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Publisher's Summary

The Fire in the Rock is a first-person retelling of the Exodus story from the viewpoint of Tzipporah, the wife of Moses; but it is not a conventional Bible story. First, God is offstage; he is present only in the characters' hearts and thoughts. Second, there are no overt miracles - all the events of the Plagues and the Exodus are attributed to natural, if unique, events that are now known to have taken place at around that time.

I've seen some confusion on the part of some potential listeners on this issue, so let me make this point clear: in the book, the issue of whether these events were miracles (as Tzipporah herself insists,) or just coincidences, rather depends upon what one brings to them, just as in our own lives. There is no way to know with certainty, and it remains a matter of faith. There is one unambiguously inexplicable occurrence near the end of the book, just to drive home that point. I am not out to sabotage anyone's faith; on the contrary, my intent is to show that there are transcendent things worth believing in, even if one rejects simplistic supernaturalism.

In any case, this is not a book of signs and wonders; I write of Moses and Tzipporah as real people with a real, human relationship. Indeed, the book has been described (by Kirkus) as "a powerful, focused love story that may perhaps be more appealing to seekers than believers"; As for the religious aspect - Moses himself is filled with uncertainty and doubt till the end of his life. The central inspiration of the book was, in fact, this simple question, "What if Moses were just an ordinary man?"

The Fire in the Rock received a Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews, and was named to its list of 'The Best Books of 2106.'

©2016 Charles Henderson Norman (P)2017 Charles Henderson Norman

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Very Interesting Book

Where does The Fire in the Rock rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

This is one of the most interesting books I've listened to in a while. I enjoyed it very much

What was one of the most memorable moments of The Fire in the Rock?

The whole book was memorable. More than a moment or two that caught my attention.

Which character – as performed by Charles Henderson Norman – was your favorite?

At first I found it strange that Charles was narrating a female character but as I continued to listen it got better. I would have preferred a female for a female character but he has such a strong, powerful voice he did make it easy for me to follow the story.

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

This book was a nice change from what I had been listening to. There was a lot to this book that grabbed my attention and made me listen closer. I found it well worth listening to, all at once or not.

Any additional comments?

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the
author, narrator, or publisher.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Well Written & Narrated!

The story of Moses and Tzipporah is brought to life from the pen of Charles H. Norman and the passion of his voice. He has written a powerful and compelling story from the perspective of Moses’s wife, Tzipporah. This audiobook was near impossible to put down it was so gripping. A word of warning, remember this is a work of fiction, written for entertainment purposes, and is not a true account of Moses’s life, however it is a story well worth listening to. It is as much a story of love as it is an account of the Exodus. Though it was supposed to be told from the voice of Tzipporah, I found that the strength of the author’s voice and the emotion he put into it brought so much to the telling that I didn’t mind that it wasn’t a woman’s voice speaking. It is a book I will likely listen to again at some point in the future. I received a free copy of this book, however voluntarily submit this unbiased review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

The story of Moses brought to life.

Since I'm not Christian I wasn't really sure what I would think of this book... it held me spellbound!

The story comes from Tzipporah's (Moses wife's) perspective told at the end of her life. And it's a story that is so realistic that the events could have taken place as they are told here and spawned a legend that grew with the retelling to create the story told in the bible.

It is very cleverly crafted and I could barely stand to stop listening to work and sleep.

There is a lot of background information because who Moses is as a person and his life experiences play a large role in shaping the Exodus and ensuring it can happen at all.

The book is narrated by the author, this makes it a little different to what I'm used to. There aren't the distinct character voices that a skilled voice actor creates but this soon stopped mattering. Charles has a great voice and the pacing and delivery are very well done. He also did an excellent job of expressing emotion, in fact I feel like his love and passion for the story come through in his voice.

Regardless of your religious beliefs or even if you have then this is a very interesting book and it is beautifully told.

This book was supplied free by the author/narrator/publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below, thanks.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Great blend of genres that achieves its goal . . .

in what the author set out to achieve; leading one to wonder,"What if Moses were just an ordinary man?" That is how the story is unfurled and remains the underlying perspective in which to take in the tale.

My three favorite reads are The Bible, fiction, and history; The Fire in the Rock does a fine job of blending all there of those, often so seamlessly that one must remain cognizant of the fact that the author IS blending fact with fiction . . . all while addressing a topic of what most view with either complete belief or utter disbelief.

As a person of strong faith, as well as having an in-depth background of biblical teachings, I still enjoyed this book simply because I believe it is important to include ones imagination of the persons, circumstances, cultures, and times surrounding our Bible stories. Even the Apostle John wrote of the actions of Jesus/God "if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25 NASB). So there is a little room for artistic license when considering Bible stories.

That being said, the author takes the story of Moses, specifically the Exodus, and while using well researched historical and biblical truths, he adds to it an underlying tale of fictional origin. The danger in this (if danger is the proper word) is that the author gets awfully close to one of John's last admonishments, "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18 NASB). I say that only because, even though the author readily admits this is a fictional account, it is so close to the truth that it could lead marginal believers astray. I true irony there is that in the Afterword the author makes every attempt to explain away "the plagues which are written in this book."

