Mykle's Reviews > Left Behind

Left Behind by Tim LaHaye
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Mar 30, 2009

did not like it
bookshelves: feeding-to-a-giant-squid
Read in January, 2009

I'm not going to finish this. I thought it would be good research, but it moves so painfully slow, and not a page passes without either a really hackneyed sentence or a totally implausible geopolitical plot twist.

(For example: Russia, at the outset of the story, attacks Israel, attempting to carpet-bomb them back to pre-biblical times. Why would Russia's leaders do such a thing? In order to steal Israel's fertilizer, of course! Even more implausible: Russia is unable to undertake such a balls-out attack without the crucial assistance of their regional ally Ethiopia ...)

It's interesting that Tim LaHaye is publicly known as the author of these books. I would guess that he provides the scripture-driven plot outline, and co-author Jerry Jenkins supplies the nebbishy characterizations and cliche-ridden prose. (Though, to his credit, Jenkins does have a knack for the sort of zippy dialogue popular in Hollywood screenplays and romance novels.) At any rate, I think Jenkins is getting the short end of the stick here, as even Goodreads considers Tim LaHaye the sole author. (Can I get a librarian over here?)

Anyway, I'd love to score a copy of Cliff's Notes for this series, and just enjoy the ridiculousness of the plot outline. As it is, I think I'll just skip to the last half of the tenth and final book in the series, and let my imagination fill the gap.
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Comments (showing 1-4 of 4) (4 new)

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message 1: by Mark (new)

Mark Russell Part of me is afraid to ask...


message 2: by Erika (new)

Erika kirk cameron has made them into movies


message 3: by Mark (new)

Mark Russell "(For example: Russia, at the outset of the story, attacks Israel, attempting to carpet-bomb them back to pre-biblical times. Why would Russia's leaders do such a thing? In order to steal Israel's fertilizer, of course! Even more implausible: Russia is unable to undertake such a balls-out attack without the crucial assistance of their regional ally Ethiopia ...)"

Unfortunately for LaHaye and other fundamentalists prone to such questionable prognostications, their understanding of geopolitical relations is held hostage by their interpretation of biblical prophecy.

The Book of Revelation supposedly foretells an invasion of Israel by "Gog" and "Magog," which many biblical scholars interpret as modern day Russia and Turkey. I'm not sure from whence LaHaye gets Ethiopia, but suffice it to say that neither an invasion from Ethiopia or Turkey (or Russia, for that matter) is even remotely possible.

Aside from the fact that none of those nations neither shares a border with Israel nor has any incentive for such a misadventure, Turkey is a NATO member, Ethiopia can barely secure its own borders and Russia would have to plow through no less than three sovereign nations in order to get to Israel, or perhaps even more ill-advisedly, attempt an amphibious invasion through the Mediterranean, access to which is controlled by the navies of NATO nations who would probably frown upon a Russian invasion force sailing through their waters.

I think an even better idea for an apocalyptic novel would be for a President of the United States, who takes such prophecies seriously, to start World War III in hopes of forestalling such events. Then, after the consequent destruction of the Earth, said President ends up in Heaven where he has a chance encounter with John of Patmos, the author of the Book of Revelation. During the course of the conversation, John reveals that, far from intending it as a book of prophecy, he wrote Revelation entirely as a poetic metaphor for the hardships of 1st century Christians.


message 4: by James (new)

James M. "For example: Russia, at the outset of the story, attacks Israel, attempting to carpet-bomb them back to pre-biblical times. Why would Russia's leaders do such a thing? In order to steal Israel's fertilizer, of course!"

## That's what happens when Ezekiel 38 & 39 are
1. treated as prophecies to be fulfilled in the future;
2. interpreted so that Meshech & Tubal are understood as Moscow & Tobolsk, which are both in Russia;
3. turned into a novel, complete with recognisable human psychology.

This is rather more wrong-headed than trying to mount an expedition to prove the historical accuracy of "The Lord of Rings" by going on an expedition to excavate Hobbiton.

"I think an even better idea for an apocalyptic novel would be for a President of the United States, who takes such prophecies seriously, to start World War III in hopes of forestalling such events."

## I would read that novel, with pleasure. It's amazing that no-one has yet made a film on that theme. The President has a dream, and commands the North Atlantic Fleet to drop an H-bomb on Moscow, setting in motion a train of events that leads to a Russian invasion of Israel, fulfilling Ezekiel 38-39.

"During the course of the conversation, John reveals that, far from intending it as a book of prophecy, he wrote Revelation entirely as a poetic metaphor for the hardships of 1st century Christians."

## Alternatively, John explains that Revelation is based on the Harry Potter series. Thanks to Superman, John was able to Rowling's books which Superman brought to Patmos from the future, enabling John to write a precise of the books which is what we now know as the Book of Revelation. Revelation is about Quidditch. The HP references are obvious
- as long as one reads Rev with HP in mind. Until very recently that was not possible.


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