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5.0 von 5 Sternen A powerful series for some -- not for others
The books are the authors attempt to explain what happens on earth after the Rapture (the taking away from earth of all believers in Jesus) comes to pass. It's a fictionalized account of what many believe will happen. It's told through the eyes of a small group of people who are not Raptured -- they are "Left Behind".
I think it's fascinating that...
Veröffentlicht am 21. Juli 2000 von William H. Bagot

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2.0 von 5 Sternen Concept - Five stars, Writing - Zilch!!
Even though there are almost 1400 critics already, I can't help adding my own two pennies worth...
I had high hopes for this series when it first came to my attention; it sounded just like what I was looking for, the Biblical end-times put into a fictional plot, so that one could get a better grip of what it might be like. After reading van Kampen's "The...
Am 28. März 2002 veröffentlicht

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1.0 von 5 Sternen Junk, 2. März 1999
Von Ein Kunde
Give this book to one of my non-believing friends? I'm about as likely to do that as Rush Limbaugh is likely to endorse Al Gore in 2000. Frankly, I don't need to endorse the stereotype that Christians are unintellectual. Anyone who has a brain and isn't a fundamentalist will recognize this book for what it is : pure junk, drivel, trash, whatever you want to call it. What Lahaye and Jenkins do shouldn't even be called writing.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Left Behind left me behind., 16. Oktober 1998
Von Ein Kunde
I found this book boring, poorly written and opinionated. I wish I had had a clue that this was just "born-again" propaganda. While I'm sure this type of literature has an audience, I would have appreciated some warning that these authors had a strongly held point of view and would hammer away at it for 468 pages. Religion trying to be literature rarely works, and Left Behind is a prime example of why it doesn't.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen A powerful series for some -- not for others, 21. Juli 2000
William H. Bagot (San Diego, CA USA) - Alle meine Rezensionen ansehen
The books are the authors attempt to explain what happens on earth after the Rapture (the taking away from earth of all believers in Jesus) comes to pass. It's a fictionalized account of what many believe will happen. It's told through the eyes of a small group of people who are not Raptured -- they are "Left Behind".
I think it's fascinating that someone has chosen to tackle the story and write about it. The whole concept is a dichotomy in our culture. Tens of millions of people believe it in the United States alone, even more study it, and yet it is virtually ignored in all mainstream media. As much as possible the book is still ignored in the media except for the occasional poor review to keep readers away. Interesting considering it has sold as many copies as Harry Potter. I don't think it's difficult to determine which series has received more attention between the two.
This series won't be for everyone. The writing lacks the deep intellectual probing that some books thrive upon. In fact it's only slightly more complex than the aforementioned Harry Potter. The authors try not to offend and it does make the story alittle simple. I'd expect much worse horrors to overtake the earth after the calamity of hundreds of millions of people suddenly disappearing -- major looting and anarchy. In the book society pretty much works together and soon everything is running relatively smoothly once again. You also will not find any profanity or sexual description in these books. They are made for the enjoyment of everyone although for some readers this will cut down on the special "flair" that they expect from books.
While the later works have more of an ethnic mixing, the first book does not. It's basically four people in white suburbia trying to cope. The authors could have thrown in a person of a different race, but under the circumstances I'm glad they didn't as I feel it would have come across as the token minority so prevalent in TV shows from the 70's. There is such a thing as trying too hard.
The authors are obviously fascinated with the Jewish people and their role in the post rapture world. Their positive admiration for this group comes across. For instance the person who discovers the single greatest invention in the history or humanity is Jewish. Based on the percentage of Jews in our world population the probability of this occuring randomly is only about 1 out of 350. But it should also be noted that the very nature of the subject of the book would make Israel and the Jewish people the main focus group above all others.
Many of the women in the story show great strength of character, but I have to say that overall the men seem to show just a bit more. Although I also noticed that among the main characters, the men seem to be the ones who make the most mistakes and I've picked up an underlying current that they wouldn't make as many mistakes if they listened more to the women. It is understandable though that some readers will not like that no woman could really be called a leader.
