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Hear No Evil: Marching in the Lord's Army, Fleeing the Devil, and Finding a Righteous Groove

3.67  ·  Rating Details  ·  190 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Every Life Has a Soundtrack.

If you’ve ever had the opening bars of a song transport you back in time or remind you of a pivotal spiritual moment, Matthew Paul Turner’s honest—and frequently hilarious—musings will strike a chord. Straightforward and amusing, Hear No Evil is Turner’s “life soundtrack,” a compilation of engaging personal stories about how music—and music’s ab
Paperback, 240 pages
Published February 16th 2010 by WaterBrook Press (first published January 1st 2010)
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Community Reviews

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Mar 14, 2010 Katie rated it liked it
I received this book through the "First Reads" program.

I was disappointed by this book, but it's hard to tell if I was disappointed because of its shortcomings or because of the shortcomings of the genre it is part of and the virtual flood of books out of that genre in the last couple of years. I'm not sure I can think of a catchy shorthand to describe the genre, but it consists of memoirs by relatively young Christian people who were raised either fundamentalist or otherwise very strictly, rebe
Feb 19, 2010 Crystal rated it really liked it
I love music and that is why when I was offered this book I jumped at the chance. Through my reviewing I have been branching out and non-fiction is one of the areas I have branched out in. I have to say I did not know what to expect when I started reading this book. However when I started, I could hardly put it down. Why you might ask? Well here's several reasons:

Mr. Turner has an amazing sense of humor. He uses irony and sarcasm and wit through the book and I honestly would find myself laughing
Good Reads/First Reads Book. This was a very fast, fun read. While I didn't grow up in a church like Turner's, I have met many people who did. If you ever feel like you have to fight the stereotype of Christianity, this will be a fun, worthwhile book. It discusses the music industry and how many Christians consider everything bad unless it's Christian radio. I hear it a lot and always roll my eyes, and it sounds like Turner does too. I read bits to my friends because we could all relate and many ...more
Mar 06, 2014 Christina rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2014-christina
This is a collection of thoughtful essays about the author's upbringing in a strict fundamentalist church and school, and how that affected his attitudes toward Christian and secular music. I could definitely relate to a lot of the material, having been brought up in a similar church and Christian school where there was much consternation about the "new" Christian music and what was considered acceptable. Most people would not find this subject material interesting (unless you are in the Christi ...more
Stephen Escalera
Dec 21, 2010 Stephen Escalera rated it really liked it
There is something strangely fascinating about reading other people's stories who have similar backgrounds to you. Perhaps it's reading of experiences you can relate to. Perhaps it's chuckling at the idiosyncrasies of people who sound JUST LIKE somebody you once knew. Or perhaps it's simply knowing that someone else besides you actually DID experience the same things you did and they turned out okay, too.

In Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music and the Holy Ghost, Matthew Paul Turner tells
Feb 18, 2010 Heather rated it really liked it
This is another book that I got as part of a blog tour. I have always been a big fan of music, so I thought this would be a good read. I was right.

Matthew Paul Turner grew up in a very strict - fundamentalist - church/family. I didn't realize just how sheltered some people are - and how extreme fundamentalists can be! Oddly, though, despite my growing up in a Charismatic church, I was almost as sheltered as he was. Especially when it came to music. I attended a church that STRONGLY discouraged
May 10, 2010 Cafelilybookreviews rated it it was ok

Matthew Paul Turner definitely knows how to shake things up. Hear No Evil was the first book of Turner’s that I had ever read and I found it painfully honest at times. As humorous as many of his stories and examples were, there were some times when I felt uncomfortable reading this book – mainly due to my theological differences. All through this book, I sensed that making others a bit uncomfortable and causing the reader to question why they view God the way that they do, is exactly what the au
Read In Colour
Feb 17, 2010 Read In Colour rated it really liked it
He was determined to be the Michael Jackson of Christian music. No really, in his pre-teen years, Matt Turner truly believed it was his destiny to set the Christian music world on fire by becoming the next MiJac.

Hear No Evil is the hilarious coming of age story of a boy raised in a strict Southern Baptist home where secular TV and music were forbidden and even Tammy Faye and the PTL Club were off limits. Though his parents, particularly his mother, go to great lengths to keep him on the straight
Alison Hunt
Apr 28, 2010 Alison Hunt rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-reviews
If there's something you don't know about me it's that I LOVE to read blogs. One of my current favorites to read is Matthew Paul Turner's JesusNeedsNewPR because of his sense of humor about Christian culture. A few months ago he put out an invitation on his blog to participate in a blog book tour for his soon to be released book Hear No Evil. So, I jumped at the opportunity to read and review his book before it's release on February 16, 2010.

