Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days
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Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days (Left Behind #1)

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3.73 of 5 stars 3.73  ·  rating details  ·  98,877 ratings  ·  2,343 reviews
When the Rapture occurs, thousands of people disappear, leaving behind a world of people who wonder what it means. Soon, a band of believers join to work together and rely on their faith in God as the end times begin.
Audio CD, 45 pages
Published November 17th 2000 by Recorded Books (first published January 1st 1995)
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Brad
It has been a long time since I read Left Behind, but I have one interesting memory of reading it that remains clear and is, I think, worthy of discussion. I'll get to that memory in a second, but first I must digress.

I read this book for a student of mine. She was a very nice lady who came into my English classes worried for everyone's souls (and I say this with all honesty). Left Behind was her favourite novel (her favourite book was The Bible, obviously), and she asked me to read it just afte...more
Summer
I felt left out of the Bad Books Club because I completely failed to get past the first chapter of The DaVinci Code, so I read this to keep up. And boy, is this one horrible book! And there's at least 11 more of them! (N.B. - I will not be reading the rest of the series)

The writing is beyond terrible. In a story that presents so many interesting narrative possibilities - the grief of those "left behind" after The Rapture, the breakdown of society after a massive tragedy, the personal pain and so...more
Nick Black
My mother demanded I read this in my senior year of high school (I was no slouch reader or anything, I assure; this was indeed punishment for a handful of books the parents had found, and thrown away -- Henry Miller, The Story of O, Beyond Good and Evil, and for some incomprehensible reason Invisible Man, which all ought indicate the parents as not particularly illiterate people themselves (aside from the Ellison, their Index Librorum Prohibitorum at least evidenced a self-coherent ethos), and g...more
Greg
Most people do now know that I have read 7 of the 13 Left Behind books (12 actually, but then they threw on that extra one, and this is not counting the prequels, the kids versions and the horrendous graphic novels: Armageddon can pay off nicely as long as it's delayed). I don't hide the fact, it just doesn't come up that often. I would have read all of them, but when I went through my Left Behind phase these were the only ones out. The phase lasted I think 2 weeks. The books read quickly.

Why?

O...more
Allen
Jul 06, 2008 Allen rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: nobody with a functioning neuron
Shelves: religion
I usually have students fill out a card at the start of the semester with information like their major, where they went to high school, etc. One thing I always ask is what book they read most recently. The Left Behind series started showing up on those cards a lot a few years ago, so I decided to read the first one to see what they were like.

This is absolutely the worst-written book that I've ever picked up. The dialogue is painful, the characters are wooden, the descriptions are hackneyed. In...more
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Apr 18, 2009 Joshua Nomen-Mutatio rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: Satirical Critique
Recommended to Joshua Nomen-Mutatio by: Jesus, my mom
I'd totally forgot that my mom actually paid me 50 dollars to read this book when I was about 11 or 12. Yeah, she's pretty religious. She wanted me to read the second and third books of the series as well. I think I may have lied about reading the second one in order to get another payment. The memory's a bit fuzzy on this. The whole thing is actually kind of unsettling the more I think about it. It's a bit of a drag having parents that really believe in Jesus and heaven and hell.

Oh, and obvious...more
Kelly  Maybedog
I gave it a go, I really really did. The series is so popular and my ex really enjoys the books (ok, they're the only books he ever read, so maybe that should have told me something) so I thought I'd be open-minded and try it. After all, I did like the movie The Rapture and I love religious science fiction.

This, however, is thinly disguised right-wing propaganda. I can respect people who think differently than I do as long as they respect me back. This book does no such thing. They manage to twi...more
Lori
i read this entire series.....almost non stop...
they came out with a prequel series, but i figured how many times can you beat a dead horse....

This series was really really good.
I didnt know how i was going to like it, not being a practicing catholic and all, but even if it doesnt keep to scripture 100%, it gives you enough of an eye-opener....

I remember thinking, wow. If this really happened, i would be one of the ones suffering through all this. And what would it take for me turn and accept...more
Robert Beveridge
Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins, Left Behind (Tyndale, 1995)

So I figured after nine years, it was time for me to get around to reading the first book in the bestselling Christian fiction series in history, Left Behind. I had always avoided it, not because of the subject matter, but by and large books that break records tend to be writ large by those with the wit, talent, and grammatical skill of overly enthusiastic six-year-olds. Dame Barbara Cartland, Danielle Steel, Tom Clancy, John Grisham, S...more
A Rye
Jun 07, 2007 A Rye rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: no one
Shelves: fiction, crap
This...should not be considered literature....
This...is eschatological pornography...

