Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Forgotten Road
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4.8 out of 5 stars
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on November 7, 2012
Cole Michael was one of the leading influences in the music industry until his life seemed to fall apart. Upon the death of both his son and wife he gave into heavy drinking and made the horrible mistake of getting behind a wheel of an automobile resulting in the death of a precious lady and her daughter. This event sent Cole to prison for eleven years, while there he encountered prison Chaplain Duke Parker. There chaplain Parker listened to him answering his haughting questions about all that had happened within his life. When Cole arrived at the end of himself, he gave his heart to Jesus Christ and became a new person. In prison he learned and grew in his relationship with Christ and when he got out he had a choice of allowing success and fame control his life or the one who had saved him within the prison walls. He chose Christ and followed his path for his life.
A twist to the story involves a son he never met named Jesse. While the reader is taken down the tormented road that Jesse faced the question that is raised within one's mind is will there be a great reunion between father and son? Pastor Jason also shares a wonderful story this own life and how ministry has impacted his life, some in not so positive ways.
The reader is left turning page after page wanting more. Learning more about Cole's adventure and how he reaches out to others in need is a heartwarming experience. Without revealing the event, the reader will be happy with the way the book ends and how Cole's life seems to evolve into the person Christ calls him to become.
Bestselling author Randall Arthur gives readers everywhere a book that is terribly hard to put down. From the beginning of page one till the conclusion, it is filled with page after page of action, adventure, soul searching, honestly, hurt, etc... This is a book that will impact anyone who desires to read with an open heart and mind. I have been overwhelmed with the journey and definitely a book that I would recommend without any question or hesitation.
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on December 12, 2013
It is well worth the time taken by readers to read and enjoy this novel. I believe that many who enjoy a novel that grabs the mind along with the heart will relish some of the themes presented here. One of the encouraging thoughts of the book is the way some characters talk honestly about their walk with the Lord and health of the church. Secondly, I enjoyed the writing because it showed how tragedy can come in the believer’s life along with some of the consequences of making incorrect choices, as well as how to handle the deep pain and grief, but also how God uses it for His glory.
There is also within the pages the truth of giving to others like Christ and not living with an entitlement mentality. Along with this theme is the challenge to acknowledge how the entitlement teachings have contaminated the church. Some may think that once a character receives wrong instruction there can’t ever be redemption through true Biblical teaching, but in this work of fiction we see a character learn to do just that and more.
It was good to see how being saturated in the Word and surrounded by believers can bring about healing along with a new direction in life. To me, this is what God can do: He can take something Satan or life means to take out of believers and instead raise them up to do what, without that lesson, they would never imagine being able to accomplish. The main idea I found encouraging while reading is how we need to live, giving our lives away, doing what God has blessed us with instead of using it to serve the flesh.
The more I read, the more I pondered what the author was sharing through various scenes and characters. While parts were hard to read because they brought heartache, other parts showed God healing the pain and bringing new life to the heart of His children. Here is a novel that does reflect some of the real situations and feelings I have experienced in my walk with the Lord and as a member of the Body of Christ. I sure hope people take the time to read, enjoy and ponder the themes gleaned from Forgotten Road, then give a copy away so others can take the worthwhile journey through the pages!
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on March 15, 2013
I loved the contrast of the way the church has become here in the U.S., and the challenging thought of living simply, and pouring ourselves out for others, and putting God first in all our thoughts and ways.
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on January 1, 2014
Randall, author of the classic Wisdom Hunter, has penned another novel that will have readers discussing its concepts for a long time.

Nashville music star Cole Michaels is caught up in the prosperity and success theology. His career skyrockets to the top. But then tragedy strikes in the death of his young son and his wife shortly after. Unable to handle his own role in the tragedy, he resorts to alcohol, causing only more tragedy.

While serving his prison sentence, Michaels is befriended by the prison chaplain, a relationship that changes his life. But even as he is getting his life back together, there is another who is bent on taking that life from him.

This is a novel characteristic of Randall's previous works. This novel is not just to entertain, although it is entertaining. Arthur has a message he wants to communicate and he does that through the lives of characters in this novel.

Michaels gets caught up in a teaching we see in the church today: God wants you to be a success. That theology is no comfort to him when his life falls apart. God send others into Michaels' life to bring him back to a correct understanding of God's plans and desires for a Christian's life.

