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The Book of Joby

4.15  ·  Rating details ·  1,130 ratings  ·  173 reviews
The Book of Joby is an epic fantasy complete in one volume.
Lucifer and the Creator have entered, yet again, into a wager they've made many times before, but this time, the existence of creation itself is balanced on the outcome. Born in California during the twilight years of a weary millennium, nine year old Joby Peterson dreams of blazing like a bonfire against the gath
Hardcover, 640 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Tor Books
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Average rating 4.15  · 
Rating details
 ·  1,130 ratings  ·  173 reviews

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Nov 25, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
What an entertaining read! The basic premise of the book is that God and the Devil make a wager ("the same stupid bet") at which a little boy named Joby is the center. This time, however, the stakes are higher. Ferrarri tells Joby's story from about age 9 until 40. It is a long book. Yet, while not a particularly difficult read, it is one of my favorites. The reason I gave it four stars and not five is that the ending was a little uneven for me; there was such a dramatic and emotional trajectory ...more
Dec 20, 2007 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: fantasy fiction fiends
Shelves: fantasy, i-own-it
An illustrator turned writer's first novel and a very good one. God and Lucifer make a wager over a young boy's life (Joby). Laced heavily with Christian and Arthurian themes, this is an intelligent novel. Not that you need to be intelligent to read it (the book is extremely accessable), but the ideas are mature and more developed than I'd expected. Not your typical cheesy fantasy novel at all. Its not a Christian novel, but if you've been trying the Jesus lifestyle, you'll wonder when you read ...more
I've had my sights set on this one for quite some time. The premise seemed like something I would absolutely adore. It just took me way too long to get past the half-way mark. Once Joby grows up, I found the whole thing just kinda stalled altogether. I kept getting restless, putting the book down to read something else. After awhile I realized the desire to finish just wasn't there. So I officially cry uncle. I'm out. I didn't hate this book (so no one star), and I'm feeling too ambivalent to gi ...more
Nov 15, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Loved this book! This story brought Job from the Bible to life for me! I was able to relate and connect and found the story relatively accurate to the story in the Bible.

I recomend this to new Christians who are trying to read the Bible but just haven't been able to stick to it. This story will help you connect and relate and create a fire inside of you to read the Bible to see if this story is true.
Beyond the premise, I thought this book would not hit people over the head with much more religious imagery. But it does and it's done so poorly.

God and Lucifer make another pact over Joby's ability to fulfill his duty as a part-time child in the real world and a knight in Camelot. The format was weird. The book is basically: the devil sets a trap, Joby avoids it - rinse, repeat.

I didn't like this book and it was not memorable.
Lynette Aspey
Feb 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Now ... this was a surprise. At first, when I picked "The Book of Joby" up and started to read I made the assumption that it was .. religious. It was to my great delight that I discovered, after putting it down and picking it up again, that it's no more religious than it is magical. I saw the light, and was pleased.

Mark J. Ferrari's debut novel rocks. This beautifully written, character-driven novel weaves a story about one young boy, who grows into a confused and dismayed man, at the nexus of a
Anthony St. Claire
Jul 12, 2010 rated it it was amazing
As a literature major in college, I am intensely passionate about reading. As a liberal agnostic, I don't generally find preachy books to be good. Thankfully, the Book of Joby was NOT preachy.

This was one of the best novels I have ever read...and I have read many, many novels. I found myself weeping overly at parts, and at other parts, laughing uncontrollably. It was an intensely emotion- and thought-provoking novel.

God and Lucifer make a wager they've made before, and now, all of existence is
James Steele
Apr 24, 2020 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In the present day or so (sometime around the year AD-pre-cell-phone), the Devil makes a similar bet with God that he made regarding Job in the Old Testament, but this new wager regarding Joby Peterson doesn’t seem to have an endpoint. Right off the bat I’m not certain under what conditions Satan wins, and under what conditions God wins. Joby is a little boy. Fourth grade. He has no faith in God yet, so he has nothing to turn away from. What is Satan’s goal? To prove that he can be turned into a ...more
Feb 03, 2009 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I read this.
I cried.
The writing was terrible.
Imagination useless.

I cried.
was reminded of something...
O! how poorly written,
O! how poorly realized.

