Friday, September 22, 2006

Review - Something That Lasts

I would really like to give props to the author of this week's blog tour, James David Jordan. On one hand, this blog tour is great internet publicity. On the other, he's opening his book up to a bunch of wannabe authors and reviewers, AND published authors as well. Not necessarily the easiest thing to do.

His book, Something That Lasts, spans the 70's through the 90's, following one family's travails through three generations. One single event that happens to Rev. David Parst changes the trajectory of his whole family, and the rest of the book draws out the consequences of his actions. I don't really want to give more synopsis, as the book has a simple premise that is followed throughout the story.

Even though the book stays true to this central core, it is an engaging read. He keeps the pace moving briskly, making one always interested in turning the next page. There is the potential to dwell and slow things down, but he does a good job of staying on target. He makes use of some recurring themes to speak into the lives of the characters. Baseball in particular is a lynch-pin, and it helps the theme resonate greater than if he had simply told the story without it.

His characters are believable, and he shows honest progression through their lives for the most part. The ending turns are a little forced, but not so much that it throws off the finale.

I think for a first time author Jordan has written a good novel. His description and characterizations sometimes suffer from the pace of the plot. He has a habit of returning to familiar images too often - I counted three separate characters who "shoved their hands into their back pockets". Some events were foreshadowed so that the outcome was easily predictable. However, it was an easy and enjoyable read in just a couple of days.

Overall the writing is pretty well done, but I appreciate mostly what the author is trying to accomplish. I read elsewhere that he was tired of Hollywood and other entertainment showing certain mistakes without consequences. Jordan doesn't shy back from showing the problems of his book's premise, and it is a promising direction for a Christian fiction book to pursue.


  1. Great review. You've got good insight!

  2. What an in-depth review. Great job.