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The Man He Never Was: A Modern Reimagining of Jekyll and Hyde Paperback – February 20, 2018
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"Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism, and Progress"
Is the world really falling apart? Is the ideal of progress obsolete? Cognitive scientist and public intellectual Steven Pinker urges us to step back from the gory headlines and prophecies of doom, and instead, follow the data: In seventy-five jaw-dropping graphs, Pinker shows that life, health, prosperity, safety, peace, knowledge, and happiness are on the rise. Learn more
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Robart’s protagonist, Toren Daniels, was viciously abused by a violent father (as were his mother and brother). Convinced that the only salvation lay in becoming stronger and more angry and fighting back – “taking the belt away” from his brutal dad – Toren single-mindedly developed athletic prowess and eventually became a football star. Not only was he able to fight back against his father; Toren also was able to sublimate his own anger by violent aggressiveness on the field. However, it eventually backfired, and he lost his football career because of excessive anger issues. Once deprived of the outlet of the game for his aggression, he became a bully at home. Although he didn’t physically assault his wife and kids as his father had done, his verbal violence terrified them and destroyed family equanimity. His wife Sloane, not one to take his viciousness (she had a black belt in karate) let him know she’d reached her limit and demanded a separation.
All of the above is background. As the actual narrative begins, Toren awakens in a hotel room with no recollection of where he has been for the past nine months, but the sensation he is a changed man with the violent tendencies eliminated. When he goes home, however, his wife faints with the shock, and his children let him know that he is no longer trusted. The rest of the plot hinges on Toren first thinking his anger issues have been resolved during the “missing time” when his absence led to the assumption he was dead, then realizing that the “black dog” or “Mr. Hyde” part of his character is still very much alive. From there he has to move from a mere “surface conversion” to a complete dying-to-self and acceptance at the heart level of the love and forgiveness of Christ. He has to learn what it means to not only accept love and truly love self, but to thereafter begin to love others empowered by God’s love.
Rubart’s story is well-told, psychologically sound, emotionally gripping, and theologically orthodox. I loved it.
In The Man He Never Was Rubart addresses what it means to truly be crucified with Christ, the essence of God’s love, and what it means for perfect love to cast out all fear. He does this by allowing us to join Toren Daniels through an abusive childhood into an out-of-control adulthood. As readers we get to watch Toren’s struggle to gain control, to do the right things, and to win back the family he drove away. Stalked by someone from his middle and high school years, aided by a group of mysterious strangers, Toren is torn between darkness and light, between desires for peace and for an outlet for his anger, between love and hate. Warren Wiersbe wrote that Satan’s philosophy is glory without suffering, and God’s philosophy is suffering transformed into glory. Toren was certainly torn between choosing the philosophy that would determine which mountain he would end up climbing in his effort to be the man he wanted to be.
Not long into The Man He Never Was I was already wanting to share this book with many of my friends and family. It is one of those books that I will want to give a permanent spot in my home library, frequently revisiting the pages I’ve highlighted, of which there are many. It will be necessary to delete the copy that NetGalley and Thomas Nelson kindly provided in exchange for an honest review, but it will be worth purchasing a copy to transfer my highlighting to. I received no monetary compensation for providing this review. It was fueled with the hope that others will be moved to read this moving and enlightening book.
However, Toren and the family start to notice little changes in him upon his return. He started to become kind, patient, understanding and fun to be around. He is no longer the angry father and husband his family knew him as. While is he is learning to become a better person, pieces of his old hostile personalities are starting to break through. Will Toren be able to keep his anger in check? How did he manage to control his anger?
I have read the classic "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde" and "Frankenstein" while reading another book by the author. The first few chapters I was completely captivated, but then towards the middle of the book, it started getting boring and repetitive. The story became predictable and in some parts, hard to follow. I also had a tough time liking any of the characters. The wife was upset when Toren showed his anger, but she would do things to purposely make him lose his anger. Toren, who grew up in an abusive relationship with his father didn't like what his father was doing to his family, but yet Toren continues to treat his family in the same way. I also found it annoying that they made Toren chose either his family or his chance to play in the NFL. It made it seem that for him to become a better person he only had to focus on his family.
Most recent customer reviews
Unfortunately, this book wasn't for me. I just couldn't get into it.Read more
Another winner for Rubart! A story of morality, good versus evil, and facing the demons of your past.Read more
We all remember the old story of good vs. evil in the old Jekyll and Hyde classic.Read more