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am 26. Mai 2001
Eher per Zufall bin ich vor gut 2 Jahre (1999 kurz vor der grossen Milleniumswelle) auf dieses Buch gestossen. So packte es mich doch von der ersten Zeile an und liess mich nicht mehr los. Kein andere Buch bindet seinen Leser so sehr an das Geschehen. Was ich besonders gelungen finde sind die Wechsel der Ansichten die einem der Autor vermittelt. In dem einen Augenblick ist man von Therorie A noch Felsenfest überzeugt so muss man kurz darauf doch zu Theorie B wechseln, und wieder zurück. Diese Buch ist Spannungsgeladen bis zu letzten Sekunde und wurde auch in meine Bekanntekreis von alle Lesern verschlungen. Sehr gutes erstlings Werk von Glenn Kleier, bleibt nur zu hoffen das sein nächster Roman daran anknüpfen kann.
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am 7. April 1999
Having just finished the book and read some of the reviews here, I find myself sitting squarely on the fence. On the one hand, I think "The Last Day" is an excellent, suspenseful, well-written and well-researched thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat till the last page. There are moments in it which even border on great literature, especially the passage in which the pope discovers his fatal error. True, some of the characters are a little stereotypical; and the fact that ALL of the news people in the story seem to be upright, sincere and truth-loving does smell a bit fishy. But this did not seriously diminish my enjoyment of the story. Hey, I didn't expect it to be the Brothers Karamasov.
On the other hand I must agree with those who complained about the threadbare quality of the theological thinking presented here. Jeza's message is naif, unoriginal and flawed and would, in real life, hardly keep anyone from switching to another channel. Especially Jeza's "climactic" Good Friday speech embarrassingly reveals that this emperor really has no clothes on.
What disturbs me most, though, is the polarized nature of the readers' reactions as witnessed in these reviews. Most people who disagree with Jeza's syncretistic message seem unable to perceive or concede the book's literary merits, while those who have enjoyed the tale seem too intoxicated to appraise its theological and philosophical shortcomings. Real communication about the book seems unattainable. Maybe that gives us a hint why we're not making any progress with other controversial issues in our society?
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am 28. November 1998
I figured that any book that can garner 400 reader reviews deserved a look and I ordered this one. I have to say, it was not at all what I anticipated. This is not some dark, depressing, preachy religious book. It proved to be a very sophisticated and intense suspense thriller. I was impressed with the quality of writing and the degree of research and authenticity that went into this. The unusual plot,which has many surprising twists and turns, is both credible and entertaining and delightfully mischievous. It delves into some weighty matters, but it does so with touches of humor and touching sensititivy. There is wisdom and truth in what the book is saying. The ending is unexpected and appealing, it sneaks up on you and literally takes your breath away. I found the story and characters fascinating throughout. I can understand why the book seems to evoke such polarizing responses in its readers, some loving it, some loathing it. The story takes strong and critical positions against some activities of several large, established religions. If you are offended by critical satire of this nature, I would shy away from reading the book. But if not, I think you'll find this a truly fascinating and intelligent novel.
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am 6. Juli 2000
I bought this book upon the recomendation of a reader of the "Left Behind" series. They thought this was a more believable version of the story. I read it and thought just the opposite. The story is pretty hard to believe. The book also is hard to get into. The author does not do a very good job at envolving the reader. I guess it doesn't help that it is set in the year 2000. It is definately NOT better than the Left Behind series. If you want a book series that is believable, try the Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins.
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am 5. Juli 2000
I took this book from a friend and read it over the 4th of July weekend. It's an excellent novel. I found it impossible to put down. It reads very fast, it has a compelling plot and characters, and the punch line is nothing less than stunning. This story stretches the boundaries of spirituality with a very honest and realistic look at the nature of mankind today--chilling, scary, believable, dead on accurate. They should make a movie out of this, it's very visual and hard hitting.
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am 29. Mai 2000
There have been countless books written about coming of Statan's son, but very few - about a Messiah and His Second coming, this is a book on the latter. Although, taking into consideration it was written in 1997, Millennium bruhaha is past already, and that's why all the hysteria of last December days of 1999 does not seem so actual any more (and it diminishes the effect of the book).
There is no use to retell the plot (it is precisely described in reviews above and below), which loses it breath-taking pace around page 120 when Jeza's origin is discovered and further on the only riddle of the book is whether she comes from Christ or Antichrist. Some scenes are moving and intense and grip the reader (meeting with American president, meeting with the Pope), make him think and guess on her true mission. Although when her journey starts to repeat Christ's (flight from Israel to Egypt, return to Israel on a mule through Golden Gates etc) and Easter is nearing, her destiny becomes predictable. However, as I liked the Messiah quite a lot (contrary to one reviewer, she is quite believable and her "feminist" message complies with her whole mission very well), and can forgive the predictability of her end and ressurection, but the happy-end for other main heroes was unbelievable (Jon Feldman falling from a flying helicopter and staying alive, Jeza's "sister" rising from a 6-year coma, all bad powerful gyus overthrown and captured in the last moment, people handing in their weapons all over the world) and diminished solemn and touching effect of the whole book. If you write a book on Messiah and end of the world, don't finish it with "Armageddon"-style ending...
The main character is not a person to be remembered (I even can't recall how his looks are described in the book), and it seems that all he was able to understand after Jeza's coming and leaving, that he "loved Anke (his lover) with his heart, but Jeza - with his mind". Very valuable experience!
As to the "burning religeous topics" - I don 't find this book shoking or surprising, rather it makes me sad - that Church has acquired immense wealth during passing centuries, together with imbibing all human sins with it, and it will not part from its Universal power so easily - it is not a secret; if Son (or Daughter) of God would visit us now, we'd turn it into a TV show and a guessing game - no wonder...
