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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 25. September 1999
I have just finished this book. It only took me one day to finish it. I was so grabbed by the story. I have read all the others but this is the one I read the fastest. They are so real and compelling. It makes you stop and think about whether or not you would be left beind. And if you were left behind it makes you change you mind QUICKLY!!!!. I can't wait to get the next books.
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am 12. Juli 2000
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.
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am 19. Juli 1999
The first book in this series "Left Behind" was so exciting to me that half way through the read, I ordered the other three available books in the series. I must tell you that my sister and I have not read books together since we were children and, in fact, I have not seen my sister read a book in nine years. However, I convinced her to just take a look at "Left Behind" Saturday morning. She finished the read and picked up (#2) "Tribulation Force" as I set it down to start on (#3) Nicolae. Sunday, I read (#4)"Soul Harvest" then handed it to her. We didn't discuss any of the books until finishing "Soul Harvest" and agreed it was wonderful. Being Christians, we can appreciate the faith of the main characters and I'm pleased the writers led me through a Bible study course in this exciting novel. "Soul Harvest" answered so many questions for me about the end days. It was exciting and frightening, yet offered moments that made me smile. Most important to me, "Soul Harvest" is a story of hope. I look forward to the next one. Then I intend to read the entire series again with my highlighter in one hand and my Bible in the other. So much to learn and so little time. God bless Mr. Lahaye and Mr. Jenkins.
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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".
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am 21. Dezember 1999
Before I read this book, I spent a good deal of time looking through the reviews--mainly the 3 stars and less, as I was interested in the downside of this novel. I'm glad I did, because I read it with a more critical eye than if I'd chosen to read the serie's cheerleaders' reviews. I must admit, I enjoyed this one as much as any of the others. If you read it for escapism, as is the intention of most series, you don't really want a lot of details bogging down the flow of the story. The authors accomplish this feat. Their point, I'm sure, is to both entertain and inform. It is far more accessible and understandable to the layman than is The Revelation. It will also be an aid to those who actually sit down and read the biblical version. The authors, though at times in the previous books tend to make the main characters superhero-like, have done a good job with showing the vulnerability of the big three in this one. Poor Chloe has been beaten up pretty badly two books in a row! Doesn't matter how she looks, Buck loves her just the same. The books are addictive, and I'm probably going to have to run to Sam's Club and get the next one. I can't wait to decode Amanda's correspondences with Nicolae. I had a funny feeling about her in the previous book.
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am 13. September 1999
After what I thoought was a slightly slower book, Nicolae, the 4th installment, Soul Harvest is much more action packed and diverse. It probably deserves 4 stars, however I am still having trouble with some of the campy dialouge. Being a Christian myself, I am totally aware of the 'Christian' way of writing books without using secular or graphic dialouge, however, to make the characters more believable, they must drop the "Gee Whiz" & "Golly" type statements. The worst abuser is Chloe (though 22), she talks like Robin from the 60's Batman series. Even the best Christians I know still talk somewhat like it is 1999.
As far as the story goes, we finally see more action when it comes to Buck, and the introduction of many new characters to help flesh out this novel universe. The additions of Mac and Ritz, and Dr. Charles are welcome.
Some astounding developments happen with Nicolae's 1st hand man, and it is somewhat comic the interaction between him and the Pontifex Maximus Peter Mathews. The world is only big enough for one of thier ego's.
It seems that by the 5th installment, we will finally see some more fast paced action that takes this religious novel to the standards of a good spy story.
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am 5. März 1999
Here's a thought about Christian fiction in general and this series in particular. A few years ago an article in Christianity Today reviewed the state of contemporary Christian fiction, and it made this perceptive observation. There are two major genres of Christian fiction: historical romances and end-times thrillers. In other words, Christians either have a sentimental, nostalgic look back to the past, where things may have been simpler or "more Christian," or they look forward to an apocalyptic future where God stomps out all his enemies. Unfortunately, this means that Christians are not doing much critical thinking about how to engage the world in the present.

Clearly this series falls in the latter category. I hope and pray that all the fans of this series, which of course are legion, are not simply gleefully and passively awaiting God's judgment on unbelievers but rather are spurred on to Christian discipleship, obedience and evangelism in the present. Is passing around copies of these books the way to do that? I'm not sure, since it seems like LaHaye and Jenkins are primarily preaching to the choir. Christians need to think carefully about how best to present the good news of Jesus to the world in today's present setting, not some speculative future-tense scenario.
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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!!!
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am 1. September 1998
This great series of books have had me waiting for the next one. Wanting more. Just like Perretti's, Elwood's, and T. Davis Bunn's books. But Soul Harvest is a dissapointment. I expected it to be the last of the series. Now I find out that I might have to wait until the year 2001 (If I am still alive :) to read the end of the series. Not that this story isn't in the book of Revelation, but.... Well, let's sit back and wait and see if we can get to the end of it, or the end will come before the series end. Just one more comment and I am out of your hair: After reading review after review of this series, I come to ask myself a question or two: 1: If we all agreed on one single issue, wouldn't it be a better world? 2. It really makes me wonder why if it bothers some people so strongly the way the books are written, why bother reading them for?? Or is it that they touch a spot in your soul that you didn't want to acknowledge or didn't know was there? Are this books questioning your christian walk?? Perhaps the fact that you might be one of those "LEFT BEHIND?" God Bless all and let's hope we don't have to live this drama personally, and have to realize that we are as humans as the characters of these books. LIVE EACH MINUTE OF YOUR LIFE IN SERVICE TO YOUR LORD, AND JUST LIKE IF IT WERE YOUR LAST, FOR YOU NEVER KNOW IF IN THAT BLINK OF AN EYE THE LORD WILL COME AND YOU WILL BE ONE OF THOSE LEFT BEHIND.
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