From his beginnings in a fundamentalist church that pr
Bob Hayton
Hear No Evil is a collage of stories from Matthew Paul Turner's past. A former independent fundamental Baptist (IFB), Turner chronicles his spiritual journey with special attention to the role his love for music played.

As a former IFB myself, I could identify with many of his experiences. I was raised KJV only, and also used my Bible as an autograph book (for the great men of God who I was privileged to hear). One of Turner's memories is particularly relevant to the audience of my blog. Sadly it
May 19, 2010 Alise rated it it was amazing
What a great read! Really, I haven't read anything this quickly in a long time, but this one was fantastic.

I actually grew up in one of those homes that would have helped Matthew "rebel" by supplying him with music by Sandi Patti (his recollection of seeing her in concert actually made me choke up a little, remembering my own Sandi Patti concert experience!). My mom actually got into a bit of an argument with a minister we had met who had nothing but negative things to say about Christian rock.
Jen Yokel
Mar 09, 2010 Jen Yokel rated it really liked it
Shelves: memoir, blog-tours
Hear No Evil is a collection of honest, funny stories with music as its backdrop. Matthew grew up in an ultra-conservative Baptist church where famous preachers signed your Bible and being a Sandi Patty fan was a dirty little secret. The stories follow his life with music, from feeling called to be a Christian Michael Jackson at a Sea World otter show and adjusting to life at Belmont College, to working for CCM Magazine and learning to reconcile faith and love for R.E.M. and Joan Osborne. It's a ...more
Jan 09, 2013 Jim rated it really liked it
snarky, like everything people in their twenties write.
turner is about ten years-twenty years younger than me but much of the book still rings true. he was an editor of CCM, which i subscribed to back when it was Contempory Christian Music, tried to be a Christian musician cause God told him to be (i still have some embarrassing songs i wrote in my file cabinet) and believed the way of his church was the way. then he went to college.

he was touched by the songs of the "righteous fox", Amy Grant.
Monica Albright
I received the book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

I was very excited to receive this book and sink my teeth into it. It was a fun read. I really enjoyed the style in which Matthew Paul Turner writes. It's like reading someone's well written diary. I'm going to look for his other books to read too.

If I could give this book 3.5 stars, I would...I liked it...and almost really liked it. But, there were some chapters that I was left wanting more.... While reading some of the stories I felt a
Badly Drawn Girl
Jul 15, 2010 Badly Drawn Girl rated it liked it

I have to preface my review by saying that I am not a Christian in any traditional sense and I wasn't raised with religion. But I have spent my life searching for something greater than myself and have a wide variety of experiences regarding organized Christianity. I have always been interested in other people's beliefs and the topic of faith is fascinating to me.

This book is a quick and enjoyable read that isn't heavy handed about religion. It's a book that should be accessible to most anyone r
Sep 13, 2010 Bobby rated it liked it
I happened upon this book while straightening the religion section at work and decided to take it home albeit with low expectations.

Within the first few chapters, I found myself laughing out loud not something that happens a lot while I read especially in the lunch room at work. I quickly read the entire book with only a few lags in interest.

Instead of the watered-down humor filled with snarky cynacism at Christian culture that I expected, I found a very endearing author striving to make sense o
In this funny, sarcastic, and sometimes scathing reflection on the confusing subculture of contemporary Christianity and its soundtrack, Matthew Paul Turner, the former editor of CCM, shares stories about his budding interest in music and the attempts of his parents and community to shield him from the dangers of “the devil’s songs.”

The opening chapter is set at Fido’s, a coffeehouse/cafe in Nashville where I have spent a few mornings myself, and can easily picture the scene that Matthew describ
Robert Justice
Nov 29, 2014 Robert Justice rated it it was amazing
If you've read any of Matthew Paul Turner's stuff, you know two things about him already:
1) He comes from a very interesting fundamentalist Christian background
2) He knows how to write. Very well! And keep you laughing the whole time!!!

In what seems to me like a loose follow-up to his other memoir, "Churched", Turner gives us a few simple snapshots of his past in relationship to music. Growing up, Turner's parents never allowed him to listen to too much for fear that anything outside of tradit
Sandy Mckenzie
Feb 17, 2010 Sandy Mckenzie rated it it was amazing
I so related with the author. He and I both grew up in baptist churches in the South. He considered himself music deprived as his church was very conservative. My church was also. I remember when I was ten and the Beatles first album came out, I loved it and my grandpa (whom I grew up with ), thought it was 'devil music'. So I totally relate. I just wanted to be in the flower child generation and my grandparents thought I should hear nothing but old time gospel music. When God tells the author H ...more
Mar 28, 2010 Jim rated it really liked it
Man! Here, I thought I grew up in a pretty conservative religious home, but this book reveals that my upbringing wasn't even close to fundamentalism. That's not entirely the point of this book, but it is about springing free from that sort of upbringing and discovering a sense of grace in life and faith.

