- Paperback: 384 pages
- Publisher: Thomas Nelson (February 20, 2018)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0718099397
- ISBN-13: 978-0718099398
- Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 1 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 12 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 93 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #569,992 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Man He Never Was Paperback – February 20, 2018
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An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Ghosted"
Seven perfect days. Then he disappeared. A love story with a secret at its heart. Learn more
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'Rubart weaves an intriguing plot that involves faith and fear, mystery, and redemption.' (CBA Market)
'In the same thought-provoking style that propels his previous novels, James L. Rubart takes readers on a journey of discovery and self-renewal...' (BookPage)
'The unpeeling of the layers of Toren's life and its relation to the reader's life is what makes this book so captivating and elevates it above others. The unique perspectives and fantasy situations give stunning realizations about life and spiritual truth. This is a novel that begs to be read more than once and discussed with others to get the full impact of its meaning.' (RT Book Reviews, 4 stars)
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But he remembers he's married, with 2 kids and where he lives. So he goes home, only to discover he's been gone 8 months, presumed dead. His family are shocked by his reappearance as they've moved on. And don't want him to come back home.
Very quickly he remembers why. Well bits of it anyway. Enough to know he'd made their lives hell since being kicked out of the NFL for anger management issues. He's determined to discover where he's been for the past 8 months and why all of a sudden he seems to have a handle on his anger. And why is an old school 'friend' he hasn't seen in 20-odd years suddenly reappeared in his life?
Using the timeless theme of the Stevenson classic story: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde as background Rubart weaves a wonderful tale of self-discovery of exploring the good and evil within each of us. And how we can claim victory over the evil or Mr Hyde-part of our personality.
I so enjoyed how Rubart addressed the theme in story. This is powerful story-telling and be great to see more novels fowling a similar bent of exploring how the Holy Spirit can indeed transform us from the inside out. The fruit of the Spirit of Galatians 2:22-23 is indeed available to us but only through the transforming work of the Holy Spirit as Romans 12:2 outlines.
Like all Rubart novels there's a bit of supernatural activity that can appear a little weird and out of place, however, in the context of the transformative power of the Holy Spirit he probably didn't have any other choice in being able to show the change in Toren's personality in such a short period of time. Something drastic did have to occur. In reality, it's unlikely that engrained habits can be transformed in such a short period of time. But, hey, this is fiction.
Toren and his estranged wife, Sloane, were excellent characters. There were some tremendous scenes featuring the two of them that showed the juxtaposition between what they once had, their current state and the possibility of a new improved version.
As an aside, I was reading this novel while I was on a 5 day retreat where I was studying and practicing models of personal transformation and it was fabulous to read something fictional that demonstrated the power of transformation. I'm sure this was part of the reason I so enjoyed the story and in particular, the themes Rubart addresses in it.
Very highly recommended.
In "The Man He Never Was," you'll meet Toren, a has-been football player struggling with a larger-than-life temper that is about to cost him everything that he is only just beginning to realize that he needs in his life. Almost as quickly as you meet Toren, you're going to become frustrated with him. He is not an endearing protagonist. You'll probably also become frustrated with the dialogue in this book as well. I did. Although I did not initially want to root for Toren, I wanted answers. I wanted resolution, but the book seemed to be going nowhere for a while. There was an endless stream of questions from Toren in the midst of his struggles. He asks the questions that the reader is thinking, but the questions are often only answered with other cryptic questions from people trying to "help" as Toren struggles to find meaning, if not hope, through his circumstances.
It is through the frustration of trying to decipher these cryptic conversations that the reader begins to empathize with Toren and consequently to see yourself as Toren. How Rubart is able to do that is commendable. Don't overlook that. There are countless authors who fall short of this ability in their writing. Rubart uses the blueprint of Robert Louis Stephenson's Jekyll and Hyde to pen this story, but this idea was not original with Stephenson. In Romans 7, Paul describes his own struggle to do what is right in his life. It is easier said than done. It is easier to resolve than to live it out. Especially when met with test after test that will only strengthen or weaken your faith. Toren experiences just that throughout this book.
If you've enjoyed Rubart's other works, he has earned your trust to read this one as well, even though it is a different kind of book. (If you haven't read his other books, they are even better than this one!) Whereas his other successful books seem to have an air of mystery and magic and hope in the plot, this one seems to be missing the magic and hope. Seems to be. However, Rubart uses this to open your eyes to the plight of Toren, who also had no hope, and it is only if you are able to experience that in these pages that you are able to eventually discover the same truth that Toren discovers.
I hope Rubart has a sequel in the works.
Toren Daniels wakes one morning in a strange hotel room and has no idea how he got there!! In trying to figure out what has happened, he notices something else.....he feels peaceful instead of edge waiting to lose control? This is so unlike him and he wonders what has happened to him. Thankfully, he receives a package from the main desk that gives him a little info. In time, he goes home and finds out they thought he had died. He had been gone for 8 months!!!!
The rest of the story is finding out where he was and what he must do to finally be rid of Mr. Hyde. Follow his journey and see if he receives healing and if he gets his life back!!! God does remarkable things in his life and draws him closer to God!!!! Rubarts books are u forgettable!!!!! C:o) MCELWOLF
Well written as always. I love James' turn of phrase, and he creates some of the most stunning visual images presented in modern fiction. I would have to call them surrealist in nature, but so clearly defined that you can touch the objects described.
Finally, James understands how to describe the feelings that people have in their hearts as their awareness of God, and the relationship with Him grows. He always leaves me feeling emboldened in my faith.