Overall the series will be enjoyable to some and not so enjoyable to others, but I found it to be daring to tackle such a taboo subject matter and I feel it is worthy of reading. I hope this review will help others to make the choice for themselves.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Left Behind - Jesus Strikes Back, 6. Juli 2000
Although Left Behind does not purport to be science fiction, itfollows many of the conventions explored in apocalyptic novels from a"christian" perspective. While I'm willing to suspenddisbelief and accept that the Rapture is just as likely as any other fantasy, this book makes little effort to truly explore a world in which god kidnaps all the children and holds them hostage in order to compel those "Left Behind" to convert. Instead, it consists mostly of several long speeches intended to convince the reader that "time's a wastin'" and that he/she better get good with god or else.
Not surprisingly for a book from the christian right, the writing is virtually unreadable. Unable to achieve sufficient coherence to create actual chapters, the authors instead present one short scene (three or four paragraphs) after another with virtually no attempt at continuity. These short scenes are occasionally and dreadfully interrupted with long-winded attempts at proselytization by the main characters or by cheesy speculation about what will happen next.
The characters themselves are thin as bible pages - Rayford Steele, the flawed but-guilty-about-it airline pilot, Buck Williams, so-named because he "bucks" the system, Hattie, the flaky stewardess, Chloe, the rebellious college student. But one of my biggest objections is that none of the books in the series appear to be able to be read by themselves as complete novels. The first has no climax much less a resolution but instead ends in virtual mid-thought, I suppose in an effort to create a cliff-hanger effect. Even christians should be able to see the blatant commercialism at work in this tactic. After all, the authors have 12 more books in the series to sell.
It is extremely interesting that the main characters are all clearly Anglo-Saxons. Indeed, I don't think any of the protagonists are "people of color." Again, this is not surprising given the treatment the authors give the Jews. The most prominent Jew is aligned with the anti-christ and references to the "blood libel" form a subtext of the novel.
The authors work through all of the political issues of the christian right including abortion, feminism, world government, and adultery. It could easily be argued that their treatment of these issues is the only reason they set pen to paper...
By the way, I would have awarded zero stars but that is not an option.
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2.0 von 5 Sternen Even if I were a believer, this book would be crummy., 1. Juli 2000
Don't read this book expecting too much. In spots it is mildly entertaining, which is why I gave it two stars rather than one. Frankly, it is barely a novel. Rather, it is fundamentalist Christian dogma wrapped up in a bare shell of a story.
I am not going to dwell on the plot too much in this review; others have done that better than I can. In a nutshell: the Rapture occurs, drawing the "true" Christians up to heaven and everyone else is left behind to suffer the Tribulations the authors believe is foretold in the Bible.
Frankly, what I found most interesting about this book is not the text, but the sub-text. There is a lot of UN-bashing, and railing against the New World Order. A unified currency (think Euro) is proposed by the Antichrist, as is a single world religion.
Additionally, the authors seem to have a clear view of the place women and men should hold. The two main characters are Rayford Steele and Buck Willaims. (Apparently all the butch names for men were taken.) The two supporting characters -- both female and essentially the only women in the book -- break into tears and get all weepy at the drop of a hat. The two men see the truth of what is going on around them quickly, but the women require the men to convince them.
This isn't the only case of what seems to be prejucide on the case of the authors. Remember that this is a book about the beginning of the end of the world, but no mention of religions other than Christianity and Orthodox Judaism are ever mentioned. The other books in this series may show what is going to happen to the two-billion-and-some-odd Hindus and Buddists in the world, but this book does not even acknowledge they exist. The character that first introduces the Antichrist to the reader is named Chiam Rosenzweig. I don't recall if the book specificially mentions whether he is Jewish or not, but with a name like that, it's probably a safe conclusion to draw.
At one point in the book, the characters watch a video explaining how they have been Left Behind and that the only hope for their eventual salvation is to Come to Christ (tm). The video is also mentioned several times later in the book. I just noticed that the authors are peddling a similar video on their website.
