Reviewing Left Behind

While on the subject of Christianity, I thought I would muse aloud on the block-buster phenomenon of Left Behind.

The series, which runs 12 books, concerns the trials and tribulations of those "left behind" after all the Christians are raptured and the Book of Revelation stuff kicks in, Schwarzeneggerian Final Days-style.

First off, I should mention that I only read the first book in the series, and by 'read', I mean that I read the first twenty or so pages, mulled things over, and decided that cleaning the tub might not be such a chore after all.

I didn't need to read any more to know how much it sucked. (I didn't bother to analyze why I thought it sucked until I read Blogging Left Behind, but more on that later.)

When I was in grade 8, I thought The Shining was a great novel, and Stephen King worthy of his garlands.

A couple of years ago, I saw a paperback Stephen King novel that I hadn't read. I took it home, started reading, and was appalled at how bad a writer he is! Yet as a fourteen year-old I had found The Shining and Salem's Lot captivating!

Compared to the writers of Left Behind, Stephen King is Marcel Proust.

If you go to slacktavist's Blogging Left Behind, you can read the page by page analysis of the first novel (along with a lot of great links to other sources for Christian criticism, theological analysis, etc.) faithfully posted over a period of some time (his first post was in Sep 24, 2003, right now, Jan 7 2007, he is on page 241).

I guess slacktavist is savouring every drop!

A quote from his entry of Oct 18, 2003 (fourth up from the bottom of the page, the entries are in reverse chronological order):

The first words of Left Behind are "Rayford Steele," the protagonist's name.

It sounds like a porn star's name -- and in a sense it is. The Left Behind series is dispensational porno, but it's more than that. One of the most disturbing things about this book is the way LaHaye and Jenkins portray men, women and the relationships between them.


The character Rayford Steele is, like the authors, no longer a young man. Younger authors might not have been compelled to give their protagonists names -- "Steele" and "Buck" -- that seem such a blatant assertion of male virility. Bev is apparently not the only LaHaye who seems oblivious to phallic imagery.

I like this blogger (he is slowly working his thoughtful, sardonic way through the book) because he is a Christian and has a sense of humour. I know some Christians have a lively sense of humour, I am related to a good few of them.

Christians with a Sense of Humour should get some exposure too!


Anonymous said...

Sardonic...this is a wonderful word.

The Commentator said...

Yes they should! Hey, wait a sec. I'm a Chishtin with a sense of humour too!