L.B.: Rayford “Mary Sue” Steele

The realm of “fan fiction” is one of the few places one can turn to reliably find prose as awful and implausible as the writing of Timothy LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins. I have discovered, googling around, that there exists a sub-subculture of fanfic set in the apocalyptic world of L&J’s “Left Behind” series. This [Read More...]

L.B.: 60 Minutes falls asleep in church

"How many home runs did the quarterback shoot?" That's the sort of question 60 Minutes might ask if they began covering sports with the same contextless, ignorant approach they sometimes take on matters of religion. Amy Sullivan of Politicalaims has already commented on how 60 Minutes on Sunday confused evangelicals with fundamentalists, and thus totally [Read More...]

L.B.: E-mail MacGyver

Left Behind, pp. 30-32 Ace reporter Buck Williams is desperate to get in touch with his editors from aboard an airliner. He decides to take apart the “in-flight phone embedded in the back of the seat in front of him” and splice it to his laptop’s modem: … Buck guessed that inside the phone the [Read More...]

L.B.: My favorite character so far

Left Behind, pp. 22-37 One of the most successfully conveyed early characters in Left Behind sadly disappears from the novel once our heroes have left the plane. We never actually learn this character’s name, and he never becomes more than a broad, comic stereotype. Yet he is semi-successfully rendered as a broad, comic stereotype, which [Read More...]

L.B.: This ain’t science fiction

Left Behind, pg. 30 The in-flight phone embedded in the back of the seat in front of Buck Williams was not assembled with external modular connections the way most phones were. Buck imagined that Pan Con Airlines would soon be replacing these relics to avoid complaints from computer users. But Buck guessed that inside the [Read More...]

L.B.: A fool’s hope

Left Behind, pp. 29-30 The toughest chore for emergency personnel was to determine who had disappeared, who was killed and who was injured, and then to communicate that to the survivors. LaHaye and Jenkins don’t tell us what these conversations are like. It is supposed to be comforting for the survivors to learn that their [Read More...]

L.B.: Hard to get a cab

Left Behind, pp. 28-30 From the pilot of a passing Concorde, Rayford Steele has learned that the mysterious disappearances on his plane are but a small piece of a global phenomenon. Finally Rayford picks up “an all-news radio outlet” that confirms the Concorde’s account. One pictures Steele frantically scanning the dial looking for news — [Read More...]

L.B.: Concorde calling

Left Behind, pp. 25-27 “If you’re a seeker and you need a guide, someone to counsel you so you can find your way forward into a spiritual realm. And you’re on an airplane. Don’t look in first class.” — John Patrick Shanley in Joe Versus the Volcano Our heroes, isolated from the world aboard their [Read More...]


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