L.B.: The evil of banality

Left Behind, pp. 35-39 As our heroes prepare to touch down in the shattered, post-“rapture” world, they survey the damage, the consequences — so much loss, death, disaster and calamity — and they realize what this means: a logistical nightmare. That’s the theme of these pages, and a major theme of the next chunk of [Read More…]

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L.B.: God took my copilot

Left Behind, pp. 34-35 Rayford Steele sat ashen faced in the cockpit. Half an hour from touchdown in Chicago, he had told the passengers everything he knew. The simultaneous disappearance of millions all over the globe had resulted in chaos far beyond imagination … So far beyond imagination that LaHaye and Jenkins scarcely even try [Read More…]

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L.B.: Flirting with disaster

Left Behind, pp. 32-34 As the GIRAT, Buck Williams’ first priority when confronted with a mysterious disaster is to file a report to his editors. This is part of what separates Buck from the pack. Other, lesser reporters might busy themselves with taking notes, interviewing witnesses and gathering as many facts as possible. But, like [Read More…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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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…]

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