The Dirty Parts of the Bible
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The Dirty Parts of the Bible

3.41 of 5 stars 3.41  ·  rating details  ·  3,750 ratings  ·  539 reviews
It's 1936, and Tobias Henry is stuck in the frozen hinterlands of Michigan. Tobias is obsessed with two things: God and girls.

Mostly girls, of course.

But being a Baptist preacher's son, he can't escape God.

When his father is blinded in a bizarre accident (involving hard cider and bird droppings), Tobias must ride the rails to Texas to recover a long-hidden stash of mone...more
Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Sam Torode Books Arts (first published May 9th 2007)
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I read the book because it was well reviewed and suggested for people who enjoyed Water for Elephants and O Brother Where Art Thou, two brilliantly written works. This is not. Really, really not.

When listening to music, some people can't tell if a note is in tune or not. We call them tone deaf. Having seen so many glowing reviews of this book, I can only assume that the people giving it five stars suffer from the literary equivalent of tone deafness. It's poorly developed, badly edited, caught i...more
Every once in a while, and through dozens and dozens of book flops, a reader will stumble upon a gold mine. And stumble I did!

The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a diamond that seems to be hidden from the general population of book readers and lovers! Thanks to Pixel of Ink's daily blog, I took a chance on a free little gem one day, many months ago. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. I can't even remember if I read the description or was just enamored by the ingenious title. But there it sat on...more
The tale of Sarah and Tobias from the book of Tobit in the bible is retold in a story set during the depression with a bit of native American lore added. It's about a man raised in a conservative Baptist home in Minnesota whose preacher father commits acts that he admonishes others for who is sent to his fathers family in Texas for buried treasure to save his family from poverty. The treasure he finds is the extended family he never knew, his identity, and love. It's a quick coming of age story...more
I ran across this book while teaching my mother-in-law to use her new Kindle. We both found the title intriguing and laughed while reading the preview. I downloaded it back in March ($2.99) and read it this weekend while traveling.

It certainly will not go down as a masterpiece, but I found it enjoyable as a traveling companion as it was easy to put down and pick up and not taxing on the brain. The author's ending comments explaining his inspiration for the story made me want to go back to "sourc...more
I downloaded a sample of this book from the Kindle store months ago because it sounded charming and irreverent. I started reading it again this morning. I liked the first three chapters so much, I bought the ebook -didn't hurt it was only $0.99- and finished it.
There are some passages in this book that at one point convinced me this might be favorite bedtime reading with my kids some day (I'll be a weird dad, yes), but as the book progressed I felt myself losing the connection.
Around the last th...more
Mar 03, 2011 Erika rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: everyone
The Dirty Parts of the Bible
Author: Sammy Torode

The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a coming of age story sent in post depression America and is centered around a young boy named Tobias. Tobias is the son a Baptist preacher from Michigan, and he only has two things on his mind God and girls.

The adventure begins when Tobias’ father is blinded in a freak accident. This causes the preacher to send 20 year old Tobias across country to his hometown of Glen Rose, Texas to find money he buried in a dry wel...more
Matt Schiariti
I love surprises, don't you? This book popped up on my recommended list and frankly, I got sucked in by the title so I pulled the trigger. I'm glad I did.

Don't let the name fool you. This is NOT a raunchy read in any way, shape or form. Sometimes it's a little irreverent but in a naive/innocent/young man with zero experience sort of way. And it's told in such a fun and lighthearted way that you probably won't be able to stop smiling.

Tobias Henry is about to embark on a journey, whether he wants...more
Ultimately, this book was a disappointment. The author had an interesting idea: retell a love story from the book of Tobit in the Apocrypha, and set it during the Great Depression. However, the narrator’s voice and character development are both uneven, all over the place: sometimes, for instance, the narrator uses modern slang with 21st century youth attitudes about what sort of vulgar language is appropriate in polite conversation; sometimes he speaks with deep knowledge about the Bible and is...more
Lani Myers
This novel just kept me intrigued as to what Tobias would discover next. It reminds me that God works mysteriously by whom he puts on our paths.
Rabid Readers Reviews
This was a very good book. Set in the depression, infused with humor and full of memorable characters, The Dirty Parts of the Bible: A Novel was as fun a read as the name implies. In the author’s notes we learn that his story was based on the ancient Jewish tale of Tobias and Sarah from the Book of Tobit. I’ve never read the story, but find the southern fiction updated setting to be perfectly reminiscent of novels like Crazy in Alabama by Mark Childress. Tobias is coming-of-age and into a world...more
This was a really fun read. It has drawn a lot of comparisons to Water for Elephants but I think that's an insult to Sam Torode. I can only imagine the reason is that The Dirty Parts of the Bible is also set during the Great Depression, that parts of it also happen on a train, and the story is set in motion by an automobile accident involving the protagonist's father. The similarities end there, however.

