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Christopher Paperback – December 20, 2011

4.4 out of 5 stars 17 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Dreamy, funny, and profound, with lovable, living characters that immediately invite you into their story. David Athey has written another marvel." --Dale Ahlquist, President, American Chesterton Society
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Sophia Institute Press (December 20, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1933184825
  • ISBN-13: 978-1933184821
  • Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.9 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (17 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,795,682 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
David Athey hit it out of the park, man.
Christopher strides a line of paradoxes throughout the entire novel that creates a beautifully fulfilling experience for the reader. Athey's style is charming and poetic, and yet frank, even at times stark. His attention to the landscape of the Midwest is epic in scope, yet viewed through the intimate eyes of a native- and one who assesses the landscape with tenderness and reverence in minute detail. The spiritual journey of Christopher and his counterparts is the same mystical and heroic saga of the saints and faithful throughout the centuries, but it is as personal as each character's own heart, and the unspoken and innermost thoughts, hopes, and fears therein. Theologically, Athey treats his characters tenderly, tempering the universal, objective truths of the soul and its relationship to God with the necessary dance of mistakes and ever-present grace. The tension of this engaging warp and weft of paradox is enthralling, and it successfully delivers a story wound around the spectrum of human emotion from the search to the discovery, from despair to triumph, and from hunger to satisfaction and back again. More than 'well worth it'.
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Format: Paperback
Christopher is a novel written by a poet. The language is deep and rich, dominated by mystery, possibility, and the inescapibility of encountering the Divine on the shores of Lake Superior. The plot is anchored not by fantastic imposibility, but rather by the visceral terrestrial experience. It is a story that is very much human and yet it retains an atmosphere saturated by the wonder of the created realm. In many more ways than one; this is a love story.
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Christopher is one of the best novels I have read - ever! Dale Ahlquist proclaims the novel as a marvel; however, it is difficult to describe a marvel, wonder, or the mystery of Lake Superior. But as the name implies in the latter, the novel is just that: superior - an instant classic. One could compare Christopher to a Nicholas Sparks novel mixed with the humor of coming of age stories such as "Flipped" or"Little Manhattan" mixed with adventure and humor similar to "The Princess Bride". But this is only a glimpse of the texture of the novel, not the adventure and quest you will find yourself on and in. Some may find life mundane, repetitious, and a bore; perhaps that is because they have not come face to face with a mountain lion or been on a quest with Christopher. Delightful, filled with well crafted prose, and thrilling adventure. Do not miss out on this story - a wonderful read. I rate it five stars plus a few more! MAD
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Format: Paperback
I thoroughly enjoyed reading Christopher, and would recommend it to anyone who likes to be moved and grown by a story. It's full of incredible pockets of imagery and epiphany that grip you, and cause you to pause and give space to them within yourself.

The author is no doubt a poet; this shows through in Athey's perception of the natural world and the inner life of a young man as he comes of age. However, this is not simply a coming-of-age story; it is also a dance of pursuit and retreat between Christopher Lagorio and the mystery of faith, and a very believable dance at that. Athey unpacks deep theological and philosophical truths with ease and poignancy along Christopher's journey. Athey also walks a fine line between wit and substance, and keeps the chapters relatively short, which personally kept me hooked. The pace of the novel is genius. I read it in only three sittings about a month ago, and the story still lingers inside me.

In short, Christopher is the kind of book that stays with you long after you finish reading and close the cover. It will make more of you by stretching your imagination and thoughts on faith and nature, and it will remind you of the reason why you read in the first place.
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This book is mainly written for the teen market. However, there was an underlying theme that was fully revealed at the end. I am glad that I read this book, it taught me a new lesson about my Catholic faith.
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Format: Paperback
He pointed at the book. "Is the Summa an adventure story?"
Terra laughed. "More of a love story. But it's not fluffy. It's all philosophical and theological."
The boy mouthed the words quietly, tasting the possibilities.

This excerpt from the second chapter, in which Christopher and Terra discuss Aquinas' Summa Theologiae, is in many ways descriptive of Athey's novel itself. Christopher is more or less equal parts love story, theological apologia, and philosophical musing, yet it is written with such compelling, poetic insight into the inner workings of a growing man as to make the reader momentarily forget that it's any of the above. Though very informed by Catholic tradition, readers from other creeds need not feel proselytized; this novel is a testament to God's relentless love for humanity and how He is revealed everywhere--in both the cathedral and the commonplace.
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading Christopher, and I would highly recommend it to anyone looking for a book that inspires, engages, and moves the reader. The language is stunning as Christopher Lagorio makes his way through love, faith, and life, stumbling across captivating characters as he goes. On one level the book is simple, funny, and charming; but on a deeper level, it instructs and challenges. I felt as if I grew up with the young knight, Christopher, and watched as he made, lost, and found friends. Athey has created lively, human characters that embody the pleasures and pains we all face.

This novel is a joy to read, and I found that it works perfectly in a book club or discussion group setting. As president of a small book club made up of mostly English students and some professors, I chose Christopher for our April novel. When we met to discuss the text, it was clear that it connected to each member on a very individual level. It stimulated in depth discussion and prompted meaningful questions for everyone. Many of Athey's masterful moves as a writer are not apparent on the first read; and as we reread and discussed various excerpts of the novel, it became clear that its literary worth is striking.

In short, I would recommend this novel for many reasons. It was a joy to read, and I know that I will be rereading it soon. I also suggest Christopher as a group read since it will strike each reader differently. Christopher is a memorable novel that leaves a lasting impression.
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