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The Last Day: A Novel

1 rating: 3.0
A book by James Landis

Starred Review. It's tough to do a guy-meets-Jesus book and not be too pious for some and/or too heretical for others. Landis (Longing), a former editor-in-chief at William Morrow, walks a line somewhere between in this ambitious and lyrical story of … see full wiki

Tags: Book
Author: James Landis
Publisher: Steerforth
1 review about The Last Day: A Novel

It's not The Shack

  • Sep 8, 2009
Rating:
+3
It doesn't do a lot of good to summarize the storyline of The Last Day. The story itself is secondary to the points the author is making. Warren Pease returned from the Iraq war confused and alone. While on a New Hampshire beach, he meets Jesus (Ray) and spends the day, with Jesus, visiting those he most loves. The heart of the story is revealed during the visits and what each one takes from the encounter, including the reader.

This really isn't the type of book I would normally pick up. It is way outside of what I normally read or enjoy reading. It was advertised as appealing to those who enjoyed The Shack. I liked The Shack. I didn't think it was incredible, but I did enjoy it. The Last Day is not at all like The Shack. It might be attempting to be, but it's closer to Max Lucado than The Shack.

There were parts of The Last Day I completely enjoyed. I liked the interactions between Warren and those he spent the day with. They revealed a lot about each character and added depth to the story. I particularly appreciated Ryan's part and character. It was a bit unexpected and refreshing. Additionally, the flashbacks to the war were very interesting, though at times a bit saturated with acronyms and gun technicalities that caused my attention to waver

My main complaint was the writing style. It's a lyrical/dreamy style, but at times was confusing to figure out exactly what was being said. It also made the story feel long and plodding. Probably the major incorrect retelling of a Bible story was due to this style. This is quoted from The Last Day, Page 121. "Herod hears about Jesus getting famous. So he arrests Jesus' cousin, John, which Herod figures will get a lot of attention since John has just risen from the dead." I don't remember John rising from the dead. According to Matthew 14:1-2, At that time Herod the tetrarch heard about the fame of Jesus, and he said to his servants, "This is John the Baptist. He has been raised from the dead; that is why these miraculous powers are at work in him." Anyway, I serious doubt that Landis was trying to say John rose from the dead, but that's sure what it sounds like. There were some other areas where the writing style made the scripture interpretation a bit hazy, but again I don't think it was intentional.

Anyway, The Last Day is pretty good. It's a story about mending relationships, growing up as well as together. Living life and leaving behind. However, outside of possibly being able to generate some controversy from a non-traditional Jesus, it's not like The Shack.

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