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am 19. September 2000
Although Biblicly based, the Left Behind series of which I have now read the first three, celebrate white male supremacy (the protagonists are Buck Williams and Rayford Steele) and they demonize foreigners ( the antichrist is named Carpathia from Romania and his number two man is named Leon Fortunato). The women in the story although Christian are wives, lovers, secretaries etc. There are no female heroes so far. Hattie Durham, the blonde bombshell who almost hit it off with Rayford Steele is pregnant with the child of the antichrist and since abortions are not a possibility with this group I am curious as to how L&J deal with this issue.
This is an action adventure series and L&J provide the necessary tension to keep you guessing. It is however written at about the 8th grade level so you will not need a dictionary.
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am 12. Juli 2000
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE BECOME BETTER WRITERS SO I CAN AT LEAST JUSTIFY MY ADDICTION TO READING ALL OF THESE BOOKS!
Having now read 4 of these books I can at least say that it is easier to look past the trite, simplistic and hackneyed writing. The dialogue is still like listening to 3rd graders play make-believe and the situations the characters get themselves into are sadly contrived. However, with each book it becomes easier to look past that and enjoy the serial-style excitement these books offer. The vapid characters have become less-annoying, like any friend that occasionally gets on your nerves.
The storylines become more complex as we make our way to the Glorious Appearing heralded in the final book. This complexity is due largely to the fact that we have so much back story now, and that may be another reason I continue to enjoy these books. Don't get me wrong, these are NOT complex books. One just becomes numb to the egregious flaws in the writing and carried away by the world proffered in this scenario.
This book tends to be a bit more blatant in its preaching, but the messages are not bothersome. While they do seem to be dropped into the middle of a chapter like a commercial for Jesus during your favorite soap opera, you are willing to role with them.
This book could have easily been cut in half (as they all could) especially since each of these books covers only about 1-2 weeks of story time. The authors waste so much time describing each character's actions, I often feel as if it is being done on purpose to stretch the series out for another book. Are they trying to get the message out there about God or are they trying to sell more books? You decide. The Tribulation is 7 years, and we get to read about it one day at a time.
From the other reviews I've read here the Christians that read these tend to believe they are the greatest books ever written (outside of the Bible, of course). To them, please read something by Steinbeck or Maughum and appreciate the Left Behind books for what they are: a fun repast that fictionalizes and dramatizes a very frightening and unknowable biblical event.
The non-believers tend to find them drivel. To them, lighten up! Find the nut buried in the sand. Your preaching is far more offensive because you have NO foundation to preach from. Have you ever stopped to wonder about the idea of Faith?
I simply wish the Christian faith could have been better served by good writing. Bad writing will alienate this message from getting through to so many people and further the cause of those who make fun of the faithful.
And yet, I will continue to read every single one of these books. I give it two stars solely because of the writing. If there was another rating for message and content, I'd give it 4 stars. email@example.com
am 16. November 1999
I think it is great that a Christian Book series is doing so well in the secular market place and I thought the first book (Left Behind) was great. But it is all downhill from there. If you except that the authors get all of the facts straight about the end times (which I do) then you are still left with horrible story telling and unbelievable.
First, a 30-year old (Buck) marrying a 20-year old (Chloe). I don't think so. Why is Ben-Judah the only person in the world that knows anything about Revelations. There is no way that the entire Christian world would have to rely on Ben-Judah for teachings, and if they did, there would be no way they could all communicate with him.
How can a group of six people be called a Force. The six people in the Tribulation Force are not unique. I have no doubt that there will be thousands of groups like the Tribulation Force when the rapture comes. Not just one that is the center of the end times universe.
Why does Buck rescue Chloe from the hospital. She was not in danger. How could he take care of her. He couldn't. She should be dead now.
In soul harvest, Rayford wants to die when he sees Amanda is dead. He says he wants to die so he can spend eternity with his "love" (or something to that effect. Did he mean his first wife which he totally ignored and almost cheated on, or his second wife that was probably a spy for the Anti-Christ (I don't know if she is since I have not read the next book.)
Two more things. First, do not listen to the book on tape. That guy drives me insane. He acts out the voices of every person. Why couldn't he just read the book and let us figure out who is talking. It is not that difficult.
