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4.17 of 5 stars 4.17  ·  rating details  ·  307 ratings  ·  51 reviews
If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says.

Tallis, a philosopher's servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, ominously disappeared. No one will tell him what happened, but he learns what has become of four of its scholars. One was murdered. One committed suicide. One worships in the temple of Dion
Paperback, 320 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Moody Publishers
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"Madman" is a historical novel that tells the imagined backstory of the two demon possessed men in the region of the Gadarenes from the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark and Luke. It is the third novel from Tracy Groot.

Tallis is a young Athenian scholar and servant. Eight years ago his master helped found a new academy, staffed by a group of brilliant scholars across the Sea of Gallilee. When his master asks Tallis to visit the school he believes it wiil be a quick trip, nothing more than a week
Carrie Hines
While an interesting read there just wasn't enough Jesus in it. If it wasn't for Jesus Tracy Groot wouldn't even have the source to write from. We wouldn't even know about the demoniac. There was more creepiness in it than I am used to so I felt creeped out the whole time while reading it. Just a weird place and I wasn't saying "ahhh - what a great book" after finishing it. The one thing I will say that is very positive is that I never gave thought to the idea that the storm that Jesus and His d ...more
Jan 23, 2008 Jeff rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Age 17 and up
Recommended to Jeff by: My wife
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
I am not a fan of most contemporary Christian fiction as it is not usually very well written, and Madman certainly had its technical issues. However, the premise (the imagined back story of the man in the Bible whose evil spirits caused a herd of pigs to run off a cliff when Jesus cast them out of him) was really interesting--fresh, creative and cleverly developed. The book is really about what caused the man to become possessed in the first place and is told from a third person point of view by ...more
Tallis, an Athenian servant, has been sent to visit the Palestinian school his master has been supporting financially for the past few years. To his surprise, he discovers that the school is no longer in existence; to his dismay, he finds that no one wants to acknowledge it ever existed. Through persistence, he’s able to learn that one of the former teachers was murdered, one committed suicide, one now worships in the temple of Dionysus, six are missing or in hiding, and one has become a madman. ...more
I stayed up all night reading this book. It's 3 A.M. and I just couldn't put it down. It was slow in parts but never slow enough to make me want to put it down. The language was beautiful, almost poetic, and the imagery was fantastic. Overall, this was a surprising five-star read.
The book is not a light read. It takes time and devotion.I am a Catholic who goes to mass more or less regularly, I took all the sacraments, I studied Bible and still read it from time to time but I've never registered a part of the story about Jesus on Galilee Lake speaking with the madman. I did remember him waking up in the boat and stopping the storm but not about him talking with the madman. I'm not sure why that is but I was on vacation with limited access to the Internet and my Bible was ...more
This book took a LONG time to get through. That's not a statement on the quality of the story. It was given to me as a paperback, which makes it cumbersome compared to the digital reading I've gotten used to the last few years.

After two years of reading a few pages at a time, I was about 100 pages into it on Independence Day 2012, and devoted myself to finishing the book by the end of the day. It took hours of off and on reading from about 6 AM to 9 PM, but I did it.

As for the story, this is a
I think this book should actually get 4.5 stars. Groot took the setting found in the book of Matthew where Jesus healed the demon-possessed man and wove a tale around this man. The main character is not the man himself, but the servant of a wealthy scholar who is sent to Galilee to investigate a school of learners who had not been heard from in years. Don't be expecting a 'preachy' story - the author makes her point about deception, strongholds of the mind, spiritual forces both evil and good, a ...more
Jul 17, 2008 Jessica rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: 16+
When I picked this book up off the shelf I took one look at the cover and thought to myself, "Madman???!!!" But oh, how surprised I was!! One of the most emotionally gripping books I think I've ever read! From the very beginning I found myself at the edge of my seat, waiting, for the redemption in the end that I knew Christ alone could give to this man, suffering from his own dreadful sins.
Though a wonderful book, I have to say I wouldn't recommend it to anyone under 16 years of age, since it i
Amy Riccio
I read this book in less than a day. This author is SO overlooked in Christian fiction. Wow. She really does her research and gets to the spirit of the scriptures. This book is based on the Gerasene demoniac and even though her story is fictional leading up to his deliverance, it is moving, touching, and shows the power of Jesus to heal! I loved it.
This book came highly recommended by my sister. I really enjoy the occasional historical fiction novel. Especially when they give some cultural context to the oh-so-familiar yet somewhat-lacking-in-apparent-relevance stories of the Bible. This is the story from the gospels of the demoniac at the Decapolis. Or rather, what his story might have been.

The story itself was rather enjoyable. I think i had a hard time getting past the humor and personal interactions that seemed to hinge on modern-day
I will buy a book on the discount rack with out blinking an eye, that way if it is horrible, I only blew 5 or so bucks.

However, more often than not, especially in the case of Christian Fiction, I have been VERY Successful. (My first Mary DeMuth book was on the clearance rack).

And this is another home run.


The story centers around a small village near the sea of Galilee. Many of the characters are/were members of a Greek Academy of Philosophy when something happened.