Getting off my soapbox, this is a well written account of a story we are all familiar with, yet from a different perspective; that of a woman's view of her husband who lived through an extraordinary (I would say miraculous) set of circumstances which will be retold until the ends of the earth. The fictional spin from the eyes of Zipporah adds a personality to Moses that the Bible does not give us and it is fun to imagine that some of these aspects of the man and his side story might be true; especially the early parts of the book when we hear of Moses' life during his time prior to returning to confront the Pharaoh.

All in all this was a great book to listen to, just keep reminding yourself it is a novel. I would highly recommend this for it's entertainment value with the caveat to beware of the questioning of several faith-based beliefs. The only two issues I have with the book are: 1.) the Afterword where the author pretty much throws faith out the window in favor of historical and scientific evidence; though he does maintain his belief in God and hope for an eternal afterlife. 2.) as others have stated, having a male voice narrate a female's story was distracting. I had to keep reminding my self that it was NOT Moses as the primary voice.

I was given a free copy of this book by the author and narrator of this book in return for this honest review. In fact, I had a nice exchange of emails surrounding this story and our faiths prior to my listening to it which lent to some added insights as he poter his heart and soul into his work.

I hope this review helps in making a decision as to whether this is a book you wish to purchase and listen to.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

Another Look at fiction

I got this book via audiobook boom. This is another look at fictionalizing the Bible. The author took a Biblical story and turned it into a romantic piece of fiction. Not for the weak of faith or person who can be swayed because something sounds good. You must listen to the story as the author said. It is fiction, not fact. The story was developed well. I gave it four stars for performance because this was supposed to be a woman telling the story but the narrator was a man. It is almost 15 hours of listening.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Jayde
  • Nampa, ID
  • 05-12-17

Not for the weak of faith...

Not for the weak of faith unless you really don't care about what the Bible says is true.

Lets start this review off with the narrator.
Usually when you see "narrated by the author," you expect a not so great listen. In this case that might be true but for a different reason than usual. The author would actually make a pretty good narrator but.. this book is written as a woman telling the story and the author's deep male gravelly voice just not fit the character he is voicing.
Overall this book is a good listen but feels a little off due to the wrong voice.

The story itself is a good one. Well written and apparently researched. It is an interesting take on the Biblical account of the Exodus and the life of Moses. From a solidly Christian perspective this book comes across as "New Age" or naturalistic. It uses natural explanations of all the "miracles" in the Biblical account of the Exodus. But it does not go so far as to say that God had no part in these events.

If you are a new believer or not very strong in your faith or understanding of what the Bible actually says and the God actually portrayed there then I would seriously recommend that you skip this story.

On the other hand, if you are well grounded and not easily swayed by very plausible sounding stories, and are just looking for good entertainment, then I highly recommend this story as a good biblical type story that is well written.

I was voluntarily provided this free review copy audiobook by the author, narrator, or publisher.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

What a vivid imagination!

What did you like best about this story?

I’ve enjoyed very much listening to this well written book. It makes you really think about the personal lives of biblical figures, what they went through, their faith in God, their hopes, thoughts, insecurities, etc. the Bible doesn’t explain every detail about their lives; we can only use our imagination to fill in the blanks, and the author does a great job doing it! I wouldn’t use it to accompany a Bible study on the topic, but It’s a great work of fiction.

Charles Henderson Norman's narration was excellent! Very classy and enjoyable, and I look forward to listen to more books narrated by him.

I received this audiobook free for an honest review by the author, narrator, or publisher. Thank you!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    3 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

One long book

This book has much to say. I love a good story and this one says a lot. But and here is the thing I found it very hard to listen to a story told from a women's point of view done by a gruff speaking man. Maybe it's just me but it just kept throwing me off! Then there is the whole changing of the story of Moses as it was taught to me. The signs of God being all just ordinary events interpreted by Moses because he was better traveled then others ? And yes I believe behind every great man is an equally great wife but humm this felt a little too much like Moses needed her way too much to prop him up. And I have never heard Moses had a hair lip or any deformity to his lips that made him unable to speak correctly? And then the whole scientific part at the end of how there is no mention of the exodus in Roman records or the other plaques? I was liking the book up until it started twisting things around a little to much. Perhaps the writer wants to believe this version? I want to believe Moses chosen to lead his people was an extraordinary man. I want to believe that God showed up in extraordinary ways. So that people who of little faith could see a God that could make things happen. He is the GREAT I AM! I chose to believe. I received this book at no charge in exchange for an honest review.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Magnificent Story with Great Narration

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

Loved the story and the characters. A true masterpiece. Highly Recommend.

Any additional comments?

This review copy audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost."

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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Loved it!

This was a fantastic read. I'm usually wary of anything religious but I do enjoy many of the Old Testament stories. This was a brilliant retelling and well worth a listen. Very well done. Recommend this one!

Great narration. Great performance.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.