Finally, when a normal book is published, it comes out in hardcover for about $25, and then in paperback for about $7. Why are the paperbacks in this series the size of hardcovers with large print and the biggest margins in history and a cost of $13. the print is so large and the margins are so wide. Normal books are twice as long and cost half as much.
am 6. Oktober 1999
I have to admit I'm hooked... reading these ridiculously bad, foolish, and just plain mean-spirited novels is like watching an old Ed Wood movie. It's so horrible that there's almost a genius to it; there's an element of fascination that just grips you. The fourth book has had the most action so far, and the scene where two characters dive into the Tigris river to search a downed plane is great.
I've never read anything quite like this series in my life, and I like to consider myself an avid reader of all kinds of fiction. I've never come across characters so static, so contradictory, and so poorly executed that they're almost brilliant in themselves. Pope Pontifax Peter Mathews, evil world leader Nicholae Carpathia, his right hand Leon Fortunado, ex 747 captain Rayford Steele, and Cameran "Buck" Williams, the abstruse and world renown journalist (who couldn't write a decent church marquee if his static life depended on it) are all so poorly crafted and unbelievable that they deserve an underground cult following of college students who pride themselves on devouring B movies. But unfortunately that would never happen because the theme of the series is so hostile and inhuman that no one in his or her right mind (I'm crazy myself) would continue reading after the first book.
I have never come across anything that so grossly downsizes and eliminates so many necessary human emotions. For example, the characters (who are initially presented as intelligent) never doubt their faith and wonder why they'd want to spend an eternity doing nothing but worshipping and worshipping and worshipping... in a sense, becoming a Borg, the cyborg-like species from the Star Trek series. Eternity in itself is a paradox: without time and the passage and flow from past to present to future, eternity has no meaning because there is no past, present, or future. And they never ponder why so many great women and men who inspire us, teach us, or make us laugh are cast into an "eternity" of hell while they, who seal off their minds and become belligerent to any form of world peace and world government, get to spend eternity with their god away from many of their "unsaved" loved ones. No, there is never a mention of doubt or retrospect, nor any form of sexuality (I applaud them for using no curse words -- a tremondous accomplishment-- but the word breast isn't even used in the whole series), or any of the depth of emotion that makes us human.
Plus the series has no basis in reality whatsoever. Apparently, the renegade evangelist-rabbi can preach via the Internet on a "Central bulletin board" that apparantly everyone has access to and can hold unlimited messages. Oh yeah, it's entirely anonymous too! Where can I find this wonderful place? I want everyone to hear my message, I want to get hundreds of thousands of responses to my writing. Oh yes, I also want to have the ability to post new items in this mire of congestion and have everyone know it's instantly me and not some imposter or one of the millions of replies. Anyone who's ever touched the Internet or has a working mind knows this is ludicrous nonsense... although I will admit it's not as dumb as the world moving the U.N. to Iraq, or everything being pretty much back to normal a month after a global, ten pointer earth quake.
I was horribly disturbed by a passage in this novel, one of the rabbi's messages on the central bulletin board. You can find it on pages 323-330. While it does have a Nazi propaganda-type beauty to it, it's a threat against any proposal of any kind of disarmarment or world peace. It's even written, and I quote, "I have never hidden that I believe the very idea of a one-world government, or currency, or especially faith is from the pit of hell." Now I consider this an insult to any intelligent pacifist. What the characters in the novel want is in fact a one world-government, one world currency, and one world faith, but instead of it being free for all people and ideas, it's a dictatorship where one religion exists and any thought that goes against the bible's doctrine is eradicated. That is a church directed communism, ladies and gentlemen.
[Speaking in context of the book] If the one world government was led by someone other than Carpathia, who is corrupt and evil (though not as evil as this dangerous hostile thinking), the main characters would be terrorists, their goal to plunge the world into a new dark age where knowledge and thinking are restricted. Of course, I'm leaving out the supernatural elements of the rapture (which are all way out of chronological order by the way) so I'm not entirely being fair to the work.
I think a lot of people are forgetting that this is merely fiction, a form of conjecture. I don't know the future. You don't know what's going to happen. We only live in the now. Nothing is good or bad, only thinking makes it so, as Shakespeare said. I challenge those of you who swallow this dogma to be like Huck Finn and run away with the slave -- risk the chance of hell to see the truth of our universe.
Regardless of my parallel views, I'm a fan of the series and look forward to the next release.
