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Left Behind (Left Behind #1)

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3.8  ·  Rating Details ·  155,057 Ratings  ·  3,103 Reviews
An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun
Mass Market Paperback, 342 pages
Published September 1st 2000 by Tyndale House Publishers (first published November 12th 1995)
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J.T. Livingston There are 16 books in this series (to include the prequels and sequels); they are so good that I have read the entire series twice. The three movies…moreThere are 16 books in this series (to include the prequels and sequels); they are so good that I have read the entire series twice. The three movies that were made just do not do the books justice, in my opinion; they left too much out. These books will remain in my library forever, and no doubt, I will read them all a couple of more times--God willing!(less)

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Brad
Dec 05, 2013 Brad rated it liked it
Shelves: shabby
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
Jan 01, 2008 Summer rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2007, novels
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
Dec 06, 2010 Nick Black rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
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
Allen
Jul 06, 2008 Allen rated it did not like it
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
Greg
Dec 29, 2013 Greg rated it liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Ancient
Nov 17, 2015 Ancient rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: absolutely no one
Shelves: fiction, f-this-crap
Left Behind is one of the most wretchedly awful books I have ever forced myself to read.

If possible, I would give this book zero stars. Only by sheer willpower and by listening to the audio book one short installment at a time was I able to get through this one. Whole essays/rants could be written on how much this book sucks, but I'll limit myself to just a couple observations.

The worst thing about LB isn't LaHaye's crazy religious beliefs, it's the fact that it's such a horribly written pi
...more
Lori
Dec 05, 2013 Lori rated it really liked it
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
Joshua Nomen-Mutatio
Apr 18, 2009 Joshua Nomen-Mutatio rated it did not like it
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 H. (Maybedog)
Sep 13, 2008 Kelly H. (Maybedog) rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: no one
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
A Rye
Dec 16, 2009 A Rye rated it did not like it
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.
Robert Beveridge
Jan 19, 2008 Robert Beveridge rated it did not like it
Shelves: finished
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
Matt Mazenauer
Dec 05, 2013 Matt Mazenauer rated it really liked it
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 ...more
Trent Mikesell
Jan 09, 2009 Trent Mikesell rated it really liked it
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
Lauren
Dec 05, 2013 Lauren rated it it was amazing
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.
Jason
Dec 16, 2013 Jason rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Rachel
Dec 05, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
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
Mont'ster
Jun 18, 2007 Mont'ster rated it really liked it
Shelves: got-it, fiction
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
Terence
Dec 05, 2013 Terence rated it really liked it
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
Julie
Jun 23, 2008 Julie rated it did not like it
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
Melvina
Apr 30, 2008 Melvina rated it did not like it
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 ...more
jess
Jun 06, 2013 jess rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction, 2013
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
Julia
Dec 05, 2013 Julia rated it really liked it
Shelves: series, novels
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
Rachel L
Sep 30, 2008 Rachel L rated it it was amazing
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 ...more
Rachel
Dec 05, 2013 Rachel rated it really liked it
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
Mar 30, 2009 Mykle rated it did not like it
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
Jan 28, 2008 Bill rated it did not like it
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 ...more
Denise
Jul 01, 2014 Denise rated it it was amazing
Left Behind by Tim LaHaye and Jerry B. Jenkins is one of those books that has become a Christian fiction classic. I've read and enjoyed this book several times. It seems like many of the negative reviewers of this book treat it like it's supposed to be a nonfiction, completely accurate description of the end times. I think the best way to look at this book is as it is written - a fictional book. I take it as more of a "what if?" scenario of the end times. Of course we can't know exactly what is ...more
Emily
Nov 10, 2009 Emily rated it did not like it
Shelves: 2002
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
David Sarkies
Jan 29, 2015 David Sarkies rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: Absolutely Nobody
Recommended to David by: Some Christian Fundamentalists
Shelves: christian
A badly written story about the end times
17 August 2012

Now, I am going to try to write this commentary without using any profanity whatsoever, namely because I have yet to encounter a commentary where somebody has not used some form of profanity in relation to this book (and these people are Christians as well). Look, I admit that there are books out there that are rubbish (this book included) but I personally feel that somebody who is skilled in the use of the English Language can easily descri
...more
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Timothy "Tim" F. LaHaye was an American evangelical Christian minister, author, and speaker, best known for the Left Behind series of apocalyptic fiction, which he co-wrote with Jerry B. Jenkins.

He has written over 50 books, both fiction and non-fiction.
More about Tim LaHaye...

Other Books in the Series

Left Behind (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Tribulation Force (Left Behind, #2)
  • Nicolae (Left Behind, #3)
  • Soul Harvest: The World Takes Sides (Left Behind, #4)
  • Apollyon (Left Behind, #5)
  • Assassins (Left Behind, #6)
  • The Indwelling (Left Behind, #7)
  • The Mark (Left Behind, #8)
  • Desecration (Left Behind, #9)
  • The Remnant (Left Behind, #10)
  • Armageddon: The Cosmic Battle of the Ages (Left Behind, #11)

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“Dear God, I admit that I’m a sinner. I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me and save me. I ask this in the name of Jesus, who died for me. I trust in him right now. I believe that the sinless blood of Jesus is sufficient to pay the price for my salvation. Thank you for hearing me and receiving me. Thank you for saving my soul.” 3 likes
“The Bible says that to those who receive him, he gives the power to become sons of God. That’s what Jesus is—the Son of God. When we become sons of God, we have what Jesus has: a relationship with God, eternal life, and because Jesus paid our penalty, we also have forgiveness for our sins.” 3 likes
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