The narrative and dialogue within this series is simply pedestrian.
Rabindranauth
Every few years, a ship loaded with cheap books, Logos, comes to Guyana. Incidentally, that's where I got my first Lord of the Rings book, The Two Towers. Gorgeous, deep blue cover. Anyways, after you cash, as you left the deck, there's a guy who was giving these out free, 1 per person, stacks of boxes packed with em.

It's pretty obvious why these books are only worth sharing out for free. I've never seen such an excellent story idea get so shot to shit because the author hops up on his high hor...more
Jason
It would be unfortunate enough were the prose this book's lone problem. But as knuckle-headedly indelicate (Jenkins describing Carpathia as "not unlike a young Robert Redford" on 114 and later Jenkins's character describing Carpathia as "a young Robert Redford" on 232) and heavy-handed ("you might be asking Carpathia to turn against his own angels" on 231) and weirdly unfunny when attempting to be funny (the entire flirtatious cookie exchange between Buck and Chloe: 365-367 and 372-375) and crin...more
Matt Mazenauer
I thought at first that I wouldn't be who this book was aimed at, but instead, I found the opposite. Since all the devout Christians have been taken by the Rapture, the protagonists are a mix of atheists, agnostics, Christmas Christians, even seemingly devout Christians who could have been truer. This means that no matter where you fall on the devout scale you have someone to follow through the tribulations fo teh Rapture. There's fun semi apocalyptic planes falling from sky disaster movie after...more
Rachel
I read the whole series but I can't remember which book was which at this point. So I'm rating the series overall as a 4.

The story begins the day after the rapture. Everyone who was "left behind" has to figure out what happened. Was it aliens or a terrorist attack? The story unfolds over the books and you get to watch people come to terms with the reality of the situation. You get to see the rise of the antichrist and how so may people don't understnad what's really going on.

The series as a who...more
Lauren
Sep 13, 2007 Lauren rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: believers and non-believers alike
if you grew up in church like i did, this first book of the series will terrify you. the rest will keep you spell bound.

i would recommend these books to anyone though, they are fantastic and very well written.

they reference scripture a lot and i like to book mark those places and go back and read the scripture later. its amazing.
Jon
Apr 04, 2013 Jon added it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Jon by: Brad Simkulet
Julia
The concept is great: what would the Biblical end times prophecies really look like if they happened today? How could the ancient words of Isaiah and Revelation actually play out in today's world? What if the rapture occurred right now?!!

While some elements are admittedly intriguing (the anti-Christ's rise to power, the underground believers' economy, the covert operations) one frustration for me is the characters' glaring lack of depth. With maybe a few exceptions, these are flat, unrealistic s...more
Julie
some of the worst books, ever, god bless them!

i derive a sort of masochistic pleasure in reading them. i actually didn't read them, i listened to them. i couldn't actually spend that time simply reading....i was reading and doing yardwork, or knitting, or something productive.

these books suck! oh god, do they suck.
they had potential for excellent apocalyptic death, disaster and destruction...but they were too heavy on the finding-jesus part, and too light on the destruction part. stephen king s...more
Trent Mikesell
I think whether or not you enjoy this book depends on what you consider a "good" book. If you think all good books are well written, then this is probably isn't for you. If you think good books have to be 100% accurate, then this book probably isn't for you. However, if, like me much of the time, you think good fiction books should make you WANT to keep reading (even to the point of staying up late), then you may enjoy this book.

I remember when this book came out and it sounded interesting. I f...more
jess
Basically, I thought this was one of the most mind-numbingly idiotic books I have ever read. It was.... a fast read. That is the kindest thing I can say. Oh, wait. No! The kindest thing I can say is that this fulfilled a reading challenge. I basically read it on a dare.

If you are ever like, "I am so far removed from religious evangelist people. I wonder exactly how people get sucked into completely illogical, mind-numbingly stupid, culty shit like Christianity End Times Rapture Prophecies, etc"...more
Terence
One of my managers at work actually reccomended this book to me after I told I had read 'The Road'. I have to admit that I was skeptical going into this book only because I knew some of the background due to publicity surrounding the movies. I didn't feel much like reading a bunch of quoted Bible scripture - but I was happy to discover that there wasn't much of that in the book.