I'd like to close this review with something by Osho, a truly enlightened one who I will see in hell along with billions of others, yet I'd much rather be there than spend an "eternity" (think about that) with people like Pat Robertson and James and Tammy Bakker and David "Son of Sam" Berkowitz. Bear with me, I'm paraphrasing.
A missionary approached me one day. "God created the world," he said.
"Who created sin?" I asked.
"The devil did."
"Then who created the devil?"
"Why, God of course," he replied, though he was at loss.
Now who is the original sinner?
am 27. Februar 1999
This series has been a major step for me in my new Christian walk, not because I am taking the word of the books as fact, rather because the content in the series has me referencing the Bible, the Word of God, in every chapter. Soul Harvest had me referencing, once again, Revelation, 1John, and 2John, and more. It has me searching for and studying the promises, the real Word of God. I received Left Behind as a Christmas gift (how appropriate) from dear Christian friends. I was rivited to it. In fact in future books, I bought both the audio cassettes and the books so I could get through them quickly as I was so excited to get on with the story. The cassettes also allow me to share the story with other new believers, and some of my non believer friends, in a shorter period of time.
I've read some of the 1 Star reviews and I have to disagree with most of their comments. Remember, this book is fiction, but, if we reference the facts that this fictional account is based on (found in the Bible), and we research the Word of God along the way (...the Bible), we will see God's promises in black and white. Mr. LaHaye's and Mr. Jenkins' writings are drawing me closer to God's word. Bringing others into God's word, and ultimately into a relationship with Him, is what all Christians are to do and is something that I pray I can do for my friends and family each day. These books are an inspiration to me in that way and I will faithfully complete this series and, of course.....continue to pray for patience for the next book to be released.
My Pastor's comment as we discussed the Left Behind series ... "It is only for God to know how the end times will play out! In the meantime, study the Bible/Revelation so we are prepared!" We are blessed by Mr. LaHaye and Mr. Jenkins' faith, knowledge of God's word, and their interpretation of end time events! Thank you and God Bless!
am 22. August 1998
After reading the first three, especially Nicolae, I was more than excited to see that Soul Harvest came out earlier than the expected August release. However, unlike my most favorite in the series this one left me a little empty. I felt that first Nicolae and the two witnesses didn't really do much and the search for Amanda was a bit pushed aside and drawn out. The search for Chloe was on the other hand riveting. The most disappointing aspect was that it was primarily lacking in spiritual content in many places. For instance, those who are new to end time events may sit there wondering what LaHaye/Jenkins are talking about since there are few Biblical references to the events. The other thing that left me disappointed, as well as others as evidenced by the other reviews, are as the following. 20% of the book is a review of other events that happened in the first three (If you didn't read those the authors should have forced the reader to go to those first by leaving this out, but refreshing using the forward). 60% of the book is general filler that can confuse the reader that he or she is baited into shelling out more money and getting very little in return. And 20% on the theme that most of us anticipated. One of my suggestions for the authors is to explain more. For instance, what is wormwood. A better explaination for this phenomenon would have been that the tidal waves that occured due to the asteroid caused the sewage and waste to back up into the water supply thus causing the water to become bitter, wormwood. This is an idea brought about in a similar and very well written book by Pat Robertson---The End Of The Age. I like many other readers look forward to the next book, Assassins, coming soon (although I wish it were sooner). But as a plea to the authors, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE concentrate on the plot and be more detailed on the Biblical explaination of these events. Overall a good book. Keep up the good work guys!!!
am 1. Juli 1998
This installment of this series has been the best since the original. I finished it in 2 sittings, literally being unable to put the book down. I do have one minor problem with the story line, however. My issue concerns Amanda. What was the purpose of this character? Or should I say, this "type" of character. I am reminded of old Star Trek episodes where you beam a guy in a red shirt down with Kirk and Spock just so you can kill them off. Amanda's character served no real purpose. I did like the plot twist where they suspected her of being an interloper, but even that was a stretch. Had it been suspected that Buck, Chloe, Rayford or maybe Tsion was the rat, it would have been far more interesting. Why? Because these characters had been developed over 2 books prior to Amanda. I care about them, and really didn't care about Amanda. She was just kind of thrown in during "Nicolae" and I was indifferent to her character the entire time. In fact, I was bothered that we got an entire book featuring Buck and Chloe's courtship (Trib. Force), and no development of Amanda and Rayford's-yet were expected to identify/care about this character and their relationship. When they finally did "discover" Amanda, I really didn't care. It wasn't like it was one of my favorite characters. I felt worse for Donny, and he had about zero development. Also, it's about time Nicolae starting acting like the "Antichrist" again. He hadn't really done anything worthy of his title since the first book. His indifference to the disasters and growing disdain for the Trib. Force was a nice touch. Anyway, that's just my two cents. The book is outstanding and it grips you from end to end. I really enjoyed the exchanges between Rayford and "Supreme Commander Fortunato". Classic. The "seal" was ingenious. I only wish we as Christians could see those seals now. Can't wait for "The Assasins".
