Jesurgislac’s Journal

September 26, 2008

Left Behind: After five years

Nearly five years ago, on 17th October 2003, Fred Clark began to write a notable series of posts dissecting one of the worst novels ever to achieve commercial publication: “These books are evil, anti-Christian crap. This weekend, I’m beginning a new series of posts in which I’ll go through these books, page by page.”

(The first couple of posts tagged Left Behind were written just over five years ago: Hide the beer, the pastor’s here and In the sweet by and by. These are useful to read if you’re interested in the religious side of it, but do not deal directly with the appalling novel.)

Left Behind: Pretrib Porno introduces Rayford Steele:

The first words of Left Behind are “Rayford Steele,” the protagonist’s name.

L.B.: Meet Buck Williams and L.B.: Meet the GIRAT

The Buck Williams of Left Behind is even more of a superstar. He’s a kind of journalistic James Bond. The Greatest Investigative Reporter of All Time.

Anyway, here’s how the GIRAT reported, firsthand, from the scene of an all-out nuclear surprise attack:

To say the Israelis were caught off guard, Cameron Williams had written, was like saying the Great Wall of China was long.

Just remember, when L&J discuss good writing, this is what they mean.

L.B.: The denial of death:

Left Behind has been praised by some as an “evangelistic” book, but it’s not. Although the book does attempt to scare people into conversion, that is secondary. The authors’ real message for those they regard as unsaved is to thumb their nose and do a little victory dance. “You just wait until Jesus gets back and proves we were right and you were wrong. Then we’ll see who’s laughing at who.”

At the moment, the earliest posts about Left Behind are on page 22 of the tagged posts: but if Fred (as he promised) continues with Tribulation Force, this will change. Typepad’s unhelpful paging system makes the old comment threads a pain to read, which is a pity, because there were some terrific comments in there.

But there are insufficient words to praise Fred Clark’s achievement. Go, read. This is great stuff, and Fred Clark deserves all honour and praise.

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