The story focuses primarily around a core group of characters all tied together following a mysterious worldwide disapp...more
Mont'ster
First thing (this is very important) This book is a novel. LaHaye has very premillenial viewpoints in all of his writing and he doesn't apologize for that. Read this book for what it is - entertainment, not an eschatology textbook. LaHaye has written many books explaining his views on the end times - if you want the "why" on this subject, almost anything by Tim LaHaye will do; here he is just having fun.
This is a fast paced novel so if you read this book expecting a lesson in eschatology, you w...more
Emily
A few months ago, as a part of my overall campaign to read anything and in particular things I don't necessarily expect to like, I read Left Behind, the bestselling Christian thriller that took major publishers by major surprise. I thought it would be a good insight into the reading interests of what less restrained New Yorkers call "the flyover states." And maybe it would upend my expectations, as did The Communist Manifesto in 1992, sparking my short but irritating socialist phase.

The surprisi...more
Rachel
I'll use this one review for all the books of this series I've read (just to save time)and that's inclusive of 1-10. I truly enjoyed them, some a little more than others, but that's probably more of a reaction to my over indulgence than anything on the authors part (I was averaging three or four a week around school, yeah too much, kind of like a kid having too much candy and getting ill) These books are creative, action packed, display the gospel credibly and made me care about the characters....more
Mykle
I'm not going to finish this. I thought it would be good research, but it moves so painfully slow, and not a page passes without either a really hackneyed sentence or a totally implausible geopolitical plot twist.

(For example: Russia, at the outset of the story, attacks Israel, attempting to carpet-bomb them back to pre-biblical times. Why would Russia's leaders do such a thing? In order to steal Israel's fertilizer, of course! Even more implausible: Russia is unable to undertake such a balls-o...more
Bill
I really tried to like these books. I actually forced myself to read 6-1/2 of them before I finally gave up in disgust. They are just so badly written as to be unreadable. It's not the subject matter. It's the handling. The characters aren't even two-dimensional. The plots are so implausible that I found myself groaning out loud many times. These guys really REALLY needed to hire a ghost writer!!! Avoid at all costs. If you are like me and kept hoping the books would get better as the series pro...more
MadMelvina
Not worth the paper it's printed on, what a piece of shit, I couldn't even finish it. It is THAT BAD. If there was a 1/4 star I would give it that. I read it (or tried to) when it first came out and was causing such a buzz in the Christian community, I wanted to see what it was all about. It was a difficult slog from page 1. It's SO poorly written, the characters are as one dimensional as possible, the dialogue is SO bad, there aren't enough words to describe how B-A-D this book is. The most ala...more
Rachel L
Sep 30, 2008 Rachel L rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: christians and people curious about the bible
Recommended to Rachel by: my mom
Left Behind is a book based biblically on the interpretation of what the end times could be like. It begins with the calling of all the Christians to join Christ in Heaven. All of the people that are "Left Behind" have to go through the tribulation. Buck Williams experiences what happend when he is flying on an airplane and people disappear only leaving their clothes. The pilot is also a main character who has to try and calm people down when their loved ones have simply disappeared off an airpl...more
Kohl Gill
Oct 15, 2013 Kohl Gill rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition Recommends it for: people curious about modern Christian end-times paranoia
In all speculative fiction, there's an element of reasoning, a conceit, that describes why the speculative world is different from our own. For sci-fi, it's often the fact that the story takes place far away, in the far future; for fantasy it's often a different world with an alternative history. I usually pay close attention to the conceit; the acceptance of the conceit allows me to suspend disbelief and enjoy the story being told in this new and interesting backdrop.

And I happen to take religi...more
NumberLord
I read this book (and the rest of the series) back before it hit any best-seller lists. I've always been a fan of apocalyptic literature (Salem Kirban anyone?), so this interested me right away.

The series is decent. It's easy reading, with a good mixture of adventure and drama. I give the authors extra points for some of the extra-scriptural additions (the cross markings on the foreheads of the believers--nice touch). But I have to deduct a few dozen points for their portrayal of the Anti-Christ...more
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E-book Free of Left Behind 25 146 Apr 13, 2014 06:29AM  
its funny how they call this christian fiction... 1322 1184 Apr 06, 2014 11:02AM  
The Left Behind series: Yay or Nay? 43 198 Feb 04, 2014 10:07PM  
A Broad Discussion on the Series. . . 8 75 Jun 10, 2013 02:45PM  
Christian Readers: Anyone want to buy the Left Behind series on Audio CD 3 12 Jan 21, 2013 01:18AM  
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15451
Timothy F. LaHaye is an American conservative evangelical Christian minister, author, and speaker. He is best-known for the Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction, which he co-wrote with Jerry B. Jenkins. He has written over fifty books, both fiction and non-fiction.
More about Tim LaHaye...
Tribulation Force (Left Behind, #2) Nicolae (Left Behind, #3) Soul Harvest (Left Behind, #4) Apollyon (Left Behind, #5) Assassins (Left Behind, #6)

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