am 5. März 1999
What a great way for the authors to do their Christian duty. The authors are witnessing to thousands if not millions of people through their fictional series "Left Behind." I was sad to read so many negative comments about the "Left Behind" series. The authors are sharing their talents to spread the word about Jesus Christ and to help build His kingdom. Although the series is fictional, it is based on fact. It's reality people! All the prophecies in the series are from the Bible! The Rapture is going to happen! No one knows when the Rapture will occur not even Jesus or the angels in heaven! Only God knows! The authors just want everyone to be prepared. I truely belive Jesus will tell the authors, "Well done my good and faithful servants." All over the world, there are people who really DO NOT know the Lord and there are people who just simply reject Him. (Note: It is mentioned in the Bible that people will reject Jesus). For those who do not know Him and have read the series thus far to learn of Him, stay with it, and don't give up, because the Lord shall never leave you. And for those who choose to reject Him, the Lord knows you not. If you are rejected by the Lord on judgement day, you shall be condemned to the Lake of Fire which is worse then being in hell. (I hope everyone knows and understands that even the souls in hell must stand before the Lord on judgement day.) The flesh is weak and I know everyone will not be saved, it is to be expected. Just like the series, even today, we must choose. There are only two sides to choose from: Stand with the Lord or stand with man. (Hint-Hint: Man never wins)
am 1. September 1998
Books such as this one and it's predecessors in the "Left Behind" series are dangerous in that they promote an unbiblical understanding of what the endtimes are all about. No matter how you try to twist it, a careful reading of 1 Thessalonians 4:16,17 clearly shows that the rapture will take place when "the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout" (NKJV) at the time of the second coming, NOT centuries before. Premillenial Pretribulation eschatology is a set of falsehoods based on a jigsaw approach to Scripture and a mistaken interpretation of the book of Revelation and biblical prophesy. Revelation must be understood first of all in light of the first century context in which it was written. You must also realize that it, along with all biblical prophesy, is God's holy Word spoken to His people throughout the centuries, NOT just some collection of jigsaw pieces out of which we can piece together a map of future history. Revelation was NOT written solely for the entertainment of 20th century North American Christians who imagine they see it about to be fulfilled. For a better understanding of Revelation than what you will find promoted in "Soul Harvest" and other books of its kind, read the simple (but not simplistic) little book: "The Book of Revelation: A Cartoon Illustrated Commentary" by Vic Lockman. The fact that "Soul Harvest" and the other books of this series are so popular is a sad commentary on how so many North American Christians are deceived by the false doctrine of premillenial, pretribulation eschatology.
am 29. März 1999
I was first introduced to this series when my best friend and I were out at a bookstore. She was looking for this book in the series and it peeked my curiosity. I haven't gone to church too many times since my father's death several years ago, but I have been intrigued by my friends recent rediscovery of the church. Unfortunately, my career path does not afford me too many Sundays off in which to pursue a more hands-on return to the church-world, however I saw this as a possible way to see some of what is going on there. I seem to remember some of this from church in my childhood years, but of course it didn't impress me much then. I have to agree with some critics who say that this type of scare tactic may be a bit overboard for trying to convert people. It is a good eye opener for those of us who may be on the fence, but this is not a good starting point to get people to accept Jesus. No one should have to be threatened into believing anything, but especially in someone as kind and gentle as the Savior. These books tell an excellent story and give us all something to think about, but in our rush, rush, rush world we need to slow down sometimes and think about right now. I would encourage people to read these books and take whatever you can away from them, but do not focus your life on preparing for the Rapture or the hereafter. Live for today, share your faith and all of the good things it provides with your friends, with your family, live in Jesus' love everyday.