
The book was entertaining, a thoughtful and surprising journey into what it means to be a Christian. It also serves as a fictional exploration of what it means to be a church. Read morePublished on December 14, 2011 by James Korsmo
TATSRF was a very interesting read. I found a lot of what he had to say humorous, but clearly the author is close to my age, because a lot of his pop culture references (which... Read morePublished on February 14, 2011 by Bubba_Holtzkopf