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Green Gospel Paperback – June 10, 2011

4.5 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

". . . powerful writing. . . . as skillful as they come at describing a scene and putting the reader in a place in time."
--New York Journal of Books

“From cover to cover, there is not a dull moment in Green Gospel…an accomplished writer has arrived on the scene with a fireball of a novel.”
–ForeWord Book Reviews


“The novel contains hauntingly beautiful passages that read like poetry, and the characters are nuanced and achingly real.”
–Southern Literary Review


“…a tense tale that combines many of the most unseemly elements of Florida.”
–The Independent Weekly

From the Inside Flap

"Brilliant...gorgeous without being showy.... Patches of the novel are written with a solid competance, while other sections are nothing short of stunning."
-American Book Review

"A fine read of ecological concerns and what drives people to take up the cause."
-The Midwest Book Review

"A story so today that the actions that drive it could be online at the Huffington Post right now."
-The Greensboro News & Record
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 295 pages
  • Publisher: Livingston Press; 1St Edition edition (June 10, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1604890738
  • ISBN-13: 978-1604890730
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,205,107 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By Carol DeChant on June 9, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is a smashing debut novel in every way: compelling story and characters revealed by a gifted master of his craft. The primary cast: a sheriff; an eco-terrorist; an evangelical mega-church preacher; an abusive felon and the wife and kids he ran out on. If those labels lead you to assume where your sympathies will lie, don't count on it. Fiore's talent with multiple points of view, and with the elucidating moments that reveal character in a phrase or telling detail will change your mind (or your heart) as you go along.

Each of these seemingly disparate characters wants to believe in something bigger than him/herself, and all mostly do. "People worship in different ways," one observes, (though most of them out-quote the preacher when it comes to the Bible). Set after the post-9/11 anthrax scare, down in Florida, where felons come after they've run out of options up north, these are not folks who have made "bad choices"; they've sinned. Guilt is part of the load they carry, as they weigh independence against life in a community and--especially--in a relationship.

Though you may think you wouldn't befriend most of these folks in life, each will--at some time in this story--gain your sympathy, if not your approval. Fiore plays his reader's convictions and biases like a fiddle.

This is also a story about the choices we might make in an age of terrorism. If you think you have the answers to that peace-vs-violence question at the git-go, just keep reading. You may surprise even yourself.

There is so much here for a book club to chew on, I recommend devoting a whole season to feasting on it. It is one of the few novels I've ever re-read immediately after finishing it, in order to fully savor the skill in which the author prepared me for what was to come (now that I know the outcome).
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Green Gospel outperforms itself on many levels. The book opens with a wonderfully vivid scene in the back of a truck full of migrant workers. It immediately grips you into the story, and from that moment, you are hooked. The book goes on to tell a fabulously descriptive and creative story that puts all of your biases into perspective. Fiore manages to make you love each character deeply -from the reformed eco-terrorist to the convicted felon and his poor wife to a pastor of a mega-church. The descriptive detail of settings and characters makes you feel like you could stop them on the street if you saw them. Even though the book could have taken many different political agenda-driven turns, Fiore holds back and allows the reader to make his own choices and feel those tensions for himself. A fantastic novel, and I can't wait for the next one!
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I found this to be a fun book and would recommend it as good summer reading to anyone. The characters in The Green Gospel are well developed, and the author has given them personalities that readers can relate to without making them stereotypes (I especially enjoyed the backstory for the main character that takes up a large chunk of the middle of the book). The cover art is a little off putting, but the text inside is well worth the purchase.
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Format: Library Binding
Other writers have tried to take us into the minds of domestic terrorists, most recently American Taliban by Pearl Abraham, Terrorist by John Updike, and American Subversive by David Goodwillie. But while these novels focus on attacks inspired by Al Qaeda, the FBI lists eco-terrorism as the number one threat in the United States. It is this type of homegrown terrorist that L. C. Fiore explores in the novel Green Gospel. Fiore takes us inside Edie Aberdeen, aka Edie Richards, who is college-aged, well-educated, and a true believer in her cause.
We meet Edie when she arrives in Florida with a truckload of migrant workers, who steal all her money. When she can't pay for her ride, the coyote who ferried these illegals across the country tries to sexually assault this tiny waif of a girl. She is a victim and captures our sympathy.
Although she feeds dozens of stray cats and can hear trees weep when they are being cut, the story slowly reveals Edie is not the gentle person we first think. Edie was a tree-sitter in Oregon, spending over a week in the canopy to prevent loggers from felling the forest. She suffers excruciating injuries when she falls to the forest floor. Over long months, her boyfriend nurses her back to health with exquisite tenderness and devotion. She refers to him only as the Balinese rather than by name, thus reducing his humanity. Up to this point in the novel, we can still admire her. But Edie is guilty of a stunning act of betrayal, and is revealed not as a victim, but as a young woman capable of extreme violence. She illustrates the problem with all terrorists: innocent people are harmed by their actions.
As a runaway, Edie's life becomes entwined with the residents of the small town of Arcadia. A deputy and his wife still grieving over a lost daughter.
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Format: Paperback
The Book Report: Edie Aberdeen is in BIIIG trouble. We meet her beside a Florida backwoods highway, about to be raped and probably killed by the coyote she's convinced to deliver her there from California, where believe it or not, her problems are a lot worse than rape and probable death. We know this must be so because she's so freakin' Zen calm and California-y about the whole experience.

She's rescued by Sheriff Whitney and Deputy Capron, the latter of whom insists they care for her, they not hold her on vagrancy charges, and Whitney allow him to take the young woman home to his wife for feedin' and nurturin'. After all, a few years back, the Caprons lost their only daughter and this little lassie's about the age that girl would've been....

So begins the swirl of improbable events and unlikely assortments of people in this novel about identity, intention, and betrayal. We learn the secrets of Edie, of the Caprons and the Sheriff, of the shifty, dishonest, unworthy pastor of Christ by the Sea church (whose eventual redemption is so very, very not Christian that I actually took a moment to cheer author Fiore, scaring my dog), and of Mae Carson, whose whole sad hardscrabble life is the throbbing open heart, the inflamed tooth of this deliberate and inevitable first novel.

Troubles there are, troubles there have been and certainly will be, very bad things done and "good" ones undone; but the passage that Fiore's characters go through has just enough joy, just enough chance to smile, just a hint of brighter and better days to come, to make it deeply satisfying to read.
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