login

Author Topic: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...  (Read 2825 times)

0 Members and 1 Guest are viewing this topic.

Offline Thrifty

  • Grendel's Mom
  • ***
  • Posts: 9275
  • Liked: 1272
  • Now available in non-prescription strength.
The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« on: October 13, 2009, 02:03:40 PM »
I just wish they could have been put in the hands of more competent writers. 

The book of Revelation is kind of an interesting read, and setting that amidst the backdrop of real people in our modern world would have been cool.  So I was hopeful when I started reading the books.

Except... they read more like protracted religious tracts with unlikeable, interchangeable good guys.  The primary "good guy" is God, but it's impossible to see him as good.  It would've been nice if all the praise of this monster was left out and the events just allowed to happen.

But anyway... are there any good books similar to this out there?


Offline Tripe

  • Stars in Musicals
  • *
  • Posts: 41553
  • Liked: 9932
  • Very dapper
    • Nick Rowley, Voice Artist
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #1 on: October 13, 2009, 02:31:18 PM »
Not that I'm aware of; I can suggest other series but they all have a similar problem in that their prime reason to exist is as, like you said, protracted religious tracts.

You could read Good Omens, God certainly isn't the principal good guy in that one.


Offline Kete

  • Dragon Ryder
  • ***
  • Posts: 6545
  • Liked: 3529
  • All joking a salad.
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #2 on: October 13, 2009, 02:51:45 PM »
I read these books a number of years ago as an interesting view of what other people believe.  Then I moved to the South and saw first hand the anger and intolerance that some of these people can foster.  I realized that the authors of these books would not hesitate to tell me that I'm going to Hell.  Now I regret wasting my time.  I got up to, but didn't read the last book.

I've been turned off from the religious fiction novels because I feel that it trivializes religion (regardless of your beliefs).

An interesting book that I read a few months ago was Ishmael.  It talks about evolution, religion, and man's place in the world through a dialog with a talking gorilla.


Offline Darth Geek

  • The Efron
  • ****
  • Posts: 27639
  • Liked: 5547
  • I am boring and destined to die alone!
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #3 on: October 13, 2009, 05:30:56 PM »
I really liked the This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. They do have parts where the narrative stops dead when it gets preachy, but these are few and not enough to ruin interest.



Offline mrbasehart

  • Steals from Casinos
  • *****
  • Posts: 16364
  • Liked: 2111
  • Movie-Watching Machine
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #4 on: October 13, 2009, 06:35:17 PM »
Anybody see the modern Left Behind movies? I'm wondering if they're as crazy as the 70s ones I saw for the Film Challenge.


Offline Tripe

  • Stars in Musicals
  • *
  • Posts: 41553
  • Liked: 9932
  • Very dapper
    • Nick Rowley, Voice Artist
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #5 on: October 13, 2009, 06:39:48 PM »
You know, I saw them at the local sally army charity shop for about 75 cents each, I think I'll see if they are still there and I'll let you know.

They feature the mark of quality Kirk Cameron so they're probably oozing car crash entertainment value.
« Last Edit: October 13, 2009, 06:46:30 PM by TripeHoundRedux »


Offline Sideswipe

  • Compsognathus
  • *****
  • Posts: 10563
  • Liked: 2052
  • Look at me!!
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #6 on: October 13, 2009, 08:43:10 PM »
Its hard to see god as good even in the bible.

I was bieng threated with death by wolf raping before it was cool!.


Offline carlobee

  • Magneto-cent Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 453
  • Liked: 1
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2009, 10:25:23 PM »
Anybody see the modern Left Behind movies? I'm wondering if they're as crazy as the 70s ones I saw for the Film Challenge.

Ditto. ;D



Offline Compound

  • Grendel's Mom
  • ***
  • Posts: 9397
  • Liked: 972
  • Happy 11th Birthday, Synch Issues!
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2009, 11:03:53 PM »
Anybody see the modern Left Behind movies? I'm wondering if they're as crazy as the 70s ones I saw for the Film Challenge.

I bought the first one when it was released, out of morbid curiosity. (I used to read the Book of Revelations during church if the reverend's sermon got boring.) And I just rewatched it because of your question.

I remember it as being embarassingly bad, but rewatching, it wasn't as bad as I remembered. Purely as a movie, it's kinda "meh". They're trying really hard, but it just doesn't work. The acting is okay, except it descends into preachiness with a number of characters.  A few scenes work. The attack on Israel that  starts the film. The Rapture scenes are also rather effective. But it falls apart when towards the end. The film makers push the preaching up to 11. (And they toss in some not terribly good Christian rock in there as well.) There's some good setup with the antichrist that makes the character begin to look interesting, but then the does the reveal and he  might as well be wearing a waxy mustache and twirling it as he speaks. Still, the first hour works pretty well. It's not A-List, but it was more enjoyable than the killer cell phone movie I watched this weekend.