Every time I hear M. Ward's Post-War,
I think of Joby.

what am I to do,
the moon was full.
I think.
Albert Riehle
Apr 13, 2010 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Everyone. EVERYONE SHOULD READ THIS BOOK!
Shelves: favorites
I love this book. I love, love, love this book. Why haven't you read this book yet??? Stop whatever you are doing and read this book right now! I'm not going to lie, I'm really upset that you're still reading this review and not reading the book like I told you that you should. This is one of my all-time, most-favorite books of all time. Okay, so that was a bit redundant, but I feel like I can't recommend this book enough.

I suppose, it should come with a few warnings though. The first warning i
Dec 13, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I love Arthurian lore....always have, it started in High school when I read all of theseThe Crystal Cave and then went onto theseTaliesin. And then I had a really cool english teacher in whose classroom we would just watch movies and then have tests, there I fell in love with Camelot.When you combine Arthur, Gwen AND Lancelot in a book, along with God Lucifer "the wager" of Job, demons and Angels.....well ya never know just what you might get.

When God and Lucifer bet it all ( yet again ) on the
Jul 13, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommended to John by: Amber Cook
King Arthur meets the Book of Job - in a nine year old boy. By the author formerly known as the artist Mark Ferrari. (In case you don't know, the premise of the Book of Job is that Satan challenges God that the apparently pious Job, if stripped of his prosperity and his children, would turn against God.)

It's a very well-written book. The Arthurian connection is fun, the characters are believable and engaging, and I enjoyed both the Creator character and the bickering, backstabbing, and ineptness
Jun 03, 2013 rated it liked it
After spending so much time with it and feeling so invested in the main character's tribulations, I really hate to give this book less than 4 stars. But in the end, I found its flaws outweighed its flashes of occasional brilliance and inventiveness. Overlong, and in dire need of a strong editor to help this talented first-time author tighten the plotlines and rid the dialog of some of its stiltedness. I sometimes had to wonder what decade the characters were supposed to be living in - even the o ...more
Holly Hallman
Jun 27, 2020 rated it really liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael Barron
Mar 13, 2011 rated it really liked it
From: BarronWilderness

God and Lucifer once again enter into a bet in which the devil tries to sway a pure soul to join him. Their “contender” is Joby Peterson, a boy who must grow up with all the forces of hell bent on corrupting him.

* The Book of Joby is a sweeping first novel, that covers everything from The Bible to Arthurian legends to flaws in the public school system.
* The cast of characters includes demons, angels, wizards and school children. While some of the protagonists can be a li
Aug 28, 2009 rated it really liked it
This book, despite it being a little long, is a really great read. There's a hefty dose of Arthurian legend and Biblical principles, as well as modern controversial beliefs. What's great about this book is how it all boils down to what I believe is the basic tenet of life:being good.

The book spans the life of Joby Peterson, the unknowing participant in a bet between God and Lucifer. As a child, Joby idolizes Arthur and the Roundtable and aspires to be just like him. As he grows, Lucifer's influe
Dec 12, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This wasn't the epic fantasy that I was expecting, as the jacket copy stated. The age-old wager between God and Lucifer begins again, this time with a young boy named Joby. The book is a detailed chronicle of Joby's life, and the hardships he faces. That's about it.

I felt like I was being banged on the head over and over again with the idea that all people face hardships - not all brought about by the Devil - but that God is always there for us if we just ask for Him and his heavenly helpers. Af
Jun 04, 2009 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: anyone who likes a good tale, and fans of Good Omens and its like
Shelves: sff
This was sooo much fun. The premise was promising (God and Lucifer making a wager which could lead to the destruction of the entire creation), the execution brilliant: We experience the trials and tribulations of a normal child (later teenager, and grown man) who is the subject of a tug-of-war between Good and Evil.

Joby is one of the most likeable, sympathetic characters I've ever encountered - I found myself rooting for him from the very beginning, and feeling wretchedly sorry for him when thi
Feb 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Wow. What a ride. This is a book just bursting with every element of what an epic fantasy should be.

First of all, this was a long book, but that didn't daunt me. If you feel intimidated by its length, just imagine it as a trilogy all bound together in one book.

