Mackerel Snappers: How to explain even the toughest teachings about God and his Catholic Church. is a new book written by Spencer L. Allen. I received this book from the author for review.
At roughly 350 pages this book is surprisingly comprehensive as sort of a beginners guide to apologetics and answering questions concerning the faith. This book is subdivided into several topics which contain multiple chapters. These topics start with “Roadblocks” with a general introduction to apologetics and starting with some common objections. Then moves on with topics on authority, salvation, the Sacraments, prayer and devotion, and Catholic living.
The strength and weakness of this book is that it is sort of a a swiss army knife of apologetics. That is you will find many useful tools and others too small to effectively use. Since it covers so much ground you get from more in-depth treatment of a topic to single paragraphs on a subject making you wish more was said.
Overall I found the various treatments given were quite solid. While mostly there is a lot of common apologetics fare it is exactly the type of basic apologetics information needed. When the author points you to other books to learn more they are all trustworthy picks. This books carries a Nihil obstat and Impimatur and they are well deserved as I found nothing that I had any really serious quibble with.
The author describes his own experiences in learning apologetics along with dialoging with others and the lessons he has learned as a result. The conversational tone of the book and some light humor keeps the book from being just a regurgitation of so much apologetics. As I wrote it is quite comprehensive and there are also some interesting and useful inclusions such as a topic on logical fallacies.
So overall I think this is a quite useful book regarding apologetics for those strengthening there own faith and wanting to be able to answer common objections and beyond.
The cover of this book really pushed me against the saying of not judging a book by its cover. I was quite put off by the quality of the cover which I think is quite amateurish. This book being self-published I suspect do-it-yourself art. A common flaw regarding self-published books is not having an artist do a cover for you. As for the title of the book “Mackerel Snappers” I see where the author was going with it, but it seems like not a very effective choice. Possibly it would work better with better cover art worked in as a theme.