Category Archives: Book Reviews

‘”Christian Fiction”–A Stepchild?’

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Holy cow….

The America I grew up in was a Christian America–but its movies, TV, and books were already heavily non-Christian. Looking back on it, I wonder why that was. It surely has a lot to do with the way America is now.

I don’t remember any such thing, back then, as “Christian fiction.”

https://leeduigon.com/2014/11/22/christian-fiction-a-stepchild/

Maybe if we hadn’t cut the Christian religious dimension out of our fictional worlds back then, we wouldn’t need a special category for “Christian fiction” now. I am sure no one noticed it back then–although if anyone did, and had the courage to speak up about it, it doesn’t seem like anyone was listening.


Review: Richard Dawkins

From our friend SlimJim’s blog, “The Domain for Truth”

I have to admit I was jarred to see the name “Richard Dawkins” and the phrase “Great Thinkers” on the same book cover. But Jimmy’s blog post makes it clear. Lots of food for thought here.    –LD

The Domain for Truth

Ransom Poythress. Richard Dawkins.  Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed Publishing, November 30th 2018. 192 pp.

5 out of 5

Purchase: Westminster Amazon

No doubt many people today would have heard of atheist spokesman Richard Dawkins.  What does a Christian and Reformed response to Richard Dawkins looks like?  This work is a defense of the Christian faith that deals with Richard Dawkins by also beyond him in dealing with the subject of atheism.  This book is part of the Great Thinkers series published by P&R Publishing and thus far of the three volumes (this work and the ones on Aquinas and Marx) I have read this one is by far my favorite one.

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My Newswithviews Column, May 23 (‘It’s War, All Right’)

Image result for images of venezuelans with no food

‘No hay pan’ is “We have no bread” in Spanish: Venezuelan slang for ‘Ain’t socialism wonderful?’

Remember what Sun Tzu said, in The Art of War: “On death ground, fight.”

It’s War, All Right

Far Left Crazy means to wipe out Christian America, and won’t let up until it does. The culture war is still on, it’s deadly serious, and Christian America has to win or Christian America dies. It’s that simply.

And never mind being “winsome”!

The time for that is after we’ve won a total victory and the Democrat Party has been forever consigned to the landfill of history.


‘Journey to the Hangman’

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Do you enjoy a cracking good detective yarn, full of realistic, vivid characters in an exotic setting–I mean, real exotic?

The late Arthur Upfield’s chronicles of Inspector Napoleon Bonaparte are among the best mystery novels ever written; and the one I’ve just finished reading, Journey to the Hangman, is one of my favorites.

In a very small and close-knit town in the Australian Outback, a town not very far removed at all from its frontier past–we’re in the 1950s here, but the town of Daybreak doesn’t seem to have a single television set–Bony has to solve three murders, with every indication that another murder will be done if he doesn’t catch the killer fast.

Visiting Daybreak is like stepping a hundred years into the past. Indeed, Upfield so excelled at settings that we sometimes forget he was just as masterful at describing characters and bringing them to life.

And of course the centerpiece of all these novels is Bony himself, half-white, half-aborigine–a hunter who has never failed to catch his prey, because he knows that just a single failure would destroy him. When Upfield started writing these books in the 1940s, many white Australians viewed the aborigines as primitive savages: but Upfield delved into the riches of their ancient culture, and wrote of them with respect and admiration. In our own era of supercharged racial politics, Upfield can be read as a voice of sanity. I appreciate that.

Anyway, it’s a real poser of a mystery, and yet we almost don’t care because the place and the people are so fascinating. Upfield knew how to put you there–and only great writers are able to do that… again and again.


David Horowitz: It’s War

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I have to review a book for Chalcedon, Dark Agenda by David Horowitz, and I’m feeling overwhelmed by the weight and seriousness of his argument, and the mountain of evidence he cites to support it. This blog post is an effort to warm up for the challenge.

Usually when I read a book to review, I mark striking passages with a pen and dog-ear the pages that I want to cite. I think I’ve dog-eared every other page in here. Well, that won’t do. Think, think, think…

Horowitz was raised by Far Left parents and grew up to become an activist for their movement in the 1960s. When he talks about the revolutionary Left, he knows what he’s talking about. That’s why they ban him from the social(ist) media. He has left his radical past behind and come over to our side.

The book’s subtitle is “The War to Destroy Christian America.” The fact that “war” is the most appropriate word he could have used is what’s so overwhelming about it. The Far Left literally means to destroy and erase everything about America that makes it America.

Horowitz, who is Jewish, believes that Christian America is one of the best things that ever happened to the human race, and that it deserves to be defended and preserved.

The bad guys aren’t kidding, folks. Radicalism is their religion, and they are waging a jihad against Christianity, which they hate with a passion that, for many of them, crosses the line into the psychotic. No debate, no compromise, no shared humanity: their goal is to wipe out every vestige of Christian America and create an authoritarian, atheistic hell-hole with themselves in charge.

No, I’m not exaggerating. Neither is David Horowitz. This book was shocking even to me.