Matthew's writing style is sharp, witty, and laugh-out loud funny. And while it kept me very much engaged, the stories from the early part of the book (and from Matthews's early life) seemed sort
This was an intriguing novel. I liked the concept and how Matthew kept the stories flowing together and made everything fluid. Some of the elements of his life I could totally relate to: I grew up with certain music that was off limits but it was different to see modern music under the label "christian" was off limits for him. It was an interesting twist to see a different viewpoint from such a conservative stance and how Matthew slowly overcame this and developed his own set of beliefs about mu ...more
Sep 24, 2014 Jim rated it it was ok
Shelves: just-fun
This is an odd little book. I picked it up having enjoyed a few of Turner's other books and I was interested in his history going from fundamentalist Baptist to writing about Christian music. Unfortunately, he skips wholesale over the how of his story. The book is more like each chapter is a blog post (and maybe they were). It needs a better editor.
Scarlett Sims
Feb 09, 2011 Scarlett Sims rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: former Baptists, current Baptists
This music-inspired memoir takes the format of a series of vignettes detailing Turner's life as a Christian music fan and industry insider.

I feel like this book is most appreciated by people who grew up in the kind of conservative environment described in the book, or who are at least familiar with it. The writing style is humorous and conversational, yet I feel that outsiders from the culture he describes might not appreciate it quite as much. I think my husband would get more out of this book
Sep 26, 2012 Derek rated it it was amazing
Matthew Paul Turner's honest, self-effacing, and humorous memoir chronicles his journey from childhood in regard to the Christian music industry. He has included a number of vignettes from various points in his life that help illustrate his journey from an overly sheltered youth through being editor of CCM magazine (and beyond). Unlike some others, Turner manages to tell his stories in a way that demonstrates a level of respect for the industry, and although he uses humour and some sarcasm, he d ...more
Matt Miles
Jul 30, 2011 Matt Miles rated it really liked it
As someone who had to sneak in Contemporary Christian music myself, and later had to justify an enjoyment of good music in all its forms I found much of this book relatable. It's a series of stories about honesty, faith and hope in music, and ranges in topics from how to spot a Christian rocker to the problems with becoming the Christian Michael Jackson. It's funny, and raises some good questions. I'm not sure I agree with all of his points, but some moments (like his interview with Amy Grant an ...more
Adam Shields
Mar 11, 2010 Adam Shields rated it liked it
Full review at

Short review: I had mixed feelings about this book. As essays about Christian's perception of music (both Christian and non-Christian) it was interesting. I did not grow up in a stream of Christianity that rejected Christian rock completely, but I was aware that it was out there.

It also was good and illustrating some of the issues that Christians have with interacting with the wider culture in general.

Overall it was good, I liked the autho
Joy Matteson
I was hoping for more from this book--I wanted to hear more about the current CCM scene, but this book is more like a trip down memory lane for the author, from his fundamentalist independent Baptist roots (synonymous with hell-fire preaching, girls who can't wear jeans, and Satan music = rock n' roll) to his growing awareness of grace in his life. The author is a genuinely funny writer, whose anecdotes are more often hilarious than not. I thought of several people who would enjoy reading this b ...more
Jul 26, 2011 Matt rated it really liked it
The chapter on Sandi Patty alone is worth the price of the book; hilarious. It's amazing what a closed-minded, fundamentalist interpretation of Scripture can keep Christians from experiencing and enjoying. This book is refreshing in that Turner does not throw out all of his religious upbringing in one fell secular swoop. Rather, he approaches the reality of the existence of good non-Christian (read: anything not contained in the Baptist hymnal) music and the tension experienced by anyone who's b ...more
Mar 10, 2010 lori rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010
I have been following Matthew Paul Turner on Twitter for a while and I was excited to get the opportunity to review his new book. I read the entire thing on a plane - half on my flight out, the other half on my flight in. I think the poor souls who sat next to me thought I was insane, as I would bust out laughing every few minutes. What's not to love about a Christian making fun of Christians? So refreshing to finally hear a religious perspective from someone who doesn't take himself too serious ...more
Tim Sailer
Mar 05, 2010 Tim Sailer rated it it was ok
There was very little throughline. I mean, the anecdotes were interesting and funny sometimes, but often Turner leaps to another story within his stories, but you're not given any kind of warning.

This was one associative, scattered memoir that didn't quite deliver for me. I guess I was expecting more of a story. I thought we'd come back to the Overture, which was one of my favorite parts of the read. It's a fast, easy read so it's not like I wasted my time or anything. It wasn't organized well.
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