I was surprised when I found out, after I had read this book, that it was written in the 1960's. It has held up surprisingly well and it was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The story is quick moving and fun and the reading is excellent.
This was basically a three and a half long sermon. The title and the description say that it is an exploration of how spirituality is linked to sexuality but it mostly came across to me as a description of how the bible talks about sex. Rob Bell is a good speaker and he reads the book that he wrote well, but this book only is only about spirituality from a purely Christian point of view and from a moderately fundamentalist one at that.
One of the main reasons I listened to this book was the large number of glowing reviews it had received here and on Amazon. I am truly unable to understand how so many people can think this was a five star book. I enjoyed the narration and that was about it. While there are some scenes and episodes that are decribed in very good detail, there are two main problems with this book. The first is that it is at least 50% to long. This is a book that truly needed a good editor to trim it down. The second problem is larger - the author can't seem to decide if he is writing a realistic post-nuclear distopia novel or a supernatural horror novel. And he fails at both. The realism is not that good - there are people everywhere but no wildlife seems to have survived, except wolves, which have multiplied as if by magic. And maybe it was magic - that is certainly implied, but the supernatural parts of this novel are so inconsistent and sporadic that they don't really add anything to the story. The main characters, with maybe one or two exceptions, do such stupid things following the nuclear devastation that they should all be dead. Who, in their right mind, would get out of a basement where they had been trapped for months and start walking without digging out any of the supplies and water stored in the basement with them? Apparently it was Josh and Swan, two of the main characters. Did the glass ring actually play any real part in the story other than being a prop that could be brought out to liven things up? If there is actually a good force in the world that can make the glass ring and the Job's masks and give Swan special powers, how is that this force can do all these things but can't communicate with anyone in the story - even through the glass ring? And why is the villian yet another stereotypical creature who can't be killed but also gets run out of town at every turn? If he is so weak, why can't they kill him? If he is so strong that he can rip an electified fence off it's posts, why can't he just win? This is just ridiculous. And the entire book was like that. Don't waste your time or your money.
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