What puzzles me the most is that I can not figure out the reason for this book. It does not seem plausable that an unbeliever (like myself) would be convinced. There is no attempt at convincing the reader of anything, just a bunch of "This is the way it will be, and if you don't accept it as fact, you're going to Hell."
Rather, I think this book is written for those who already agree with the authors' point of view, and just want something to make them feel good about themselves. "Look how terrible things are going to be and aren't we smart that we're going to be Raptured," that sort of thing. The self-righteousness that comes through the text is just overwhelming at times.
To make a long story short (too late), if you are looking for a good end-of-the-world novel, pass this one by. Similarly, if you're looking for Christian theology, it has been done better elsewhere.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Can't wait to read the next one!, 18. Juni 2000
Well, it seems that either you love this book or hate it! Most reviews are 1 star or 5 stars. There must be more 5's however, since the average is still 4.5. This book and the subsequent ones in the series are books that elicit a response in everyone, of one kind or another!
I just finished Left Behind and I'm going to try to read all of the books in the series this summer (as of now, there are 7). I plan to read them one right after the other, so maybe starting late isn't such a problem.
This book was quick reading and I felt that Jerry Jenkins did a great job developing his characters and he wove his story around the Revelation theology outlined by Tim LaHaye. I've heard that there is a video out of the video in the book - when the pastor of the church makes a video before the Rapture and leaves it for those who are left behind to explain what has happened. This would be interesting to see!
This book is fast-reading and is very hard to put down! It's very thought-provoking and it makes the Great Commission given to us by Jesus all the more urgent:
(Mat 28:19-20 NIV) Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."
I am looking forward to reading Tribulation Force.
If anyone is interested in reading about the Biblical basis for what happens in the book in regard to the Rapture of Christ's Church and the End Times, you might want to read a book called "Are We Really Living in the End Times?" by the same authors as the Left Behind series.
I praise God that this series has had such an impact on people - they have a website:
You can find stories there of people turning their lives around and making decisions to trust Christ as a result of reading these books.
May the Lord use this series to make Christians realize the importance of telling people the Good News and also helping us make sure that we're right with God as no one knows the day or the hour.
If you're interested in Christian books and music, please check out my other reviews of Christian music and CDs!
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Leave it Behind, 13. Juni 2000
When faced with such a book, it is difficult to know just where to begin. If the book is taken simply as the first in what has become a series of mediocre but widely sold science fiction or fantasy novels, then the review can end here, stating simply that it is written at a middle school reading level with characters that are two dimensional at best. However, I have noticed that this book is looked to as something more than just a novel. It has become a part of the apocryphal literature of many non-denominational (and some denominational) Christian churches. For this reason, a more detailed assessment is needed.
The premise, that a group of people gather into an underground resistance following the apocalypse to oppose the anti-Christ, is problematic. Theologically, the idea of a post-apocalyptic redemption through good works is contradictory. Protestant theology grants redemption on the basis of God's grace; good works are not considered in the equation. In Catholic theology, good works are the way to redemption, with redemption also possible in Purgatory. The book is decidedly not written from a Catholic perspective, thus Protestant theology must be assumed. However, if the apocalypse has happened, then the game is over. Redemption is no longer possible. Furthermore, if such is the case, why would anyone "left behind," essentially the unrighteous, wish to battle the new ruler? Traditional Christian interpretation of the apocalypse does not allow for second chances, so what is to be gained? In a universe that has already experienced the final judgement, God has spoken and nothing done by man can change the outcome. The answer can only be that the book reflects the free form Christianity of modern suburban America, which is essentially devoid of theology. It exhibits no coherence, mixing free will with predestination, combining the doctrine of works with the doctrine of grace, picking and choosing from the Old and New Testaments as necessary or convenient. This leaves two questions: was the book written to specifically appeal to a group of people (a target market group) who would not be expected to ask such questions or are the authors simply ignorant of such matters? Depending upon the answer to these questions, the book is either a cynical, now successful, piece of marketing or a testimony to a modern atheological religion's attempt to create a modern scripture.
