The Book of Daniel Kindle Edition
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.
About the Author
- File size : 732 KB
- Word Wise : Enabled
- ASIN : B00Z9MVFGW
- Print length : 259 pages
- Publisher : Mat Ridley (June 20, 2015)
- Publication date : June 20, 2015
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Language: : English
- Lending : Enabled
Best Sellers Rank:
#2,421,054 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- #2,321 in Christian Fantasy (Kindle Store)
- #3,393 in Religious Science Fiction & Fantasy (Kindle Store)
- #3,850 in Christian Fantasy (Books)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Dan is a happily married man with a beautiful wife. He is an ex-soldier that works in a warehouse and expecting his first child. Things for Dan become complicated when men searching for a particular package invade his workplace. Dan dies soon after. As complicated things go, Dan does not stay dead for long. He awakens in Purgatory and is expected to fight alongside angels against their nemesis, the demons. Humans that are in Purgatory must do this until God can judge them.
What Ridley does is craft a story that gives a neat twist to the concept of Purgatory and the idea of salvation. The character of Daniel is a strong protagonist that you keep rooting for throughout the story. I highly recommend giving this title a read. -- REVIEWED by JAMES M @ The Reader's Hollow
The main character (Daniel) was a good one, albeit a bit vehement in his anger against religion and the notion of God. There was a good back-story that set up the reasons for it, but I found his stubborn "God hating despite the evidence" to be a tad over-done. However, it was necessary for the story, so it was well done.
I found the writing to be original and a lot of fun to read. The narrative has all the flavor of the main character's personality, and despite the occasional grammatical error, passive sentence, and adverb (WAY) overuse, I enjoyed the story. I had a problem with the way the back-story was presented, but that could just be my personal preference.
It wasn't my cup of tea (too much focus on religion/Christianity for my taste), but there was a lot to love. It's a good book, one I'd recommend to anyone who wants an interesting story.
Ridley seems to be quite a natural at the command of the English language and syntax (grammar, sentence structure, spelling). I find this forms a great framework to build this novel with its characters, plot and theology and is one very well constructed novel.
Ridley has structured this novel in a sequence that flows well. The reader starts off with the present and the events leading up to Daniel's death, then his past recounts him as a teenager meeting his future wife, Jo, his Christian upbringing, parental disharmony, their separation and mother's crime leading to her incarceration and subsequent suicide, all of which destroys his faith in God, distorting his journey to adulthood, his attempts at improving his life in spite of his destructive and toxic upbringing, his blossoming relationship with Jo leading back to the present and his death and then finding himself in the afterlife, or purgatory as described in this novel. This part of the novel needed to be sequenced well to avoid disjointedness that would affect the second half that deals with his "life" in the afterworld/purgatory.
Despite enjoying this book purely from it being very entertaining, I must confess that I had a sense that something was not quite right about this book. Was it the subject of purgatory that goes against my Christian beliefs and biblical doctrine? I guess it was, but if there would be one questionable topic in this novel, there would most likely be another or even more. Well, I had only to keep reading and I discovered this to be so. The author, through the character of Saint Peter, says this of the Bible,
"The Bible as you know it is an interesting book. Many people maintain that it is the literal word of God, and the infallible truth, the key to eternal life. That was certainly the intention of God and those first few authors that spread His word. However, as with many noble endeavours, the problem of corruption areas as more people got involved. Some of the corruption was unintentional; a scribe's mind would wander when copying a particular passage and words would get left out, or a poorly educated scholar would pick the wrong work when trying to translate scripture into another language. Other kinds of corruption were deliberate; politically motivated alterations made in the interests of uniting certain groups of people or turning them against one another. Over the thousands of years that have passed since the original texts were written, so many changes have been introduced that it is impossible for any mortal to know which parts of the Bible are God's truth and which parts are man's fiction."
Well, at this point, I nearly gave up and I was angered by this. This author seems to have deliberately ignored the verse,
2 Timothy 3:16
"Every Scripture passage is inspired by God. All of them are useful for teaching, pointing out errors, correcting people, and training them for a life that has God’s approval."
and John 1:1
"In the beginning the Word already existed. The Word was with God, and the Word was God."
I then thought that this would be expected if this author was not a Christian. On his website and bio, he does not admit to such, but in the Acknowledgements in the book, he states,
"To God, for the inspiration and opportunity to write the novel in the first place...."
This is the only reference or hint that this author has some degree of relationship with God. That is encouraging! However, I have a problem with this. God inspired him to write that the Bible is corrupted? Despite the Bible saying that it is inspired by God? Is this verse corrupted as well? So God has contradicted Himself? The God of the Bible that I know is one who is perfect, holy, consistent, incorruptible and is the very Word of God. If all the former statements from the author are true, then why bother with it? As the author has Saint Peter say,
".....it is impossible for any mortal to know which parts of the Bible are God's truth and which parts are man's fiction."
Yes, I know every author uses poetic licence for all the reasons they do, and I welcome that in fiction, but when it distorts bible doctrine, the Bible itself, who God is, then this is where the author and I part company. I fail to see how even in fiction, an author who hints at being Christian can portray the very tenures of his faith and of the things of God as the opposite to what they are and what he is supposed to believe in. It even puts his own faith in question. In all things, there are boundaries. In Christian fiction, poetic licence should not detract from known facts or the Bible, it can enhance them without distorting its original meaning or intent or from who God is. It shines best when it fills in the gaps between facts without, again, distorting or detracting from the original fact, meaning, intent or person.
