- Paperback: 256 pages
- Publisher: B&H Fiction (January 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0805431586
- ISBN-13: 978-0805431582
- Product Dimensions: 6.1 x 0.7 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 88 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,921,581 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Living With Fred Paperback – January 15, 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
In this sequel to the Christy Award–winning Welcome to Fred, Whittington improves on his earlier novel with a more cohesive, confidently written story set in the early 1970s, in which 16-year-old preacher's kid Mark Cloud finds a book in his church library that asks the now clichéd but then fresh question, "What would Jesus do?" From that point on, via Mark's first-person narration, Whittington entertainingly and poignantly takes readers on a tour of Mark's last two years of high school. During that time, Mark and several other residents of the titular East Texas town attempt, in their own difficult situations, to do what they believe Jesus would do. Parker Walker, for example, whose alcoholism and abusiveness led to unspeakable tragedy in the first Fred novel, endeavors to emulate Jesus in a desperate search for redemption. Vernon Crowley, an alcoholic and a bootlegger, does as he believes Jesus would do when he stands trial for a murder he did not commit. And Mark, the enormously appealing, literate, self-deprecating young hero, also makes his own repeated attempts to be Christlike, often in situations that are simultaneously humorous and deadly. Whittington does an impressive job of focusing the novel thematically while letting its plot meander delightfully, and in doing so paints a satisfying, authentic portrait of late adolescence. (Jan.)
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From the Publisher
Living with Fred continues the coming-of-age/coming-to-faith story that enveloped readers of Whittington's Christy Award winning first novel, Welcome to Fred. Mark's discovery of a book buried on a library shelf spurs him to question what Jesus would do . . . if he was a teenage boy in a hick town? If he was humiliated at school? If we was confronted by a lonely bootlegger? If someone got away with murder.
Top customer reviews
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I am taking a break from the next one, because I am reading a different book, by the same author that is not part of the series, but will be getting right back to it.
In Living with Fred, PK (preacher's kid) Mark Cloud has abandoned his belief that he is meant for a different lifestyle and tries to fit in as part of Fred. He once again encounters characters who teach him lessons in grace, this time they are his neighbors, his Sunday School teacher, and a bootlegger he meets by chance.
Having embraced his faith, Mark finds that his attempts to reach out are not always welcome within his own church where there are those who are more comfortable with a different kind of Christianity. His attempts to explore the idea What Would Jesus Do, land him in trouble and also lead to enlightenment.
Mark's biggest turmoil, however, is that of being a teenager and dealing with the temptations and dreams of those years. A murder trial, an encounter with the star of campfire ghost stories, and his dreams of romance round out this second story but only leave you ready for more.
Hopefully, with the release of "Living of Fred," that audience will grow. The book's central character, Mark Cloud, is a northern kid, stuck in eastern Texas, carrying the burden of being a pastor's son. He's disdained by Deacon Fry, he's shunned by the local hooligans, and he's buddies with a suspected murderer. That's not enough? He's also smart, funny, spiritual, and someone we can all relate to in some way. He wants to fit in. He wants to know God's will. He doesn't always get the girl--but then again...
"Living with Fred" teased smiles and tears from my face, but, mostly, it got me laughing. It's a book to savor, a book to speed through. Underline your favorite parts, memorize your favorite lines, but don't pass it by. Brad Whittington has more stories to tell, and Mark Cloud will be back in book three.
That's good news ya'll.
It never shy's away from hard topics, and is hard hitting, and truthful! Adolescent friendship, moral boundaries, girls and dating, and being one of the "in crowd" were all discussed! Our author gently points us to truth (and away from legalism) time and again. Depression is given a hard look, as well as alcoholism. I love that Mark is able to search for truth and who he is, and his Pastor father protects him from people wanting a cardboard cut out of what a PK should look like! I love that in the end though, he comes back to truth and what it means!
Great job! Great book!