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Book Review: The Chasm, by Randy Alcorn

12 Apr

9519046Genre: Christian Inspirational fiction; allegory

Plot Summary: Nick is an ordinary man traveling along life’s grey roads when he suddenly catches a glimpse of a far off land.  At first he tries to ignore it’s calling to him, filling his life with empty stuff instead.  But there are other things he can’t avoid acknowledging, like the invisible warriors fighting over individuals like himself and countless others.  What does it all mean?  He meets a man at the edge of a chasm who gives him a choice that will determine the fate of the rest of his life…

My Book Review:  I was surprised when I picked this book up from the interlibrary loan system at my local library.  It was a lot thinner than I’d expected– a novella, really.  It turns out that it is actually a smaller adaptation of a larger fiction novel (Edge of Eternity) by Randy Alcorn.  I was not familiar with that book, but I feel that The Chasm: A Journey to the Edge of Life might have made a little more sense if I had read that first.  Still, it is possible for it to stand on it’s own, without reading Edge…

It didn’t take me long to read this little book.  It was a different sort of genre than what I normally read, so it was good to get out of the usual box of historical fiction for a change.  The story is told in first person, the events described are told in brief.  Truth be told, I had expected the story to be more like a Pilgrim’s Progress (allegory of the Christian life after conversion), as opposed to an allegory mainly about conversion.  But I loved the allegorical details created by Alcorn’s imagination.  My favorite part was near the end when Nick has a conversation with Jesus about traveling to the city of Charis after having crossed the Chasm.

Unfortunately, this was a book that I felt I couldn’t wait to finish so I could start something else.  This might have been because it would have felt richer to have first read Edge…, or it might have been a spiritual war going on in me, but I felt myself often daydreaming while reading and impatient to finish so I could add it to my Books Read List.  I wish this had not been the case and I feel the fault may lie with myself.  Am I so used to hearing about the gospel and bored with the reality of what Jesus did for me so that I could live?  The thought sort of frightens me that I could be so apathetic while reading Nick’s story.

Each chapter includes a black and white illustration that makes it feel more like a graphic novel.  They reminded me of the illustrations in the scary tracts passed out at the fair when I was little.  I would have much preferred pictures fashioned in the same style as the front cover, but others may like the informal ‘comic book’ drawings better.

This little book would make a nice gift book (perhaps for someone in the hospital) or a coffee table book for conversation starters.  It also makes for some good Easter season reading!!

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Posted by on April 12, 2015 in Book Reviews

 

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