Katiebe's Reviews > The Book of Joby

The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari
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's review
Nov 25, 2007

really liked it
bookshelves: favoritestbooksever
Read in April, 2008

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 for most of the book that I'm not sure if there would be an ending I'd have felt was ultimately satisfying. Suffice it to say, I loved the book enough to read it a second time only 2 months later.

Ferrari's intentions with this book were also what drew me to read it. He writes on the FAQ's on his website that he found most of the sci-fi/fantasy novels he loved were "usually housed in veneers of some other culture's mythology. In most cases neither the writers nor their American audiences seemed likely to have much visceral understanding of, if even academic familiarity with, the Norse, or Celtic, or Asian mythologies being alluded to. It seemed to me that a lot of potential richness and meaning was being lost by housing our own myths and folktales in skins so devoid of more layered depth to their readers." Thus, he chose to use Christianity and Arthurian legend as his lens. Make no mistake, this is not a fundamentalist text! Unless you have some preconceived aversion to Christianity (or, alternatively, are utterly obsessed with it), this book is not a comment on what you should believe, but only uses the foundations of our current Western culture as its basis.

Finally, this is not really a "fantasy" book. I've recommend it to friends and family who really dislike that genre, and they have all loved it and couldn't put it down. Overall, this book is a fantastic, entertaining read that I highly recommend.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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Rebecca This is SO going on my TBR list! Thanks for such a great review. I'd read practically anything you recommended anyway!

Judah I have to say that I was reluctant to pick this book up because of the Christian aspect of its description...I have to say I'm glad I did now! I only started reading it this morning and am already 100+ pages into it. (so much for saving it for the airplane ride home)

The reason I'm commenting, however, is this **In most cases neither the writers nor their American audiences seemed likely to have much visceral understanding of, if even academic familiarity with**...it's such an excellent point. I'm not a fan of cultural appropriation, and it's nice to see that addressed, and nicely done as well.

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