Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Books read in 2013: No. 31 -- The Dog That Talked to God

by Jim Kraus

Started: June 21
Finished: June 25

Notes: I've been reading some myth-related material of late, including fables, so I thought I'd check out what a modern author does with similar literature. I have to admit, I'm a bit skeptical when it comes to modern Christian literature because I'm often disappointed by what I consider an overly simplistic viewpoint of spirituality and the world in general, but I'm willing to give a writer who is new to me a chance. Funny thing, I don't usually feel this way about 19th Century and earlier Christian writings. That earlier literature doesn't make me feel like I'm being sold something, but that I'm exploring spirituality with the author. I wish and hope more modern religious authors would take a similar approach. Maybe this one will.

Mini review: A cute story, and for the most the religious aspects were not annoying. I really liked the talking dog, Rufus, but I never felt much for Mary, the protagonist. Mary never felt real to me, but was only a character. I think part of the reason I felt this way is because I thought there was too much exposition early in the story, too much telling me about Mary instead of allowing me to learn the character by experience and emotion. Also, I felt Mary's struggles with spirituality were somewhat simplistic, though I freely admit this could just be me as I have a tendency to try and intellectualize matters of spirituality, though I realize many people do not. Mary was not a detestable character, but I never felt drawn to her, and I did feel she was a little overly judgmental in a few instances. Now that I've griped enough about the main character, I would like to add that I thought the over all plot was a nice change of pace from other Christian fiction I've read, and that the story did not lead in overly obvious directions. As a writer myself, and a former newspaper journalist, I admit to being somewhat jealous of Mary toward the end of this book with the trail she ultimately blazed with her life.

1 comment:

Charles Gramlich said...

too much fiction in general seems to be selling things. It's as if some writers have forgotten that story is king and not message.