Am höchsten bewertete kritische Rezension
Left Behind - The Church Strikes Back
am 7. Juli 2000
Although Left Behind does not purport to be science fiction, it follows many of the conventions explored in apocalyptic novels from a "christian" perspective. While I'm willing to suspend disbelief 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 (two, 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. ...
I would have awarded zero stars had that been an option.