First of all, Tobias Henry is a much more likable fellow than Jacob Jankowski on almost every...more
This little gem caught my interest from the get go. It has a unique plot line, is set in the depression era, and grabs your attention with the detailed "what it's like being a strict preacher's son" descriptions. I felt the story started very strongly but slowed down a lot with a somewhat weak ending. The beginning is filled with humor and scenes of a naive preacher's son entering the "real world" for the first time, as he tries to decipher what he really feels about religion/life/philosophy. I...more
I found this for free via Pixel of Ink. I was going to skip over it, until I saw the review comparing the story to Mark Twain and Johnny Cash. Curious, I checked out the reviews on Amazon.
Historical fiction is among my favorites, so when I read on the Amazon reviews that this was a surprisingly mild story, considering the title, about the Great Depression, I decided to give it a chance. Besides, the story was to take place in an area not far from where I grew up, and it was in a era of time that...more
Peter Boysen
As a parent of triplets who are almost teenagers, I sometimes worry that they don't have all of the information they need to make it smoothly to high school graduation -- and beyond. But then I stop and remember that my parents spent quite a bit of time giving me a lot of information that I'm sure they thought I should use. It got filed away, somewhere, and a lot of it pops into my head, now and then. A lot of the conclusions I have come to, though, I have found on my own.

My aunt posed an intere...more
We have a sister and she hath no breasts
Song of Solomon

The Dirty Parts of The Bible by Sam Torode is an audacious and fairly faithful retelling of Tobias, the Angel and Sarah from the Book of Tobit. Tobias, the son of a Baptist minister in small town 1930s Michigan, wrestles with hormones, spirituality and listlessness. When his father is blinded in a freak accident involving booze and birds, Tobias is sent on a mission to Texas to recover a stash of buried cash and save the family.

Almost immedi...more
Laura Zimmerman
The title got my attention first and then I read that people who liked "O Brother Where Art Thou" would like this book too. I was hooked. I anticipated a book of humor, oddities, Southern life, and the Bible...which I got, but it wasn't what I had hoped for.

The book starts off slowly and then makes a shift suddenly, sending the main character on a trip far from home. On this trip he encounters sights and sounds he has never experienced before and some characters who, if fully developed, could ha...more
Gloria Bernal
I didn't know what to expect from this, but it was our book club selection for the month, so I acquired it and did not read any of the reviews until I finished it (2 sittings later). I can't understand the negativity of some of the reviews. It was not raunchy. It was not a "Water for Elephants" just because the main character Tobias, traveled by box car with a hobo, during the depression, doesn't make it so. It's also not "preachy" or "dirty."

What it was, is funny, original, entertaining, yet ha...more
Everett Youngblood
Of the fact i got my hands on this entertaining book for free ,it is a pleasure to have it at the tip of my fingers using my kindle fire, after having my music and a couple applications uploaded i decided to look through the amazong "prime" books.

I got this book to borrow for free for being an amazon prime member , and i must say, this is a VERY entertaining book :). I can find myself bored riding on the bus to school or sitting at home.

More to the story . the book is about a hormone filled teen...more
Melissa Acuna
I really wanted to like this book far more than I did. I started it twice and stopped before finally knuckling down and reading it. After a slow start--19 year old, girl obsessed naive sons of preachers are too common and Tobias Henry is too cliched (leaves home, accidentally finds himself in a whore house but is too polite to consummate the deal--good grief), the story finally picks up when Tobias meets Craw.