We discover exactly what th
While I wish there had been more about Jesus, and about how He is the only one who can save us from all our demons, it was a good book, well written, with some interesting ideas about what may have happened before and after the story we are told in the Bible.
Even though this was religious in nature, I didn't notice it till the end. I enjoyed this because the story was well written and the characters were well composed.
Sonia Reppe
Dec 14, 2007 Sonia Reppe rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: suspense/horror lovers
Starts off as a mystery but has elements of horror as things are revealed: child sacrifice, cannibalism, demoniac rituals. (Not my cup of tea, but I read it for a book group). The end could've saved it, but to me it was disappointing because I didn't get much from the main character and the climax I had already read in the bible. As for the supposed spiritality in the book, there were only two spots in the book that touch on this topic. Once, when the servent Samir speaks lamely about "two Truth ...more
Carolyn (in SC) C234D
I read this several years ago, and didn't note much of what I thought of it. The story takes place in ancient times, in Palestine. I did say that it painted an interesting picture of the times, but I cannot remember much now. Some quoted lines: "You can choose." "You cannot choose for another." "To believe we can make a good choice is hard work." and "Our choice for good will always aid another." As I read I was wondering about the time period, and it turned out to be the time of Christ.

Wish I c
This is one of my favorite books of historical biblical fiction. It's dark and mysterious – keeps you gripped until the last page.
Susie Finkbeiner
Honestly, I wish I could give this book more than just 5 stars. It is one of the finest pieces of historical fiction I've read. Groot wrote from a mingling of passion and knowledge. This story could only be told with that combination, in my opinion.

I could hardly pull myself away from this novel, needing to know what would happen to the characters I'd become so invested in. I am glad that Tracy Groot has written other books. I'm eager to dive into those stories as well.

Highly recommended for th
I was hooked from the beginning. A "fly on the wall" look at how the culture may have possibly been, at the time of Jesus' ministry. Even though He doesn't enter the story until the last few pages, this story depicts a culture ripe for salvation - from "black magic" to dependably weak human nature. The author depicts madness with all it's pain, horror, and misery. This isn't a story for the Disney-story-minded casual reader. One line from the story may give a hint: "The man in the boat brought y ...more
Lena Hartshorn
I would give this 5 stars for story and content! I am taking it down one purely because it is very slow going at the outset because of story build up. But, it is totally worth it! I enjoyed digging into the perspective of the man who was possessed by demons, how it felt to be inside his head. I was also really amazed at how it was meant to be a story where Jesus played a key role and yet he didn't "show up" until the very last chapter. And of course, you have to appreciate that she made an entir ...more
King the series
One of the best books I've ever read! Actually I've read it twice, about ready for a third time.
Groot's compelling plot moves this story of the Geresene Demoniac along. And although you know how it ends if you've read Matthew, Mark or Luke, her narrative and plot twists make this a page-turner. But by far the best part about the book is the illumination of scripture that she adds. A twist on a story of Jesus at the end left me rushing to the Gospels to check it out - and sure enough, it wasn't poetic license she took, it was right there in scripture and I just missed it all these years. An ...more
Jenn Bakhuyzen
Aug 06, 2014 Jenn Bakhuyzen marked it as to-read
recommended by Jason Grey on FB; good religious historical novel.
Amazing book! The story was mesmerizing!
Michael Keren
Didn't realize at the start that this was a Christian fiction book. The story was compelling and held my interest until Jesus came in to solve all the problems with his miracles. Actually made Jesus feel like a cheap literary ploy for a stuck author. The story is about a Roman scholar in Palestine at the start of the Christian era who is driven mad by the forces of Dionysus. Several other scholars and their servants attempt to cure him, but are also pulled into the madness.
This novel was a surprisingly rich and thought-provoking read. The plot's tension increased through every page as bit by bit, as the mystery of four men and their dark demises were unraveled. The contrasts between Greek and Jewish culture and the discussions about the world of Greek philosophy made 'Madman' an even more interesting and intriguing read. Hopefully, Tracy Groot will write more in the vein of this gripping and original novel.
Dan Christy
This book had so much potential, but I think there were too many directions for it to go so it sort of didn't go anywhere. The ending made it feel like the author reached a certain number of pages and said "oh, I need to wrap up all these loose ends, what's the quickest way I can do that?" The story itself was interesting and compelling, but the book overall left me feeling like I didn't find out anything.
Amazing, touching story based on the demoniac in the graveyard that Jesus exorcised. Tracy Groot writes almost poetically in her descriptions that make you see clearly & feel the exact emotion she is trying to convey. I also loved how there were at least 3 different stories going on that were entertwined like a grapevine that flowed easily in & out from one another & eventually met up as one in the end.
Madman by Tracy Groot

I am currently one-fourth completed with this book.

Tallis, the servant of Callimachus sets out to discover the truth of what happened to the Academy of Socrates in Palestine. He learns that some of the teachers have died in mysterious circumstances. He also learns of a local legend of the madman who will cause people to run in pure terror. What will he do? What will he find?
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River North Ficti...: Madman 1 1 Aug 18, 2011 09:30AM  
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Tracy Groot is the critically acclaimed and Christy Award–winning author of several works of historical fiction. Her books have received starred Booklist and Publishers Weekly reviews and have been called "beautifully written" and "page-turning" by Publishers Weekly, and "gripping" with "exquisitely drawn" characters by Library Journal.

Tracy and her husband have three sons and together own a coff
More about Tracy Groot...
Flame of Resistance The Sentinels of Andersonville The Brother's Keeper Stones of My Accusers The Brother's Keeper / Stones of My Accusers

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