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 Betrayal: A Novel on John Calvin Paperback – June 1, 2009
The Amazon Book Review
Author interviews, book reviews, editors picks, and more. Read it now
Frequently Bought Together
Customers Who Bought This Item Also Bought
"If you enjoy reading the fictional works of C. S. Lewis, you will love this book." --Burk Parsons, editor, Tabletalk magazine
"An exciting read, almost effortlessly and implicitly undoing caricatures about Calvin along the way . . . Calvin and his times brought to life in a page-turner!" --Joel R. Beeke, president, Puritan Reformed Theological Seminary
About the Author
with his wife and six children in Washington State. He is a ruling elder in the
Presbyterian Church in America (PCA), teaches English and history at Covenant
High School, and was awarded the regional Teacher Award for teaching young
people how to write. He lectures on literature and church history and leads study tours in Europe.
If you buy a new print edition of this book (or purchased one in the past), you can buy the Kindle edition for only $1.99 (Save 60%). Print edition purchase must be sold by Amazon. Learn more.
For thousands of qualifying books, your past, present, and future print-edition purchases now lets you buy the Kindle edition for $2.99 or less. (Textbooks available for $9.99 or less.)
Top Customer Reviews
The Betrayal, published by P&R Publishing, comes from the pen of Douglas Bond who has written several historical fiction novels in the past. In this new book, he writes from the perspective of a lifelong sworn enemy of Calvin--a boy who grows up in the same town and who, as a man, remains involved with Calvin's life to the very end. As the publisher says, "This fast-paced biographical novel is a tale of envy that escalates to violent intrigue and shameless betrayal." I hesitate to say too much about the plot lest I inadvertently ruin it for those who would like to read the book. Perhaps there is value, then, in simply sharing a few of the endorsements for it.
Burk Parsons, editor of John Calvin: A Heart for Devotion, Doctrine, Doxology says, "With masterful insight, Douglas Bond offers us an illuminating portrait of the life, ministry, and theology of John Calvin. For readers of all ages, this well-researched, historical fiction takes us back to the sixteenth-century Reformation as if we were eye-witnesses of all that God accomplished in and through the life of His humble servant John Calvin. If you enjoy reading the fictional works of C. S. Lewis, you will love this book.Read more ›
The writing in this book is a strange mixture of Les Miserable and Frankenstein. And much like those two books, it's hard to get involved with the characters until you are thoroughly soaked in the action of the story rather than the characters themselves.
I am not a historical fiction fan. I am a character-driven novel fan. It's the characters that I care about: not the plot or even the events. This is an event driven novel. One that centers around the places and actions, rather than the characters themselves. Consequently, I was dragging though the boring details that were trying to set the scene, while the characters remained flat and lifeless. I did not care about them, so I could hardly care about what happened to them.
What I liked: The author did an beautiful job of transcribing and detailing the words of Calvin, himself, and making his genius shine through.
What I didn't like: too much boring detail with scene setting, and at times the novel was jarring in its pov switches.
Overall, It is a pretty good novel, but I still don't know that I would describe it as fast-paced or gripping. I recieved a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
In a lot of ways, this book doesn't know if it wants to be a novel or a theology manual. Bond undertook a difficult task in trying to novelize Calvin's life, as he is a man remembered not primarily remembered for some heroic deed, but rather for what he said and thought. Unlike figures such as Churchill, Washington or Patton who are remembered as great statesmen or military generals, Calvin's main impact on history was through his Institutes of the Christian Religion.
As a theology book, The Betrayal does serve to give the reader a broad overview of the issues surrounding the Reformation. The first half of the book spends a great deal of time illuminating the spiritual darkness and corruption that gripped the Roman Catholic Church. Bond chooses three doctrinal distinctives of the reformation (the sufficiency of Scripture, the sacraments, and predestination/free-will) and deeply explores Calvin's thoughts of the matter. Most of the words spoken by Calvin in the novel are drawn from his writing in the Institutes.
As a novel, this book is difficult to adjust to stylistically.Read more ›
The author’s writing is brilliant in every aspect, the word choice and tone; the story reflecting the “iron self-disciplined” character; and the atmosphere of painful reality of the 16th century Paris’ burnings of those who dared to question clergymen. This historical fiction is “set in the times and places when and where John Calvin lived and worked. Though it is fiction, the reader may accept Calvin’s words in dialogues, sermons, discussions, and debates with confidence.”
Young Calvin displays brilliance from early school years. He is the envy of his schoolmates. His knowledge is far above his age, and what seems ahead his time. It comes across as from another world. From early on, he isn’t afraid to speak up or ask what isn’t supposed to be questioned.
The chronicler’s envy of Calvin’s brilliance makes him develop uncanny ability to be invisible and follow Calvin’s each move until arrival in Paris, where he becomes visible, simply by approaching Calvin and asking him for “honor of attending upon him.”
In Paris, while Calvin studies for priesthood at Sorbonne, two events occur: Calvin hears of Martin Luther and chronicler overhears about spies of the Sorbonne commissioned by priests and doctors. Two men with two different goals lead to the Betrayal, which has an unexpected twist.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Incredible read, kept me riveted, Would love to see more books of this type by this author.Published 3 months ago by Jacqueline Owens
I'm not entirely sure how to feel about this book. It's advertised as a suspenseful novel of a great betrayal (hence the book's title), and it was just that for a little more than... Read morePublished 8 months ago by danny
Excellent. Historically accurate and a good read besides. It presents a picture of the times and the struggles of those who sought to bring the gospel message to folks in their... Read morePublished 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
Great Novel with historical content. Puts the life of Calvin into the realm of reality.Published 14 months ago by misterdic
I can't say enough about this book. It has been a read aloud with my three boys, ages 10, 12, & 13, and has surprisingly been an amazing tool to discuss the doctrines in God's... Read morePublished 15 months ago by My 3 Sons
The Betrayal by Douglas Bond is a very well written novel on the life of John Calvin. The way Bond portrays him through the eyes of his personal servant (and sworn enemy) gives a... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Lena Karynn Tesla
I like this book it gave me insite to man John Calvin and was like to live in his time. Not just cold facts about a dead theologenPublished 20 months ago by E. Davis
Truly a page turner. Hard to put it down. Written very well and seems quite accurate despite being a novel. Ended up reading the whole book in about a week it was so good. Read morePublished 22 months ago by Joel and Amber