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The Dirty Parts of the Bible

3.52  ·  Rating Details ·  7,159 Ratings  ·  774 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
Kindle Edition, 278 pages
Published January 1st 2011 by Sam Torode Books Arts (first published May 9th 2007)
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Nov 19, 2012 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
Jan 30, 2011 Linda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
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
Betsy Robinson
Until reading this rollicking tale, I never knew that Jesus and Socrates were hoboes. According to Craw, a hobo/philosopher accompanying young Tobias, the protagonist, on a road trip to Texas, a hobo is a person who "stand[s] on the fringes, refusing to put on any costumes. We reject the gold and silk and finery of this life, preferring to stand as signs of contradiction—witnesses to truth."

According to the author's note at the end of this 1936-era Mark Twain-esque adventure, The Dirty Parts of
Matt Schiariti
Nov 14, 2012 Matt Schiariti rated it it was amazing
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
May 29, 2011 Ben rated it liked it
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
Mar 03, 2011 Erika rated it it was amazing
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
May 30, 2011 Candy rated it liked it
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
Feb 20, 2016 Beth rated it liked it
This ended up being a little too clich_d and mystic for me in the end, but it was still a fun read.

Young Tobias (son of a preacherman...thank you, Dusty Springfield!) is sent from Remus, Michigan by his father to the family homestead in Glen Rose, Texas, in order to recover the money his father hid in a well.

Along the way, Tobias encounters some heathens in Chicago, some hobos when he rides the rails to points south (including a great character named Craw), and eventually finds love in Texas.

Jan 11, 2013 Scot rated it it was ok
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
Melissa Acuna
Feb 06, 2011 Melissa Acuna rated it it was ok
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
Oct 23, 2015 Anagha rated it liked it
At first I thought this is anti-Christian. Not really.
Then I thought it's a dirty book. Not really.
Then I thought maybe it's a mystery. Not really.
A ghost showed up... but it didn't really go into the horror genre. Not really.

It's just a non-thrilling, but yet pleasantly interesting tale of a unexperienced fellow travelling from Michigan to Texas in the 1930s and having a bunch of weird experiences.
Apr 29, 2016 Emily rated it did not like it
I started out really liking the tone of this book... it was dark but funny.

And then it all went to hell. It became a schmaltzy, sappy mess of lighthearted adventures with a mystical black train riding hobo and wacky Texas family. And random "Indian spirit magic" slapped on near the end out of nowhere, for some reason??

The ending was so sickly sweet, with everything tied up conveniently... characters celebrating with a throw of a cap in the air and a "whoop!" (Not exaggerating, that actually hap
Greg Dill
Dec 30, 2015 Greg Dill rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Excellent coming of age book about a young man escaping the fundamentalist Christian confines of his father and the sleepy town he is from. Set in 1920's Depression-era America, Tobias makes his way across America from Remus, Michigan to Glen Rose, Texas in order to retrieve a hidden bag of money that his father left behind many years ago. On his way, he meets several key people and experiences life for the first time.

This is an outstanding story, raw, real, and beautifully written. Mixed with
Thom Swennes
Dec 15, 2015 Thom Swennes rated it it was amazing
Shelves: free-e-book
“We both read the Bible day and night
but you read black where I read white.”
When the Baptist Reverend Malachi Henry suddenly finds himself dejected, disgraced, demoralized and displaced as the pastor of his church in Remus, Michigan, he sends his firstborn and only son, Tobias on a quest of salvation. This mission is to Glen Rose, Texas and is in search of a buried treasure. The acquisition of this treasure won’t redeem the reverend of his transgressions but will go a long way in restoring, rebu
Carol Bell
Jan 23, 2016 Carol Bell rated it it was amazing
Shelves: book-club, hfu-2015
I really enjoyed this book. It's nostalgic and simple yet tells a great truth about love and relationships. And the humor is fresh and natural. a great story, thanks.
Lani Myers
Sep 18, 2013 Lani Myers rated it really liked it
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.
Leah Angstman
Sep 20, 2016 Leah Angstman rated it it was ok
This book is just not that good. The conceit is a Baptist preacher's son who doesn't understand the most mundane things, and especially not sex. So ... that's not cliché and overdone or anything. It's utilized to the point that the protagonist is a bumbling buffoon. Everything he encounters has all been done before (and better), and the author just wiggles his own "cleverisms" in here at every turn. It is simply too hyperbolic and over-the-top to be funny. The hyperbolic tone makes it seem like ...more
Mona Grant-Holmes
Mar 18, 2016 Mona Grant-Holmes rated it really liked it
I was first intrigued by the title of this novel. I read the synopsis and a few reviews and decided to give it a try. I am glad I did. This is a laugh out loud, coming of age story about Tobias Henry of Remus, Michigan, in 1936 . His father, Pastor Henry is a fire and brimstone preacher, who is awfully straight-laced. Pastor Henry storms out of the house after and argument with his wife, Ada. The next morning, the sheriff comes to the house to take Ada and Tobias to the church. There they find P ...more
Rabid Readers Reviews
Jun 17, 2014 Rabid Readers Reviews rated it really liked it
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
Jul 14, 2012 Mscout rated it really liked it
Shelves: fiction
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
Mar 26, 2016 Cher rated it liked it
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
Aug 24, 2012 Rachel rated it liked it
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
Peter Boysen
Jan 13, 2013 Peter Boysen rated it really liked it
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
Aug 10, 2013 Michelle rated it really liked it
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
Laura Zimmerman
Sep 04, 2012 Laura Zimmerman rated it liked it
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
Gloria Bernal
Sep 28, 2012 Gloria Bernal rated it really liked it
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
Everett Youngblood
Jan 19, 2012 Everett Youngblood rated it it was amazing
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
Anjie Harrte
Jun 19, 2012 Anjie Harrte rated it it was amazing
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
Daniel Clark
Mar 29, 2016 Daniel Clark rated it it was amazing
A book with many layers. A reflection on Christianity. A coming of age tale. An exploration of a time period. A nice character study.

I have learned to take cheap books from Amazon with a grain of salt, but this was delivered.
Kelly Fleck
Mar 27, 2015 Kelly Fleck rated it it was amazing
good book

Good book. I wish there was more to read about Tobias and Sarah. I may have to read it again in the future.
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I'm a writer, visual artist, and singer enjoying life in Nashville, Tennessee.

On my father's side, I'm a distant relation of Henry David Thoreau (Torode and Thoreau are alternate spellings of Thorold, a family originating on the Isle of Guernsey). On my mother's side, my ancestors include Texas farmers, preachers, outlaws, banjo players, and Cherokee Indians.

My novel, "The Dirty Parts of the Bib
More about Sam Torode...

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“Remember this, my boy. The two greatest men who ever livied-Jesus and Socrates-were both hoboes.” 12 likes
“Society always tries to enslave, imprison, and execute its greatest men, those who dare to stand apart and rise above.' He scratched his chin. 'That’s why I’m keeping a low profile--so the bastards don’t get me.” 3 likes
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