Thursday, September 1, 2011

Review: Lamb Bright Saviors by Robert Vivian

Here is a summary of the book from the publisher's website:

Lamb Bright Saviors begins as an apocalyptically inclined itinerant preacher staggers across the Nebraska prairie. With his young assistant, Mady, in tow hauling a wagon stacked with bibles, it’s not long before the preacher finds he’s come to the final fulfillment of his self-proclaimed life’s work: to die in front of a group of strangers. Odd as his own end-of-days might be, the lives and struggles of the strangers attending this deathbed scene are even odder. As the dying preacher unleashes a barrage of hallucinatory ramblings and rantings in the hope of imparting wisdom, each ragtag member of this unlikely congregation must reckon with his or her own dark past. And, through it all, the irrepressible Mady lends the preacher’s strange performance a surprising and unforgettable dignity and humor.

My Review:
If you are looking for a book that is full of beautiful writing that you really need to think about as you are reading every word, then this fictional story is for you.  We are introduced to several characters within this novel that committed a crime against a helpless woman years ago, and now their lives have come full circle as they are all gathered in her home for a very unlikely event.

As a travelling preacher suddenly finds himself on death's doorstep, the young girl that travels with him seeks the help of some local residents in rural Nebraska in hopes that the preacher's passing will be swift and painless.  The men that she runs into are men that haven't seen each other since many years ago, but have been harboring a deep, dark secret since then.

These men have felt guilty for the crimes they have committed and seem to be able to move on with their lives as the crime has been unpunished up til this day.  One man has been released from prison for another crime, another has just returned from Iraq, and another has just been living an unfulfilled life in Point Blank, Nebraska.

As I mentioned this is a beautifully written story that is full of symbolism and hidden meanings, like the name of the town being Point Blank, and even the deficiency of the helpless woman.  There is so much to contemplate within this small novel that it would make for a great literary analysis for a college course or any English major.  For a person like me that just enjoys a great story that is written well, this book just didn't appeal to me.  There was very limited dialogue within the book and what there was you really had to search for as it wasn't obvious.  There was also a substantial amount of harsh language in this novel that I really thought was unnecessary.  I may have enjoyed the story more without some of the profanity.

So with that said I think you can tell that this novel was not appreciated by me, but that's not to say that you will not enjoy it.  This book is laced with themes, including but not limited to war, forgiveness, and death.  If you are looking for a story that you need to continually concentrate on while reading then this one is for you!

My Rating:  2/5

Disclosure:  This book was provided to me by the publicist in exchange for an honest review.


Anna said...

I read a book with very little dialogue a few months ago and that ruined it for me, so I think I'll pass on this one.

bermudaonion said...

I have a feeling I'm not smart enough for this book.

Ti said...

I read a write-up of this book somewhere but I was waiting for someone to review it. Too bad it didn't work for you. It sounds like a book I would like because I like to pick books apart to understand them.

Julie said...

Some books are ... LOL! (Just read bermudaonion's comment!) ... anyway, back on track ... some books have beautiful writing with no story to back them up or there is a story, but it's so buried that you have to concentrate too hard to make it worthwhile. This one sounds a bit esoteric, and there are definitely readers that appreciate that. You did a wonderful job writing up this review. We all have different tastes and certain eraders might give this one a five if it's right up their preferred alley! :) (I'm with bermudaonion on this one, however).

Unknown said...

Sorry this one didn't work for you! I really enjoyed it and found it worked for me on a religious level. I never enjoy vulgar language in books but I think it served its purpose for the characters who used it.