L.B.: 10 pages in the men’s room

Left Behind, pg. 77 Here's how Chapter 5 begins: Buck Williams ducked into a stall in the Pan-Con Club men's room to double-check his inventory. Tucked in a special pouch inside his jeans … As a general rule, it's probably best not to begin a chapter by having the protagonist enter the stall of a [Read More...]

L.B.: Ars poetica

Left Behind, pp. 66-68, 73-76 This is the most human-seeming and almost successful passage in the book so far. Jenkins, for once, eases off the expository gas and lets the reader look around as Rayford Steele explores the home he dreads he will find empty. The result is a little set piece where, for the [Read More...]

L.B.: Nero’s fiddle

Left Behind, pp. 71-73 Two things happen over these few page of the book. The surface-level thing is that Buck Williams talks to a customer service agent in the airline club and she helps him to charter a private flight to New York City. Suddenly it was Buck's turn at the counter. He gathered up [Read More...]

Left Behind Fridays

So where were we? Page 71? We've been at this for a year and half and we're only on page 71? I'm going to try to keep our ongoing book review from devolving into another weekslong lapse by imposing a more orderly schedule.* Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to the first installment of Left Behind Fridays. [Read More...]

L.B.: Cursed are the peacemakers

Left Behind, pp. 68-71 Our first real glimpse of Nicolae Carpathia comes through the eyes of Chaim Rosenzweig, who is rather impressed with him: “I found him most charming and humble. … Impressive, that’s all I can say. … He knew my language as well as his own. And he speaks fluent English. Several others [Read More...]

L.B.: Unmotivated Close-up

Left Behind, pp. 68-71 Buck Williams’ role as a journalist provides a useful device for long stretches of exposition without departing from the protagonist’s point of view (one of many tropes borrowed from Sydney Watson’s earlier rapture novels). Jerry Jenkins’ clumsy employment of this device often results in strange passages like this one, in which [Read More...]

L.B.: Get in line

Left Behind, pg. 68 It was nearly Buck Williams’s turn at the head of the line at the Pan-Con Club counter … Buck has clawed his way back to the terminal at O’Hare and worked his way into a line at the counter. This doesn’t really make sense — the airport is clearly closed, it’s [Read More...]

L.B.: Nice people finish last

Left Behind, pp. 59-66 Over the next several pages we find something new in Left Behind — sympathetic characters. We meet three new people in these pages. None of them is particularly important and each serves mainly to move along the plot and to provide some helpful (and unsubtle) exposition. But LaHaye and Jenkins also [Read More...]