From a writing standpoint, the book is fairly simple. The main characters are poorly developed and are quite unreal. They seem to be the image of the unrighteous as held by those who consider themselves above such people. Their motives are too simple, too transparent. Every plot twist, of which there are many, are either cliché or contrived. If Hollywood were interested, this book would make an excellent screenplay. As a movie it could be expected to be successful (though it still would not be very good) as it would lend itself very well to visual representation. There is a good deal of action, heaps of emotion, and scenes that simply beg for a visual image. In some ways, it's the religious equivalent of a modern romance novel - simple, unchallenging, and inspiring of personal fantasy (albeit religious instead of sexual).
Regardless of critical reviews, the book can be expected to be a best seller. What its admirers seem to ask of it transcends style or coherence. They don't demand complex characters or plausible plot lines. They only ask for their views to be justified in print. Theology, eschatology, and all systems of classical religious study are abandoned in pursuit of spiritual catharsis. Reviews cannot be expected to change this desire. To say that this book is not worth reading seems almost gratuitous. If you know you want to read this book, go ahead and do so. If you are not sure, take a bit of friendly advice: leave it behind and look for something a bit more complex and coherent.
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1.0 von 5 Sternen Stodgy Repressed Men Making Money Off of Other's Worries, 13. Juni 2000
Von Ein Kunde
Idiocy! Hundreds of pages of idiocy! If you're a practicing Christian and are already familiar with the Book of Revelation, I'm absolutely certain that you can make up a better, more plausible version of the "end times" than Lahaye and Jenkins come up with in this amateurish, long-winded, and pointless trash. (If you're not familiar with the Book of Revelation -- the work that "Left Behind" attempts to expound upon -- and are curious as to one perspective on "the end of the world" (from St. John, no less), read that and let your own imagination fill in the details.)
The main characters come from the fields of politics, aviation, journalism, finances, evangelism, and "college," but the authors clearly have absolutely no real expertise in any of these fields and can't seem to put together a believable spin on what any of the main characters do. Instead, the "expertise" of the writers seems more limited to familiarity with the Chicago area (thus, Chicago gets to play as an important setting in the story) and a self-obsession with the foibles and failings that often plague particularly repressed, conservative middle-aged white Christian men in their timid and narrow little lives. As a result, the book features subtle (perhaps even unconscious on the writers' part) yet distinctly misogynistic, anti-semitic, and even racist qualities. The book even manages to deem lefties inferior! Not a single dated stereotype seems left untouched in this already obsolete "book of the future." If you wish to gain some insights in the rigid, fearful thinking of men like Lahaye and Jenkins, well, you'll get a few introspective nuggets sporadically dispersed throughout the book -- but is that really of interest to you?
The one (and only) thing going for this book is that it's a very fast, easy read. That being the case, there is surprisingly little in the way of action, and the dialogue has the clunky artificial ponderousness of a quickly and poorly-written TV drama. Perhaps the most irritating aspect of the book is the way characters tend to undergo instantaneous about-faces in their personalities that totally violate all of characterization "foundation" that had been built up over hundreds of pages. Count on all of the main characters' personalities doing contrived flip-flops at some point in the book, not really because of any rapturous religious epiphanies, but rather because Lahaye and Jenkins needed particular events to happen in the plot, and they lazily sacrificed any realistic character development to avoid having to put any real thought into their work.
LaHaye and Jenkins clearly have absolutely no clue as to how "the end times" will proceed, and their version of events brings implausibility to new heights. For example, the book begins with Israel as the dominant world power, deriving from their radical new-found success in the cutting-edge field of: computers? financial markets? No, no, no! Try AGRICULTURE! That's right, a nation smaller than many American states becomes The Superpower of the 21st Century solely based on an industry with greater ties to 18th and 19th centuries... A very minor example (I cite it in particular only because it happens very early in the book), but nearly every chapter of the book presents some new completely implausible fictional future event to the extent that upon finishing the book, the only thing the reader can safely conclude from all this is: if the world's gonna end any time soon -- even if it ends exactly as prophecied in the Book of Revelation from first to last letter -- it ain't gonna be anything like the depiction in the Left Behind series.