Craw is an elderly hobo, who becomes a surrogate father to Toby and helps him out of ma...more
Anjie Harrte
The “Dirty Parts of the Bible” was a gripping ride from the scene in the whore house, to being among hoboes, jumping on and off moving trains, caught in a fire in the cabin on a train, encountering water snake in the river while looking for catfish, to being almost bitten by a rattle snake; falling into an old well, and fighting off evil spirits. The intensity that Torode builds up as you smile to yourself letting his words roll off the pages and create the scene in front of you, keeps you on th...more
I believe there is a spot in hell for the author ----- and I'll be sitting right next to him cause I laughed thru much of the book. Cute, fun , easy read.
Picked this up awhile ago on my Kindle. It is a fictional coming of age story about a young man named Toby who is the son of a fundamentalist pastor who gets drunk one night, loses his church and his eye sight to bird poop. Because Toby's dad can no longer provide for his family, he sends Toby back to Texas (where the family is from) to dig up a buried treasure from his singing days before he found Jesus.

Toby goes to Texas, but loses all his money in a whorehouse, loses his faith in God and lose...more
Jo Sorrell
Well I didn't know what to expect by the title. This was the sweetest most heartfelt book of the year. It's a simple read with a lot of humor. Tobias is growing up in Remus, Michigan with a Baptist Bible beating preacher for a father. It's the 1930's and one day husband, Malachi pushes mama too far with his "wives be ye subject to your husband for he is the head of the house"so she cusses him right out of the house. He gets in his New Plymouth, after all the preacher needs a nice car to drive in...more
Ken Wilson
I loved this book. My wife told she had downloaded it so I did as well just because I liked the title. I had no idea what it was about. It is the retelling of a story from the Book of Tobit from the Catholic/Orthodox canon. I didn't know that until after I read it. I wonder how many other great stories are out there the protestants don't want anyone to share? Religion aside, this is a great read. Lots of laughs and a great journey.
Jeff Bettger
This was a great story about an irreligious Son of a religious preacher man, who finds love, and in the end both understand the Love of Christ and the freedom He gives us in a whole new way. I really enjoyed it. It was a free kindle book and I had not read fiction in a while so I thought I'd check it out as it sounded interesting. I was not disappointed.
Jay D
I ran across this book on Amazon and purchased it exceptionally cheap for my Kindle , it was well worth it . Lots of laughs and a decent little love story. Its a story filled with family, love, and liquor. I recommend it for anyone looking for a simple yet pleasant read.
Tracy Mcallister
This novel grabbed me with its title and hooked me with its story. A cool coming of age novel based around Tobias as he leaves home to save the family. The hobos he meets along the way and his family in Texas are sure to have you smiling. Great book.
For a free download to the Kindle I took a chance. The story seemed a little rushed and choppy. Overall a cute adaptation of the tale of Sarah and Tobias from the Book of Tobit. I'll take a chance on more of Sam Torode's work.
Anita Adams
I really enjoyed this book--especially having grown up in a small town Southern Baptist Church! It was a quick and fun read.
Catherine Collingwood
Despite its racy-sounding title, this novel is neither anti-religious nor erotic in nature. Instead, it’s a combination of a coming-of-age story set in the Great Depression and what we Catholics will recognize as a direct Biblical allegory. That sounds a bit ominous in theory, but Torode does a great job pulling it off in practice while creating a quick and entertaining read in the process.

In his afterword, Torode notes that the coming-of-age story is based a family story that dates back to the...more
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On the Southern L...: Sam Torode 1 10 Dec 22, 2012 12:40PM  
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I'm a writer, artist, and book designer enjoying life in Nashville, Tennessee. As Groucho Marx said, "Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read."
More about Sam Torode...
The Book of Craw: A Hobo's Testament (Companion Volume to "The Dirty Parts of the Bible") Mr. Awkward The Song of Songs A New Version The Dirty Parts of the Bible - Excerpt from 2010 Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award entry Nature

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“Remember this, my boy. The two greatest men who ever livied-Jesus and Socrates-were both hoboes.” 10 likes
“Some people put more effort and money into the wedding day than they do into the marriage itself, then it’s all downhill from there. I was happy for a simple start; things could only get better.” 3 likes
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