Category Archives: Book Reviews

Book Review: ‘Reindeer Don’t Fly’

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Michael Earl Riemer’s critique of “evolutionism”–as a false religion, a comedy, and a pseuo-science–is by no means gentle. Reindeer Don’t Fly (2018) really lays it on the line.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/book-review-reindeer-dont-fly

Evolution fairy tales have become part of our culture. More people question them now than used to, which means the good guys are scoring some points. But we still have a very long way to go before the spell is broken.

Riemer’s favorite tool is mockery. His targets have set themselves up as The Smartest People In The World, and their balloon needs popping. Leftids proclaim themselves to be wise and then get oodles of mileage out of it. Their prestige props up their foolish and often wicked notions, hiding the fact that they’re notions at all. So they need taking down a peg, and Mr. Riemer is more than happy to do it.

If you’d like some answers–well, actually a lot of answers–to the question, “So what’s wrong with evolution?”, this book will serve you well.


‘Some Books for You to Avoid’ (2015)

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These books were simply awful in 2015, and they haven’t gotten any better since.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/10/11/some-books-for-you-to-avoid/

A man named Theo Dropsy, out in Bad Axe, Michigan, actually broke both his legs, trying to read all the books on this list. And it is said in central Turkmenistan that these books have the power to shrivel crops in the ground.

But if you insist on reading any of them, on your head be it.


Book Review: ‘Where the Music Ends’

We know Laura as a visitor to this blog. She once won a comment contest by writing “Ugh.” I’m so glad that didn’t start a trend.

Where the Music Ends (available on amazon.com, $5.99) is her first published novella. I read it in a sitting yesterday, 99 pages. I enjoyed it, and I won’t easily forget it; but to review it analytically–well, that won’t be easy.

That’s because it’s a kind of fairy tale, or myth. As such, it leaves many things unexplained. It’s as if a painter tried to portray a landscape in as few brush-strokes as possible.

So we have a valley, with seven villages in it, surrounded by a powerful spell laid down by an evil witch, and no one can get in or out. Worse, the witch periodically creates some kind of “music”–it is not described–that summons children out of their homes by night: some of them never to return at all, and others spiritually maimed. We’re not told why the witch does this, or what she does with the children that she keeps. We can only wonder.

Twins Alice and Joseph are called out by the music. Alice is able to resist the witch’s power, but she can’t save Joseph. She meets another boy named Gilbert who has also resisted, although wounded by the attack of a probably magical wolf. As they try to get back home, and get a doctor for Gilbert, they discover that the witch has cursed them with a very nasty curse: people can’t see them, hear them, or help them. Their only hope is to get out of the valley altogether.

I don’t want to try to retell the story here. Suffice it to say that, to overcome the witch and lift her spells, and to save Joseph if they can, the children must discover and then speak the “free words,” whatever they turn out to be; and it seems that what will also be required are “a sword, a word, and blood.” And this means sacrifice.

I can’t decide whether this story is just right as it is, or whether many more details should have been provided. Start doing that, though, and the next thing you know, your novella is a bust and you find yourself writing a novel. As a fantasy writer–who writes novels, not novellas–I do believe in allowing much scope to the reader’s imagination. It’s often more effective than anything I can think of saying about certain people and locations, etc. Should Laura have told us what the witch’s music sounds like? Or would that have risked ruining the story? I don’t know. It’s not my story.

When I was a boy there used to be a program on educational TV, “Japanese Brush Painting.” The artist would demonstrate how to paint a horse, for instance, in just a few simple strokes, achieving not photographic realism, but something of the essence of a rearing horse. It really worked! I didn’t have a brush, but I did try to imitate him with a ball-point pen. I turned out some pretty nice pictures of horses.

Where the Music Ends reminds me of one of those Japanese brush paintings. There is beauty in it, simplicity–and a lot of somewhat creepy stuff going on in the background. I don’t know whether Laura has ever read Lord Dunsany, but there’s something in here reminiscent of his shorter stories of supernatural encounters.

All of which means that I enjoyed the novella and can recommend it to you.

Just don’t expect a lot of explanation.

 


Book Review: ‘Crimes of the Educators’

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Chalcedon has published my review of Crimes of the Educators, by Samuel Blumenfeld and Alex Newman.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/book-review-crimes-of-the-educators

Sam Blumenfeld was one of the pioneers of homeschooling in America, and he worked his heart out teaching phonics and trying to undo the havoc wrought on young minds by the faddish “whole language” method, which left so many of its victims illiterate. But that–which some of the education theorists who pushed it now admit has been a “disaster”–is only one of public education’s multitude of crimes.

It would be hard to name another institution which has done more harm to our country than public education–although our nooze media are doing their utmost to catch up.

Anyhow, it’s all in the book review. Happy landings.


‘One of the Best Fantasies Ever–But Handle with Care’ (2015)

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You need to be in touch with your inner adult…

How many of you have actually read Peter Pan? Trust me, it’s nothing like the Disney movie. In fact, it’s like nothing else you’ve ever read.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/05/26/one-of-the-best-fantasies-ever-but-handle-with-care/

It may seem strange, on a Christian blog, to see any recommendation for such a thoroughly pagan book. I don’t think reading it will wipe out your faith. But reading it and thinking about it, reading it with discernment, may be very instructive.