There were so many layers to this book that I've no doubt I'll need to reread it. Yes, it mirrors the book of Job, but not in a "conservative fundamental" way, which hooked me right from the prologue. The author also draws heavily on the l
Dec 03, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
This is honestly one of the best pieces of Young Adult fantasy that you can get your hands on. I feel like many YA fantasy novels are either cliche, trite, badly written or just plain un-relateable and this book is none of that. I haven't read this for many many years, now, but it sticks with me to this day and I plan to give it a re-read, eventually.

A lot of the other reviews cover just about everything about this book, but I would just like to add one thing. This is not a "Christian" book. Thi
Margaret Gilmore
Nov 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: anyone who enjoys a good tale
Recommended to Margaret by: Heather Petzoldt (my daughter)
I totally enjoyed this book. It was quite entertaining, not the typical book I would pick up to read, but sure glad I did! The story begins with the age old wager between God and Lucifer. The object of their wager is a young boy named Joby. It has angels, demons, magic, love, mild violence and fantasy. I would rate it 4.5 stars if I could. This is one I will read again just to be sure I did not miss anything the first time.
Dec 01, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: No one. Ever.
Forget the hundred monkey and their typewriters. A senile ferret on crack could, whilst having apoplectic fits on a keyboard, come up with more compelling material than this.

But that would be cruelty to animals; PETA would be after you if you did that. Too bad there's no such thing as cruelty to readers because this book is rank abuse. Someone seriously needs to douse Mr. Ferrari with printer ink.
Cherie M.
Jan 07, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: best-ever
What an incredible and epic first novel Mark Ferrari has written. An imaginative modern retelling of the story of Job from the Bible sprinkled with some of the magic that was Camelot. The starting point of this fantasy is a wager between God and Lucifer with the world as we know it at stake. A must read!
Feb 17, 2008 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Amy Ariel
Jul 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2015-challenge
Absolutely delightful in the end.
Throughout the majority I couldn't decide whether this is the world I often feel like I live in or the one I wish I did. In the end, I still don't know. I am very glad I read it, though.
Jan 13, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I thought maybe it was a Christian author, but it's definitely more fantasy than Christian fiction, but a great take on the story of Job anyway.

Lucifer and the Creator have entered, yet again, into a wager they've made many times before, but this time, the existence of creation itself is balanced on the outcome. Born in California during the twilight years of a weary millennium, nine year old Joby Peterson dreams of blazing like a bonfire against the gathering darkness of his times, like a knig
J. Else
Apr 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Overall impression when I finished: Pleasantly surprised but not overly wowed.

I briefly read an interview with the author. To quote from it, Mr. Ferrari said, “…the book is not, in fact, about Christianity to begin with, only set in it.” That surprised me!
He sums up his themes as thus: (1) “The assumption most of us in America are taught from the cradle on that there is some reliable cause and effect relationship between what we do and what we get... As we grow up, however, this reassuring ass
Oct 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the 5 books I would take with me on a desert island. The content is very clear from the pitch, but the atmosphere in the book needs to be experienced. CS Lewis with ”The Great Divorce”, George MacDonald with ”The Princess and the Goblin” are similar in spirit. What is the most fascinating (for those who believe there is another world than the visible one, with its own life, living above us, next to us, with us) is that the author manages to give consistency to this permanent dialo ...more
Marios Avgoustatos
Nov 21, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I knew Mark Ferrari for his fantastic illustration works, especially in video games from the 8-bit era and ACE and I was aware, apart from his creative work, of his technical achievements e.g. dithering.
Lately I discovered this book, among other writings. I read it without big expectations, but hey it is really amazing!
A modern retelling of "The Book of Job", one of the books of Old Testament. Every page is entertaining, the plot is amazing and clever. Joby’s tale is in my opinion, one of the mo
Nick Rivard
Mar 11, 2019 rated it really liked it
I would probably actually rate this book as 3 1/2 stars. It was definitely entertaining and succeeded in its goal of being a combination of the book of Job, the Arthur legend, and it’s own unique story. Unfortunately, it doesn’t do any of these things as successfully as it could and is a bit over-long. If you have a good three day weekend and nothing else to read I would recommend it though!
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