Forgiveness is a big theme in the novel too. Michaels must learn to forgive himself, even as God has forgiven him. That theme runs straight arrow through to the end where Michaels has the opportunity to make the ultimate act of forgiveness.

Another theme is restoration. God had certainly given Michaels a gift in the music area. That is, in a sense, taken away and then restored. But it is restored to a different level, a level that is in submission to God.

It is interesting to see what restores Michaels to a right relationship with his Savior. A motorcycle plays a huge part. There are a number of men who come alongside him to help his progress to the place God wants him to be. Another item that plays a huge part is a violin. He had become a star with his violin, one he destroyed at his lowest ebb. Later another is given to him and rather than leading to success, this violin leads him to servant-hood.

By the way, if you read the Wisdom Hunter all those years ago, you'll appreciate an eldery Jason Faircloth's appearance in this novel.

This is a great novel for men. But I enjoyed it too. It certainly gave me much to think about. Randall notes at the end of the book that many of the events in the novel are based on real experiences. He must like his motorcycle group as there was more than enough narrative about Michaels and his motorcycle and the motorcycle group. (Some of that could have been left out, I thought, making the book not so long.)

The title of the novel comes from a piece written by a friend of Randall's daughter. This quote gives you an idea of its meaning in the narrative: “...I cannot deny that He is asking me how far I am willing to walk down the road of complete abandonment to everything but Him, the road that has been gladly forgotten in today's society.” (300)

If you are ready to face the challenge of walking your own forgotten road, you might want to read this book. It will inspire you.

I received a complimentary copy of this book through the Book Group Network for the purpose of this review.
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on December 12, 2015
I just wanto start out by saying that I will buy anything from this author. He is that good. His one nonfiction book, 46 Stones, I could not recommend highly enough. I really wanted to like this book more. I felt it was often too heavy handed and preached too hard on some points I already understood. I also did not like the ending at all. No spoiler here, but I was disappointed. However, despite all that, I have to admit the book challenged me. I have had to stop and actually reevaluate things about my life. While I was not always moved by the book, it still managed to move me away from being complacent. The author always makes me think. Giving it three stars for that. If this is the first book read by this author I would just say please don't stop here. His other books are gems in my opinion.
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on June 18, 2014
This author releases a new book what, every 4 or 5 years? But boy does he write the most touching books. This one is not exception. I did not sleep, eat, or shower till this book was done :) I could not tear myself away and grieve with Cole Michaels but also rejoice. I don't want to say too much. Just GET IT!! I promise, you will be moved. And yes...you will meat Jason Faircloth again....
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on June 16, 2013
I have been a fan of Randall Arthur's for a long time, beginning with The Wisdom Hunter. Mr. Arthur writes in such a way as to bring out the innermost struggles one has with faith, with walking the road the Lord paved for us. Some of the story line is quite unbelievable, but the underlying struggle and thoughts are very believable. I think Mr. Arthur has a goal to lead his readers on to a more serious, heart changing walk with the Lord, challenging them to see the circumstances in their lives through the eyes of faith.
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on March 8, 2014
Folks who like multiple story lines & trendy hooks will have a field day w/ this novel. You've got your enigmatic country music star who rises overnight to the top of Nashville's heap; your quick fall from grace; your prison violence & spiritual renewal saga; not to mention your feel good evangelicals, music biz mavens, traffickers in human flesh in Eastern Europe & South America & a touch of gender confusion. There's even a tad bit of modern gore & enough untimely death for a Stephen King novel. There's the return of a notorious character from a previous novel by the author, a men's motorcycle ministry & lists of products that equal either the good life or the good bike. In short, a rollicking good read wrapped up in a sincere Christian message that emphasizes grace over condemnation, hope over fear.
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on January 7, 2014
After reading Randall Arthur's previous novels, I had been looking for another by him. I was not disappointed when I read Forgotten Road. He has a way of presenting what the Christian life should really be - humbly serving people in need. I hope he writes another soon.
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on February 1, 2013
I have read all of Randall Arthur's books. I love the constant character of Jason Faircloth. The disappointing part of this story for me was the ugly portrayal of adoption. That aspect of the it broke my heart because I am a biological parent as well as an adoptive parent and the love I have for my ichildren is all the same. It saddens me to see adoption portrayed in a way that would discourage those who are not ready to parent from making an adoption plan for their child or encourage them to seek an abortion out of fear that their child may be severely abused and grow up to hate them. Aside from that it is good reading.
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