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4.11  ·  Rating Details ·  405 Ratings  ·  64 Reviews
If there is a way into madness, logic says there is a way out. Logic says. Tallis, a philosopherâs servant, is sent to a Greek academy in Palestine only to discover that it has silently, omin ...more
Paperback, 316 pages
Published April 1st 2006 by Moody Publishers
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Feb 24, 2009 Andy rated it it was amazing
"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
Jun 28, 2012 Carrie rated it liked it
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 really liked it
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.
Mar 14, 2013 Sharon rated it really liked it
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
Nov 26, 2008 Lighthearted rated it really liked it
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.
Cindy Tucker
Nov 25, 2015 Cindy Tucker rated it liked it
Interesting study of the madman from the Gerasene country. A novel of what may have led to his madness and how encountering Jesus transformed and healed him.
Ben Aurich
Dec 08, 2016 Ben Aurich rated it really liked it
The beauty of this story is its ability to paint a much more vivid portrait of the biblical narrative.
Sep 23, 2010 Frana rated it it was amazing
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
Leah Fender
Feb 16, 2016 Leah Fender rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This was one of my favorite books! I love historical fiction though, so this was right up my alley! It was a little slow going at first, but it quickly picked up speed. Madman tells the fictional backstory of the demon possessed man from the Gospel accounts of Matthew, Mark, and Luke (during Jesus' ministry). Although you know how it ends if you've read the Gospels, her narrative and plot twists makes this a book hard to put down!

The story revolves around Tallis, a Greek philosopher's servant, w
Jul 04, 2012 Eric rated it it was amazing
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
Jul 17, 2008 Jessica rated it it was amazing
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
May 27, 2008 Annie rated it really liked it
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
Nov 07, 2015 JustSaying rated it it was amazing
Set in the biblical era, Tracy Groot paints a vivid backdrop against which to understand this pivotal passage from the history of the Meshiach on earth. At times our modern understanding of scripture prevents us from grasping the details of things we read in the text. Groot pulls back the curtain of time and deposits you in this world, this culture. Her greatest success her ability to portray the details and customs of the time without the buildup of the novel ever breaking stride. Secondarily, ...more
Feb 13, 2008 emily rated it liked 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
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
Aug 21, 2010 Molly rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010
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
Sep 10, 2011 Becky rated it it was amazing
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
Jan 29, 2016 Angel rated it it was amazing
This is the story of the possessed man in the bible that Christ freed from the Legion of demons(herd of pigs if that rings a bell) but if you expect it to start with that it doesn't. This book tells the story of how it leads up to that, gives a whole background to how the man may of opened himself up to the demons, etc., through the eyes of a man who comes to investigate what happens to a school founded in Palestine by his master. Very good read and interesting background info. Does go a bit pas ...more
Sonia Reppe
Dec 14, 2007 Sonia Reppe rated it it was ok
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
Lena Hartshorn
Jul 05, 2013 Lena Hartshorn rated it really liked it
Shelves: favorites
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
Oct 12, 2007 Claudia rated it really liked it
Despite the surprising Jesus saves message which popped up near the end this was a pretty good book. The writing was often intense and captivating, and overall Tracy Groot spun a very good story. Even though I typically dislike Christian propoganda, this was a great novel from a historical point of view, and it was my choice to continue reading until the end. I really enjoyed the focus on Greek mythology, especially after having just read the Bacchae, and would recommend this novel to religious ...more
Oct 28, 2007 Heather rated it it was amazing
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
Oct 22, 2015 Rich rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: kindle-edition
Excellent writing, incredible research. A bit hasty in wrapping everything up -- so much good work was done to develop the characters in the first portions of the book that I was left wanting to see more in terms of resolution and outcomes. In a few places, an inexplicable change of heart or a convenient death made for a handy escape from difficult plot issues, leaving me feeling like the woman who did such a good job crafting the rest of the book could certainly have done more to resolve these ...more
Susie Finkbeiner
Jan 26, 2014 Susie Finkbeiner rated it it was amazing
Shelves: es-done
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
Dan Christy
Dec 10, 2013 Dan Christy rated it liked it
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.
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?
Michael Keren
Jul 23, 2013 Michael Keren rated it liked it
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.
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.
Oct 12, 2015 Marla rated it really liked it
Very interesting historical fiction around the temple worship of Dionysus and the evil that was welcomed in by some and gripped by others. I almost gave it a 3 star because sometimes I didn't follow the craziness that was going on inside the evil. Maybe that's the point. Jesus was portrayed as a mystery. Likely accurately depicted from their perspective. Still emotional to read how Jesus retores.
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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 grown sons and a daughter-in
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