Heidi Willis's Reviews > The Harbinger: The Ancient Mystery that Holds the Secret of America's Future

The Harbinger by Jonathan Cahn
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Jun 04, 12

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Read from June 03 to 04, 2012

I have a hard time rating this. The idea of this "story" is supposed to be shocking and eye-opening, and it's true that it is - mostly because it is purported to be based on facts. The author uses a verse in the Bible that warns Old Testament Israel about coming judgment if it doesn't repent against catastrophic happening in the U.S., specifically 9/11 and the collapse of the stock market.

There obviously is a tremendous amount of research that has gone into this book, and clearly the author's intent is to reach as many people as possible with this information. This book is not to entertain; it's to make people think, and then act. It has the potential to be very powerful, and many readers have found it to be that way.

Unfortunately, for me the poor "narrative writing" aspect of this book overshadowed everything else. It is as if the author wanted to get this information out there, and thought this was the best way to get people to read. And maybe more people will read this than would read a non-fiction examination of the events, but I found the format tedious. Essentially, the book is two very long dialogues. There is very little narrative, little happening other than the mere explanation of what the harbingers mean. There is, in this questioning, an inordinate amount of repetition. A character asks a question, the other characters says the same words back, and the first character repeats it again. This happens over and over.

The material in this novel is fascinating, there is no doubt about that. It's worth the read for that alone. But the material IS strong enough to stand on its own, and I for one would have enjoyed this more in a non-fiction format where the lack of story elements would not have bothered me.
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Comments (showing 1-10 of 10) (10 new)

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message 1: by Ian (new) - added it

Ian Siegel I couldn't agree more. While I understand that Cahn writes Harbinger as a narrative that reads like a novel so it is easier to consume, I strongly feel that this method of delivery severely undermines the importance of his message.

Carolin I would have to agree with you in the way it is written. But I was intrigued with the accuracy of the content. I googled for the facts and read scripture for accuracy and it was so. This book actually confirms my feelings for many years that Gods judgement is coming down on this nation.

Heidi Willis Carolin - I agree with you as well. I certainly found the idea intriguing, and I also read it with google and the Bible at hand. I think the accuracy is one of the reasons I think this might better make for a non-fiction book. Thanks for your thoughts!

David Prieto In the end people don't like the way the government is "currently" running. They can't do anything about so out of frustration they say God is mad and is going to punish the country. Sort of how the Jews were looking for a messiah to change the government in their times.

message 5: by Nan (new) - rated it 3 stars

Nan Williams I agree with the review 100%. Thank you, Heidi.

message 6: by Pat (new) - rated it 2 stars

Pat Matas I thoroughly agree with you concerning the narrative and writing style. The repetition was a little "repetitious" for me too. I do, however, take issue with the premise. America, like so many other Western civilizations, claims some form of Christian heritage, and that's fine. The theological underpinnings of this book seem to advocate some hybrid form of replacement theology - not necessarily claiming that America IS the new Israel, but invoking some of the promises of blessing and warnings of judgment made to ancient Israel; to be applied to us here in the US, nonetheless. America was NEVER called to be a mobile priesthood. We were NEVER referred to as a "chosen nation". In my "opinion", America is here today to act as a stabilizing force for the world and, inadvertently, to be a protection for modern-day Israel. That's cool, but... still not the same thing as being the "chosen people" and therefore subject to all of the same promises of blessing and warnings of judgment, therein. America has been blessed simply because God has chosen to bless us, no different to Ancient Persia or Rome. God uses us despite our rebellion against Him. And for this reason alone, we cannot claim ALL of the same promises of blessing and/or warnings of judgment. I'm gonna make a book recommendation: "The Harbinger: Fact or Fiction" by David James. It's a thoughtful, sensitive response to the Jonathan Cahn book.

message 7: by Jolyn (new)

Jolyn Catledge Agreed 100%. I can't get past page 50 due to the poor narration. The book is due back to the library tomorrow and I'm not compelled to renew it. Disappointed.

Shawnna Heidi, I couldn't agree with you more!! I'm on chapter 19 and dragging myself through it. I feel like a speed reader because so much of it is a repeat of the page before. I looked it up on Goodreads to see if it was worth finishing. I guess I will finish and then I'll let you know if I agree with that part of your review as well. :)

Cindy I think it could have stood on its own as non fiction as well.

Kristy Lange I'm not even going to put a review into words because this is exactly what I thought of the book. Fascinating content, but horribly distracting "narrative."

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