Rebecca's Reviews > Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy

Bonhoeffer by Eric Metaxas
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's review
Apr 25, 2010

it was amazing
bookshelves: books-i-own, changed-my-life
Read from December 25, 2012 to January 24, 2013 , read count: 1

It says something for a biography, where the ending is already fixed, that I read it like a novel and wondered what would happen at the end. Of course I knew the ending, but some part of me was so invested that I thought maybe it would be different--maybe he wouldn't die. Maybe the Allies would liberate the concentration camps before his execution, rather than after.

Of course the ending was fixed, but that didn't stop me from being engrossed in the story. I knew that Bonhoeffer was involved in a plot to kill Hitler, and that he had been part of the resistance movement. I also knew that he'd written The Cost of Discipleship and Life Together, but everything else was in broad strokes. I had no idea how much he actually did in the resistance, and how much he did before he was part of the formal plot. His life is the stuff of legends, of the battle of good v. evil in a very concrete, personal sense. This is the kind of character we should be aspiring to, and he's almost forgotten now.

The subject was fascinating, but even a fascinating subject can be smothered by awful writing. Luckily, Metaxas was equal to the task, and told his story with grace, clarity, and even a little humor. Much like his subject, Metaxas would occasionally slip a but of humor, or wry wit into the narrative. It was never over done or inappropriate, but did occasionally make me laugh in the middle of a passage.

This is a beautiful work about a beautiful faith and an outstanding life, the kind that I'm not convinced exist anymore. It is a long read, but it is worth every page.
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message 1: by Jeremy (new)

Jeremy "Of course I knew the ending . . . ." My favorite books (and movies) are about How instead of If.

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