There’s death at the bottom of it. I don’t know if author James M. Barrie taught that lesson on purpose, or whether this is yet another of those many books that are smarter than their authors. But you won’t find a more honest treatment of what the promises of “magic” boil down to.

Today Peter Pan would be a Democratic Socialist.


‘Survey That Says Christianity is Failing Gets Failing Grade from Critics’

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Lent is just around the corner, and then Easter; and we can expect our fat-head nooze media to come out with their annual announcement that Christianity is just about finished in America.

Here’s how they tried it back in 2009.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/survey-that-says-christianity-is-failing-gets-failing-grade-from-critics

This is a “survey” which Dr. Rodney Stark at Baylor University described succinctly as “Baloney!” The nooze media, though, elbowed each other for room on the bandwagon.

Also covered herein is the exercise in shabby liberalism known as the 2009 National Pastors Conference. “The truth is that almost everybody believes in God,” says Dr. Stark. But libs within the church are trying hard to steer that belief away from the true God of the Bible toward some kind of wifty-pifty idol they’ve invented.

There’s no doubt at all that the usual suspects will be up to their usual tricks again this Easter.

And this is our opportunity to speak up loud and clear, for all the world to hear: Jesus Christ is Lord of lords and King of kings, now and forever, and the one and only Savior. Get ready, take a deep breath… and let ‘er rip.


‘I Almost Review “The Last Banquet”‘ (2013)

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You know a writer’s getting desperate when he reviews his own book. Such was my situation a few years ago. No one else would do it at the time, so I had to.

https://leeduigon.com/2013/02/21/i-almost-review-the-last-banquet/

Oddly enough, The Last Banquet seems to be the book most tapped by readers as their favorite in the Bell Mountain series. Well, I was rather clever with the ending, wasn’t I? Sorry, there I go again.


Was King Arthur a Winner or a Failure?

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I reviewed J.R.R. Tolkien’s posthumously published book, The Fall of Arthur, for Chalcedon a few years ago–one of my better articles, if I do say so myself.

https://chalcedon.edu/resources/articles/review-of-tolkiens-the-fall-of-arthur

Much as I cringe at having to take issue with Tolkien, I can’t help it. I think he’s wrong for looking at the fall of Arthur rather than his long-term legacy. Our own time, that we live in every day, would be very different, had there been no Arthur in the 6th century. We do have many serious problems; but it would be worse, I think, much worse, had Arthur never lived.

What–am I crazy?

Read the review and see.


Antichrist’s Jive ‘Christians’

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The clever men at Oxford

Know all that there is to be knowed.

But they none of them know one half as much

As intelligent Mr. Toad!

When Mr. Toad brags about his intellectual attainments, we think it’s funny and we laugh, because it’s only Mr. Toad, a fictional character. But it’s not so funny when the real, live clever men at Oxford and other dives of “higher education” do the same.

Biblical Archaeology Magazine this month is advertising a book, Jesus and After, produced by the savants at University of Massachusetts at Amherst. “What lies at the bottom of the highly stratified Biblical texts from the First Century?” one asks.

Answers Stephen W. Durrant from the University of Oregon:

“The author has accomplished something rare in this outstanding book… Freed from such ‘stumbling blocks’ as the doctrines of blood atonement and bodily resurrection, the original Christian teaching shines forth with simplicity and directness.”

“For the preaching of the cross,” observed St. Paul, “is to them that perish foolishness” (I Corinthians 1:18).

So the doctrines of blood atonement and bodily resurrection are stumbling blocks? Stumbling blocks to what–getting your doctorate in “Religion”? Winning the approval of an unbelieving fallen world?

“Now if Christ be preached that he rose from the dead,” Paul continues, “how say some among you that there is no resurrection of the dead? But if there be no resurrection of the dead, then is Christ not risen: and if Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith is also vain… If in this life only we have hope in Christ, we are of all men most miserable” (I Cor. 15:12-14, 19).

So these sophomoric twaddlers wish to go back to some supposed “original Christian teaching” that does not provide any cleansing from sins because it jettisons the blood atonement, and does not provide any hope of resurrection–what’s left? “Be nice”? “Sharing is caring”? What kind of shabby excuse for Christianity would that be?

Seest thou a man who is wise in his own eyes? There is more hope of a fool than of him (Proverbs 26:12).

This is the kind of plop that gets taught at our seminaries, and this is why we have “clergy for choice” and “feminist clergy” and all the rest of the smorgasbord of crapola served up by left-wing pseudo-Christianity.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom.

That ought to make it easy to spot the fools.

 

 

 


‘An Interview with One of My Characters’ (2015)

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Ryons or Fnaa? Only the royal hairdresser knows for sure–and they don’t have one.

I don’t often get a chance to interview a fictional character, so I had to jump on this–an interview with Fnaa, who features in my Bell Mountain series as King Ryons’ double and an all-around scamp. He made his debut in The Fugitive Prince and is still with us six books later.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/07/26/an-interview-with-one-of-my-characters/

If the interview seems short, don’t blame me. Fnaa is not used to sitting around talking. On the whole, he has more fun than most of us do. But that’s adulthood for you.


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