Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Second Son” as Want to Read:
The Second Son
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Second Son

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  312 Ratings  ·  41 Reviews
His name is Joseph Turner, a brave young construction worker from the Bronx, who rescues an imperiled co-worker trapped on a swaying iron girder twenty-four stories high - only to slip and plummet to the pavement below. Horrified onlookers are astonished and the world is stunned by what happens next. Suddenly, miraculously, Joseph Turner is granted a rematch with life. Onl ...more
Paperback, 365 pages
Published October 28th 1979 by Avon Books (first published October 1979)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Second Son, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Second Son

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
Rating details
Sort: Default
Jan 29, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this book when I was still in highschool. I love it when books make you think about possibilities and your own beliefs. This book left it's mark on me and it became one of my favorite books of all time and after having read a lot of books since highschool, it remains as one of my favorites until now...
Nov 16, 2011 rated it really liked it
Read this quite a few years ago, but I can remember thinking it was a stunning book. A modern outlook on the second coming of Christ. Not a religious book, a great story well told
Oct 03, 2008 rated it it was amazing
This is a freakin really good book. It really makes you think. I don't know anyone who has read it who has not loved it, you can't put it down. It has not been in print for a long time...the church bought the rights to the book and movie they were making to stop people from reading it...I have heard. If you can find it in a second hand bookstore...snap it up. Very hard to find.
Mar 22, 2013 rated it liked it
I loved the premise. Who is Joseph Turner and what was happening to him? Was it real or all a dream? Joseph was a great hero - strong of heart and mind, generous, open, kind, and non-judgemental. I really wanted to know what would become of him.

But, as much as I liked the premise and first half of the book, I was equally disappointed with the rest. It became so glaringly obvious in its intent that it turned me off. It became very heavy handed and the author’s problem with religion and authority
Jan 07, 2011 rated it it was amazing
It's out of print, but if you can find a copy I LOVE this book. How the world, the Catholic Church, and toy companies would react if God's Second Son really came down among us.
Richard Scott
Feb 16, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fiction
While not a religous person, I do find religous fiction often entertaining. Charles Sailor's "Second Son" is well written and thought-provoking. A very good read.
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I would have to re-read this book to give a detailed review of it, which I may, at some point, do. But for right now, I'll offer an over-reaching opinion of the book in general that has been so strong in the imprint of it that it has remained unchanged from the time I originally read it, as a teenager, to now: This book is profound. It changed me in the reading of it, and is one of the handful of books to which I credit my ignition as a writer.

Many, many books have influenced me over the years,
Caroline Boyd
Sep 24, 2012 rated it really liked it
I'm pretty sure Joseph Turner is my new crush. But don't worry to all you guys out there; this book will appeal to you too, since it is an action/thriller with tons of suspense that constantly builds. I basically couldn't put it down. The book is an easy and intriguing read, with an interesting premise. There was one night when I only slept for about four hours because I was so glued to the pages. Needless to say, I strongly recommend "The Second Son" to pretty much anyone who looking for an ent ...more
Apr 15, 2008 added it
Recommends it for: everyone
Shelves: june1
Excellent and beautiful story of man who has to find himself and through quite a few trials discovers that he the second son. Doesn't quite come out and say it, but that he is Jesus coming again. Even though it is fiction, it makes one realize what Jesus might have went through being a man, and finding out who he really was. A really beaufitul story and one of the best books I ever wrote. I lent in to someone and am sorry I never got it back.
Jun 12, 2009 rated it really liked it
I read this as a teen when it was first published and found the story very thought provoking then but now it seems even more relevant with how blatantly & efficiently the evangelicals are marketing their propaganda. The strident and deliberate obfuscations they use in presenting their views to promote ingroup solidarity are worse that anything Sailor used in his book.
Sep 02, 2011 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: read-owned
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Thompson Seiwell
Mar 27, 2012 rated it really liked it
A book that stays with you. Makes you think, what would really happen to a person in this situation. It's on Kindle now, so reread and still a very good book.
Rose Beyke
Mar 11, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I read this long ago. I want to read it again, but can't find it. I hope it reprints someday.
Kyra E.
Jul 31, 2010 rated it it was amazing
I fell in love with this novel when it was published! Still memorable today. Wonder if it was ever mafe into a movie. Worth reading even today.
Nov 21, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This book is one of my 'WOW' books! I remember reading is a young teen and the story has stayed with me for all of these years, to the point that when I realised that my copy was missing (after moving countries, towns etc), my hubby track down a copy of it (which he presented to me on my birthday - best gift ever!) - even though it's out of print!

Although it is considered a 'religious' book, it is much more than that. It is a book of endurance, kindness, friendship, a man dealing with the quanda
Lorna Collins
May 27, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book many years ago and loved it. This is the third copy I have purchased because I keep giving them away--and not getting them back. This one holds up very well, starting with the brilliant opening paragraph. Prepare to have your assumptions about God challenged. Well-written and engaging.
Jul 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I read this book just this past week after hearing about it on the Beautiful Writers Podcast. I. Loved. It. This book had so much to say about humanity, spirituality, and faith without being preachy and legalistic. It showed all the ways religion gets it wrong, and how everything points back to love. This is definitely going on my re-read list.
Paul Weaver
Feb 09, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Really enjoyed this!! A very interesting interpretation of what the second coming would look like in the modern world.
Mar 21, 2015 rated it it was ok
I loved the first part of this book, Joseph is such a nice guy, down to earth, someone anyone would be honoured to call friend. Then outside interests got involved and turned something innocent and beautiful into something corrupt and evil. I felt disgusted by this turn of events and all enjoyment for the story was lost to me. It seemed like the author had an agenda, and some strong beliefs, and rather than gently encouraging his reader to come to his same conclusions, he tried to ram his point ...more
Mar 22, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: banned-books
Thanks to a couple of reviews on here, I skipped a huge section in the middle. If I hadn't, I wouldn't have bothered finishing after the story changed from being about a sweet man to one with to many agendas. The author could have been more subtle and the book would have been more enjoyable. Parent should expect their sons to be replicas of the first son and this author made that mistake. Really - the girlfriend, the judas, Good Friday...

