Friday, November 21, 2008
Christian publishing has crossed a barrier with the publication of The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips.
For starters, this story is compelling. Told through the narration of Andy Myers' son. The son he never wanted, I might add. Narration is not my favorite point of view because it tends to lack intimacy. But I connected with the characters in Death and Life. I also love crime fiction and Death and Life is full of cop/legal drama. The writing is creative and easy to read and the story is positively page turning.
I mentioned that Christian publishing has crossed a barrier with this story because the dialogue is peppered with raw language -- think PG-13. I am not super offended by language and am able to watch or read something and not get caught up in coarseness if the story is compelling enough. Death and Life is full of three, four and five letter words that will stomp on sensitive toes.
Interestingly, I've seen a lot of debate in Christian author loops that discusses this issue and the challenge of writing real and raw when the characters are limited to "Aw, shucks, Ma'am." The fact that Stephen Baldwin has opened the door is going to ease things for the storytellers who want to write real if it includes raw. The bottom line consensus in this debate seems to be that story does rule. And in this case, The Death and Life of Gabriel Phillips shares a story that is worth reading.
Click here for a taste of the novel.