The ancient Chinese sage, Sun Tzu, author of The Art of War, laconically described a certain kind of military situation in which strategy and tactical finesse don’t matter.

“On death ground, fight.”

Either Christian America wins, or Christian America dies. God give us strength: and may God fight for us.


‘Literary Crimes: Anachronisms’ (2016)

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Sorta like this King Tut cell phone…

Can a novel set in ancient times–antediluvian times, in fact–be ruined by having its characters frequently spout 21st-century Democrat cliches?

Uh… yeah. Even if it’s only me that thinks so.

https://leeduigon.com/2016/01/13/literary-crimes-anachronisms/

I keep saying “Christian fiction” has to be at least as good as, and preferably better than, ordinary secular fiction. But I read so much “Christian” stuff that isn’t, I’m beginning to think no one believes me.


So Listen to the Webinar, Why Dontcha

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My wife has just listened to my 2016 “webinar” with Andrea Schwartz and pronounced it very interesting. She’s never wrong about things like that, so it’ll probably interest you, too, if you give it a chance. I posted it on this blog earlier this morning, so you can easily find it on the home page. If you’re reading this, you’re probably on the home page now. Funny how that works out.

I hope nobody minds if I don’t report on politics this weekend–which I will do, of course, if I think I have to. But only if I have to. I’m feeling just a bit used-up. I think I’d be the better for a nice cigar, followed by a movie. It’s raining, so I’ll need my umbrella.

I do enjoy doing interviews, but no one’s asked me to do one lately.


‘The Mystery of the Jersey Devil’ (2015)

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This is their sequel, “The Phantom of the Pines”

I post this as a tribute to my brother-in-law, Ray, who wrote the book on the Jersey Devil. Well, this book, at least. And a sequel.

https://leeduigon.com/2015/09/20/the-mystery-of-the-jersey-devil/

If you ever have occasion to read Weird N.J. Magazine, you’ll learn that people are still having run-ins with the Jersey Devil today.

Ray died last year, but his work lives on.


Book Review: ‘Shards of Faith’ by Allison Reid

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I found myself, as I was reading, thinking, “I like this!” I still thought so by the time I’d finished it.

We know author Allison Reid as “Weavingword,” a friend of this blog, and Shards of Faith is a “companion book” to the three books of her Wind Rider Chronicles. Somewhere between a novella and a novel, with a length of some 45,000 words, Shards of Faith takes us back in time to events preceding the main story line. It’s sort of a side trip, focused on Broguean the Bard, who last appeared as a minor character in Book 3, Visions of Light and Shadow.

In Visions Broguean is middle-aged, an entertainer who makes the rounds of taverns, not someone whom most people would take seriously–except it becomes evident that he is hiding behind a carefully constructed facade, and has a secret. In Shards we find out what that secret is.

Broguean has revoked his monk’s vows and left the monastery–run by a corrupt and evil abbot, and a prior who goes on to become the chief villain in the trilogy so far–to become a bard and a heavy drinker. He has abandoned a heritage which seems too high for him: he believes himself to be unworthy of it.

But the leaders of the faithful clergy have not forgotten whom he really is, and wind up recruiting him as a secret agent in their battle against evil men aligned with dark supernatural forces; and the job turns out to be vastly more dangerous than any of them bargained for. In the course of his adventures, Broguean has to come to terms with the conflict between what he is and what he ought to be–and that’s what makes this book special.

Once upon a time an author would have included all this in the main body of the story, via flashbacks, dialogue, etc. That can get messy. The companion book is a way to impart this information without interrupting the flow of the main story. The only problem with it is that if you read it as a stand-alone book, you won’t be reading it in context.

Ms. Reid has come a long way in her mastery of characterization; meanwhile, as usual, her quasi-medieval setting is authentic and convincing. There’s still an awful lot we don’t know about the main story–like, for instance, why the bad guys are calling monsters into the world, what they hope to gain from its destruction–but we hope that will be remedied in the next installment or two.

I like stories in which ordinary, believable people–not superheroes!–are called upon to do extraordinary things: because they have to, there’s no getting out of it, and they make do with the resources that God provides for them, sustained by their faith in His Word. Need I mention that every heroic act in all of human history so far has been performed by a real person, not a superhero?

Even when you’ve got a hero on the scene, even when you’ve got King Arthur, he can’t accomplish much without the help of unnamed, unsung men and women who share his vision, fight for it, work for it, and sacrifice for it. There’s way too much fantasy whose authors don’t get this: but Allison Reid does.

 


‘Another Book I’m Not Gonna Read’ (2014)

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Granted, it’s hard to come up with truly original ideas. But just to spit out one cliche after another–gimme a break.

https://leeduigon.com/2014/08/07/another-book-im-not-gonna-read/

There’s a whole herd of publicists out there, pushing books that were probably much better off not written. I ought to know: they all email me, asking for reviews.

Here we have “the Church” concealing all these great secrets from the distant past that would allow us to create an earthly paradise, if only we could know them. But as Lord Orth once said, if those ancient people really were that great and wise, why isn’t their civilization here anymore?


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