This lady's goodreads post says it better than I could so
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was ok
This was a great read, conceptually speaking. It was very slow, but kept to the point of a man becoming the unrequited savior of New York City. It was an interesting take on how average people around the world would respond to the second coming of Christ. I still had a problem getting through it, despite my curiosity in cultural studies. It was dry and lacked humor that would make the characters more lovable. And it all ended before any true character development could be accomplished. I am read ...more
Daniel Iván
Dec 03, 2016 rated it really liked it
I read this book as a preteenager when it was recently published and one thing that surprises me is how enduring the story was, how I vividly recall almost every aspect of its narrative. Although it is not a major literary work, it is a subtle and daring piece of adventure novel. And with a twist: what could be just a tale of love and discovery written in a best seller fashion, turns out to be a strong reflection about the corporative world (churches included) on the early years of neoliberal cr ...more
Ben Vogel
Jan 04, 2011 rated it it was ok
I was a precocious kid who would, from age 4 onward, read just about anything that my siblings or parents left available to me. John read this during his deeply confused and searching period around 1980, and so I also read it to discuss with him. While it spurred some discussion, I didn't find it to be particularly compelling in ideas or style. One fun idea does not a novel make.
Jacob Peled
Jan 31, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 3-stars, _2014
The 1st 3rd lead me to believe I'm going to rate the book with 5 stars, but then it started to be so confusing. So many names you need to follow. You don't have a chance to remember and understand, what's going on. unless you read it almost non-Stop. After a break of 4 days at one time I had to re-Read many pages to get an Idea who is who.
Jul 20, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I read "The Second Son" by Charles Sailor for the first time in 1980. Best book I had read in a while! I was amazed this was only his debut novel, his writing and concept were that good.
By the way,the book has 374 pages in this written edition.
James Nance
Nov 13, 2009 rated it liked it
Read during my searching years.
Cheryl Derijke
May 08, 2016 rated it really liked it
Fast read, but as a Christian, found the content of the story disturbing.
RJ Stayton
Jan 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this book and re read it this past year.
R.E. Long
Oct 12, 2011 rated it it was amazing
One of my favorite Speculative Fiction books to date. An excellent read!
May 24, 2009 rated it really liked it
Shelves: thriller
Not quite sure where to put this. It is sort of a thriller. A very intereesting book about a modern messiah.
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 next »
  • I Dream of Dragons, Volume 1
  • Time After Time
  • Deadline
  • Zanna's Gift: A Life in Christmases
  • The Paper Chase
  • The Genesis Machine
  • Confess, Fletch (Fletch, #2)
  • The Alchemists of Kush
  • Dynasty
  • The Da Vinci Deception (Jack Oxby, #1)
  • Somebodies and Nobodies: Overcoming the Abuse of Rank
  • Open Season
  • Truesilver (The Last Werewolf Hunter, #4)
  • The Vicar of Christ
  • Dragon's Fire (Beating Back the Darkness, #1)
  • Warlord Chronicles
  • The Dark Forest (Heroes of Meadow Haven #1)
  • Deadwood: Stories of the Black Hills

Fiction Deals

  • War Brides
    $3.99 $2
  • Bluebeard
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Madonnas of Leningrad
    $10.74 $2.99
  • Orphan Train Girl
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Want Not
    $14.95 $2.99
  • Finding Rebecca
    $5.49 $1.99
  • The Twelve-Mile Straight
    $14.99 $2.99
  • The Long Way Home
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Cafe by the Sea
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Everybody's Son
    $12.99 $1.99
  • The Restaurant Critic's Wife
    $3.99 $2
  • The Word Game
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ahab's Wife, or The Star-Gazer
    $10.74 $1.99
  • Cats Are Weird: And More Observations
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Wake Up
    $4.99 $2
  • The Way to London: A Novel of World War II
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Abby's Journey
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Ask the Dust
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Kings of Broken Things
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Collected Stories of Stefan Zweig
    $14.99 $1.99
  • Saving Abby
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Vanessa and Her Sister
    $13.99 $2.99
  • The King's Mistress
    $11.99 $1.99
  • Midnight Sun (The Northern Lights Series, No 3)
    $9.99 $1.99
  • The Cement Garden (Ian McEwan Series Book 2)
    $8.99 $2.99
  • The Book of Love: Poems of Ecstasy and Longing
    $8.24 $1.99
  • Under the Wide and Starry Sky
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Illuminations: A Novel of Hildegard von Bingen
    $14.95 $1.99
  • The Cove
    $7.49 $1.99
  • The Secret Healer (The Secret Healer #1)
    $3.49 $0.99
  • Fat Chance
    $3.99 $1.99
  • Jailbird
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Revised Fundamentals of Caregiving
    $15.95 $1.99
  • Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
    $3.99 $1.99
  • The Fire by Night
    $9.99 $1.99
  • Bagombo Snuff Box
    $8.99 $1.99
  • The Unkillable Kitty O'Kane
    $3.99 $1.99
  • If I Was Your Girl
    $9.99 $2.99

No trivia or quizzes yet. Add some now »