Save your time, save your money. If you're looking for answers to important questions, look elsewhere. Live your lives to their full future potential and LEAVE THESE LOATHSOME BOOKS BEHIND, forgotten in the dusts of the past.
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3.0 von 5 Sternen Left Behind (Left Behind #1), 1. Juni 2000
As a fictional novel, the book is interesting enough to finish, but here is the GIANT disclaimer for this novel : You will love this book if you are Protestant Christian and/or more of a fundamentalist Christian. If this criteria applies to you, please read this book, because you will not be able to put it down. If you are a member of a religion that is in direct contrast to the beliefs of the aforementioned types (ex., Mormon, Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, etc.) you will most likely not enjoy this book because it preaches against your chosen faith. In other words, if you are a devout follower of any religion, you're going to have problems with the segments that are in direct opposition to your system of faith. And naturally, if you are a borderline atheist this novel will most likely not appeal to you.
Now for the rest of us! (including me) A good read because the authors can get you into the action as a Grisham or Clancy would. Furthermore, because I am not whole-heartedly committed to any religion and I was raised in a theologically Christian home, it's always interesting to read a fictional interpretation of one of the best sections contained in the Bible - Revelations. I was hoping that the authors would not interpret Revelations too literally because of the meanings and syntax that unfortunately are lost with ancient text translations, but they did to a degree, and like I said earlier, more so of a conservative Protestant meaning. One of the problems I had with the book was when the authors attempted to interpret Revelations to the letter. An example is Israel being invaded by an army from the north. I felt that the country and entire situation the authors picked for this was a bit ridiculous and unrealistic which was a shame because it takes away from the mystique you can attract by reading a fictional Revelations.
It is a decent book but I'm not sure if I will read the sequels. I would suggest that you at least read this one because it is the first in the series and decide if you feel it is worth it to purchase the other novels in the collection. Personally, I've read books that have made a greater spiritual impact on me. Some of the novel seemed to strike a chord in me of fundamentalist god-fearing Puritan type that has made me skeptical about the sincerity and truthfulness of some Christian segments. But like I mentioned earlier, if you are a believer in the theology image presented in this novel, I'm sure this book will have a definite impact on you. If you are not sure of where you stand in the spectrum of Christian ideology, I would suggest this novel, because you will at least come to a decision of whether or not you stand in the Protestant segment.
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5.0 von 5 Sternen Watch out!, 20. Mai 2000
My employer recomended this book to me. When I went to buy it, the sales lady told me I would most likely have it finished in three days. I couldn't wait to start reading it.
This is a such a good book to read for anyone who has in interest in the rapture....what it is, how it comes about...what will happen...or just to see what God has in store for our future. I found this book a great way to forsee the events. This book adds faces, places actions and creates a moment to moment descriptions of the rapture as it unfolds.
What is the rapture?
In the beginning of the book, at the flash of an eye, millions of people are missing, their clothes left where they were. People are going crazy trying to figure out why their loved ones are missing. Different theories come about...but which one is to be believed?
The story centers around 4 people...a father (a pilot) who has lost his wife and son, but his daughter remains...a Journalist and a flight-attendant.
The piolot can't figure out why some adults and all the children on his flight went missing during his flight...he needs to get home and see if his family is o.k. His wife and son are gone, clothes left like puddles. He remembered his wife talking about the rapture, and decided to check out her church. The minister (now gone) had left a video on the rapture behind...for those who were left.
The pilot, after putting pieces together, realizes that this was the rapture... What should he do now?
As a believer in God, I found this book a great tool to aid in my understanding of the rapture...what events will be unfolded etc. What's great is that even though they are left behind...they begin the fight of a life time (against the anti-christ), and lead others to the truth.
Who needs more suspense than 4 going up against the devils pride and joy?
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Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days
Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days von Jerry B. Jenkins (Gebundene Ausgabe - Oktober 1995)
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