However, the book does set some hidden wheels in your soul in motion, even if it is not worth a second reading...
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am 2. Dezember 1999
I'm fascinated with the large number of people who have written in, pro or con, to comment on this novel. The controversial content appears to have struck a chord with religious progressives and a nerve with religious conservatives. The interesting, and rather telling difference, is in how the two sides express themselves in these reviews. The progressives tend to defend the book for its subject matter, supporting their reasoning with material from the book; the conservatives attempt to position the novel as drivel, without any substantiation--a tactic which backfires once the reader begins this novel. Disinformation is typical of the current war being waged between the two sides in the public arena. The progressives argue the issues, the conservatives try to muzzle the progressives. This novel, which is much more than the suspenseful thriller it first appears, raises questions about such thorny issues as: religious patriarchy and misogyny; homophobia; materialism in the Church; doctrinal infallibility; religious elitism; spiritual complacency, and more. These are deeply biting and divisive problems confronting many denominations today. In failing to address these issues, religious conservatives do nothing to advance their cause. If religious conservatives are truly solid in their beliefs, they must have the wherewithal and courage to argue against the positions expressed in this novel, rather than merely attempting to censor them. As Chamberlain once said, censorship is the policy of lost causes. Works like The Last Day provide valuable insights into the current climate of theological turmoil and make important contributions to the debate, which is why this novel is receiving such widespread readership and why it's been incorporated into many university curricula.
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am 6. Oktober 1999
In a climate of mono-dimensional, dogma-heavy religious novels this year, "The Last Day" is a brassily refreshing departure. Not only a stand-out mystery ala "The Rose," "The Last Day" is also loaded with wonderfully interesting, startlingly honest insights. Intense and fearsome one moment, tender and touching the next, there is a special, supernatural grandeur to this unusual story. The self-righteous religions of the world meet their match in the divinely-righteous character of a female prophet named "Jeza". It is a spectacle to behold--watching this tiny figure of a girl do battle with the great scholars and patriarchs of the world's organized religions. Klier does justice to these epic confrontations, giving us scenes of nearly unbearable tension and surprise, presenting characters of rich complexity and texture. Understandably, there are readers who despise this novel because it dares question some practices of the establishment religions (how, for example, the Catholic Church justifies its vast, secretive wealth while some of its poor congregation is starving to death, for one), and the book also levels harsh criticism at many other hypocrisies of Christianity. While the novel may not tread lightly on this subject matter, I would like to point out that it's unlikely a real messenger of God would either! The arguments the prophet, Jeza, raises in this novel are the very questions a real messiah would pose about organized Christianity today. But the real genius of this novel is in how all this is presented--in a tightly constructed suspense mystery that holds the reader's interest and maintains a balanced tension and unpredictability all the way to the very last page. Unlike most contemporary literature, this novel not only asks many provocative, important questions, it also presents some rather surprising (if controversial) answers. I recommend this novel for people who are looking for something to stimulate both their mind and their spirituality.
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am 12. August 1999
Hugely engaging and exciting, this is one of the best reads of the year--no, the decade. This novel has some of the most powerful prose to attack contemporary prejudices since "To Kill a Mockingbird." Example: There's a terrific scene where the evil Cardinal Di Concerci has the female messiah in front of a world council of religions and is attempting to set theological traps for her. He says to her: "...Homosexuality is counter to nature. It mocks the natural, sacred act of procreation and the continuance of the species, and is condemned clearly and often in the Bible. Do you also condemn homosexuality?" Her answer: "Does your priestly celibacy not mock the natural, sacred act of procreation and the continuation of the species?" Whoa! She goes on to point out that the homosexual is no more responsible for his or her condition than is a person born deaf or blind or lame, and therefore, the condition of homosexuality is "as impassive to moral proscription as the dominance of one's hand." Rather than condemn the homosexual, she cautions that they must be "mindful of the word of God, injurious to no one, protective of the innocent," and instead, she condemns the self-righteous who persecute homosexuals! Pretty explosive stuff! And this is but one of the dozens of religious sacred cows this excellent book gores. No wonder some people are going ballistic over this novel--it makes mincemeat out of judgmentalists. This is far more than just a good, well-written thriller. It's also a wonderfully sensitive and compassionate story that challenges (and soundly defeats) some of religion's most enduring and destructive mind sets. Read it if you you'd like to enjoy a refreshingly honest and intelligent insight into contemporary society.
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am 18. September 1999
I thank this book for getting me through two days of hurricane Floyd. I sat out the entire storm wrapped up in this engrossing story. If you enjoy novels that are fast moving, suspenseful, and filled with pearls of wisdom, you will enjoy The Last Day. It is an inspired tale about a young woman of mysterious origins taking on the entire religious establishment--with a possible Armageddon held in the balance. Like a wave, (I'm letting Floyd influence me here) each page of this amazing novel just keeps building and growing. Along the way, the story takes some strange twists and and turns. It raises a number of tough questions about contemporary issues, taking age-old religious prejudices to task. The heroine in this novel has a sharp tongue and is fearless in calling out hypocrisies and inconsistencies in that regard. I found some of these scenes shocking and even disturbing. But as the book progressed, I started to recognize the reasons behind them. This novel (which contains four very moving parables) is itself a parable, I believe. Quite effective and thought provoking. And yes, it will upset some people. That's the consequences of taking a controversial stand on religious issues these days. So, if your personal faith can't take that kind of heat, I'd advise you not to read this novel. But the points the book makes are undeniably intelligent and very hard to ignore. Sometimes we forget the lessons of history about the great harm religion can do to society in general, and to the individual in particular, when its power is vested in the wrong hands. This novel will scare you, amuse you, and perhaps even make you cry. For me, it was an unforgettable experience. I'll read it again.
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