Violent, Confrontational, and Fascinating, July 11, 2010
By Ray Dittmeier (Louisville, KY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: 3 BRUTAL BIBLE TALES (Kindle Edition)
"3BRUTAL BIBLE TALES" is a fascinating book. It's violent, confrontational, and might even be uncomfortable in places, depending on your sensibilities. Rage takes a selection prominent Biblical figures and and puts them in a contemporary world full of drug dealers, gangsters, pimps, prostitutes, perverts, and even vampires. But this is not just a facile, updated retelling of old stories, nor is it shock value simply for the sake of shock.
Rage uses the Biblical material as a starting point to tell his own stories. This book is well-thought-out, told in a distinctive and confident style that keeps the reader turning pages. If you want to complain that some of the sex and violence is gratuitous, I won't--I can't--argue the point. I'm not sure I'd want to say that "gratuitousness is the point" is ever a valid defense, but then again, I would insist that in a book like this it's better to go too far than not to go far enough.
The book gives us a new context for looking at this source material (if I may call it such), like a cynical Sunday school teacher telling the kids, "This is what these stories are really about." And maybe it is, if you can approach the book with no expectations and just let it be what it is--tales of greed, ambition, betrayal, cruelty--and ultimately, salvation. As I said earlier, this is not shock value simply for the sake of shock. But if it shocks you, maybe you needed to be shocked.