There are many more of these distortions and detractions concerning the bible and who God is. Too long this review would be if I quoted them here but, suffice to say, I found it very disconcerting and disappointing to say the least. Another main is that that everyone goes to this place of purgatory to deal with their issues from their earthly life as God wants everyone to have a second chance to spend eternity with Him but, if they do not sort these issues out while in purgatory, then they go to Hell. He even goes to say that God,
".....still hopes that one day even Satan will see the error of his ways."
Hmm, wasn't that what Hell was created for? Satan and the fallen angels? The bible is clear that salvation and forgiveness are for His human creations only and that Hell was specifically for satan and his angels.
What concerns me about all these distortions and distractions is that if this type of fiction only reinforces the belief in those who do not believe the Word of God is inspired by God and that you don't go to Heaven or Hell when you die, but go to Purgatory first or the twist at the end of the novel concerning it. These and the others that I have not mentioned here are not backed up biblically or even based on the bible but, this author believes that everything in this novel is inspired by God. If that is so, then I have been following the wrong inspired book by God, the Bible, and a God who contradicts Himself in each book.
Just when I thought I had had enough of Ridley's theology/gospel, he throws in a twist at the end, all that has been up to that point is not so but again, it is not based on the bible and is a distortion of bible doctrine and who God is.
I state in my blog that I expect from Christian fiction,
Generally, I hope at the end of the novel:
-it has entertained me immensely,
-it has encouraged my walk with God,
-it has not deviated from known biblical doctrine, and it will not, I believe, lead a non-believer astray or promote false doctrine,
-it honours God,
-it does not encourage worship of the created (eg angels) instead of the Creator (God).
If it includes a topic that the bible is silent on, I don't get too concerned as long as it:
-does not conflict with or undermine the bible or doctrine,
-does not dishonour God
-does not have the potential to give the reader a misleading impression of what God and Christianity is.
-generally meets the expectations mentioned previously
If it does, then this will show in my review.
This novel has only met one of the above criteria, it entertained me, however, I would not say immensely. Unfortunately, it has not encouraged my walk or relationship with God, it deviates from known bible doctrine and I don't believe it honours God. The bible is silent on Purgatory solely because it does not exist but the inclusion in this novel of this concept and the twist concerning it at the end, does conflict with the Bible and its doctrine and I believe will give a reader who is searching for God a misleading impression of who God is.
This novel is very much the gospel according to Ridley.
I cannot give this an overall rating but will do so as follows:
Spiritual themes 1/5
Top reviews from other countries
The first part of the book flows so very naturally and it grips you with the force of an exceptional thriller. Even when the story gets a little denser in its second part, with a number of implied theological questions and reflections, I remained intrigued and captivated by the narrative which became rather dream-like, with surreal touches. And the last section of the book rounds the story off nicely – so it is essential that one reads the book up to the end!
All in all, this is a great story (or perhaps collection of stories) and a brave endeavour with a powerful message. The Christian/theological elements in it are not preachy but they develop naturally alongside the narrative, offering many interesting points of reflection for the reader – both of a Christian or theological nature, but also more general regarding our life and the way we deal with the struggles we encounter. Certainly a recommended read for every lover of the thriller/fantasy genre and - I think - not just for Christian audiences.
After the adrenaline rush of the opening the backstory is told through flashbacks, and we get to know about Daniel's upbringing, his anger at God and the events that caused it. This is handled with aplomb, the biblical references liberal but not intrusive. We learn that the younger Daniel was a believer, who turns his back on God, and by contrast his wife's faith is presented as rather simplistic, like a young child’s unquestioning devotion to a parent.
Daniel continually questions God, played out in a dialogue between him and characters he meets. These exchanges, for all their spiritual conundrums, never answer the essential paradox that preoccupies Daniel; of a loving merciful God who "...could just click His fingers and be done with the whole lot if that’s what He wanted.” with the same God who is responsible for Hell and doesn't just click those almighty fingers.
Not that I’m expecting Mat Ridley's character to provide answers. Indeed part of the skill he displays as an author is not to even try; but instead to have his characters play out the arguments and leaves the mental wrestling and conclusions to us, although some possible resolutions to the paradoxes do become apparent as the reader follows Daniel's path.
On occasions the character's reasonings, however biblically inspired they may be, are hard to swallow. For example; “All ye (you) need to do is recognise that your hardships are what bring(s) you closer to God; that’s precisely why he puts you through them…” The faint whiff of subjugation hangs over this line of thought, of knowing our place and not questioning our lot. God save the believers, while the rest of us can suffer because it’ll be alright in the afterlife. Maybe through such thinking are tyrannies built and inhumanity tolerated. Harsh? Maybe so, but on reflection not a criticism.
The power of literature is in its ability to get us questioning and thinking outside of our comfort zones. That’s what Mat Ridley’s done with The Book of Daniel. Most of us find comfort in the familiar – like reading newspapers that reinforce our opinions rather than challenge them. For me Mat has laid a copy of The Daily Mail on my liberal table and challenged me to pick it up and get stuck in. I may not agree with everything I read, I may even recoil from some of it, but in getting me to pick it up and study it (yes study, notes and all) cover to cover in four sittings he’s not only kept me entertained, he’s given me food for thought. No mean achievement for a debut novel. That he manages to make Daniel a protagonist that's hard to warm to, while keeping sufficient momentum to carry us through the book and still root for him is a noteworthy achievement too.
I read this in tandem with a re-reading of one of my all-time favourite books, Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian. The contrast between McCarthy’s sparse, amoral and bloody tale, almost bereft of dialogue and Ridley’s dense, loquacious account of The Book of Daniel couldn’t be greater. In fact I found that for they complement each other perfectly, like salt and pepper, light and shade, heaven and hell.
Not at all what I expected. The details of the narrative, especially the post-mortem part, are inspired and more than a little whacko. Very good for Believers, Atheists, Agnostics and, everyone in between.