And Tribulation Force? let me put it this way: the A-Team versus the Anti-Christ. Except nowhere near as good.

But anyway... are there any good books similar to this out there?


I'll second Good Omens, which isn't quite revelations, but is a good read. Or you could hunt copy a copy of the Omen. And I remember a short story that involved robots fighting demons in the end times, but I can't recall the title. For just end times stuff, you might try Swan's Song by Robert McCammon  or Steven King's The Stand.

Movie-wise you could go see The Apple.  Or End of Days if you'd prefer much less pain. (Or Rosemary's Baby. or even The Prophecy.)


Offline MSTJedi

  • Climbed El Capitan
  • *******
  • Posts: 5037
  • Liked: 604
  • In a not too distant future far, far away. . . .
    • Facebook
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #9 on: October 14, 2009, 12:23:48 AM »
I really liked the This Present Darkness and Piercing the Darkness. They do have parts where the narrative stops dead when it gets preachy, but these are few and not enough to ruin interest.

You know, I really liked those books back in my holy roller days, but now I'm afraid to go back and read them again in my agnostic present just because of the preachy factor. Might be an interesting experiment in taste of literature due to changing beliefs, though.



Offline Thrifty

  • Grendel's Mom
  • ***
  • Posts: 9275
  • Liked: 1272
  • Now available in non-prescription strength.
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #10 on: October 19, 2009, 09:09:58 AM »
Did I mentionthe deconstruction of the Left Behind books that was linked to in the thread on Left Behind the Movie in the Suggest-a-Trax forum?

I love it.  The writer appears to be Christian, and he's attacking the books based on both bad theology and terrible writing.  There are too many great bits to pick out a favorite, so I'll share this one which I happen to be reading just now:

Quote
Sometimes when you're reading an otherwise effective book, or watching an otherwise engaging movie or TV show, one of the characters will suddenly say something that just doesn't fit -- something so out of character that it takes you out of the story, reminding you that these characters aren't real, that they're just reciting words placed in their mouths by some writer who hasn't bothered to get to know these people all that well.

Everything in Left Behind is like that, only worse. And it's more than just the occasional off-key sentence -- there are whole conversations like this, whole passages in which everything that is said goes way beyond "out-of-character" and into the realm of inhuman. The reader doesn't just think, "Buck Williams would never say that," but that "Buck Williams is supposed to be a human, and no human would ever say that." Or think that. Or listen to someone else saying and thinking such things without fearing for that person's sanity and shouting in protest.

We're in the middle of one of those conversations here. Buck Williams, Steve Plank and Stanton Bailey are talking in Bailey's office. If you don't pay attention to what they're saying, and you don't look out the window, then the scene seems almost normal. But if you do listen to them you'll think you've wandered into some absurdist play set in a madhouse.

Steve has just informed his friends that the president of Romania has a multi-point plan for world domination. They smile, nod and ask about the details. Steve explains that the president of Romania intends to ask everyone on earth to give him their weapons, making him an unchallenged superpower and leaving them all defenseless. Sounds reasonable, Buck and Bailey say. And then the president of Romania intends to sign a peace treaty with an invincible nation that no one is at war with, to turn ancient Babylon into the east side of Manhattan and to turn Botswana into Iowa. That'll take some persuasion, his friends say, but an appearance with Jay Leno should do the trick. Anything else? Yes, finally, the president of Romania intends to start a worldwide cult, replacing and outlawing all other religions. "Brilliant," Stanton Bailey says. "Revolutionary."

To have one character sitting there spouting these non-sequitur absurdities is bad enough, but to have two others -- including the protagonist with whom we're supposed to identify -- just nodding along as nonchalantly as though he were discussing the weather makes the whole effect almost dazzlingly surreal. If you were sitting in that room you would have to interrupt -- "Say, you guys didn't happen to do a whole bunch of drugs, did you?" You'd point out that no one in their right mind would ever propose doing such things, and no one in their right mind would ever go along with it. That the president of Romania is making David Koresh and Sun Myung Moon seem comparably balanced and sane.


Offline Darth Geek

  • The Efron
  • ****
  • Posts: 27639
  • Liked: 5547
  • I am boring and destined to die alone!
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #11 on: October 19, 2009, 09:48:41 AM »
Steve has just informed his friends that the president of Romania has a multi-point plan for world domination. They smile, nod and ask about the details. Steve explains that the president of Romania intends to ask everyone on earth to give him their weapons, making him an unchallenged superpower and leaving them all defenseless. Sounds reasonable, Buck and Bailey say. And then the president of Romania intends to sign a peace treaty with an invincible nation that no one is at war with, to turn ancient Babylon into the east side of Manhattan and to turn Botswana into Iowa. That'll take some persuasion, his friends say, but an appearance with Jay Leno should do the trick. Anything else? Yes, finally, the president of Romania intends to start a worldwide cult, replacing and outlawing all other religions. "Brilliant," Stanton Bailey says. "Revolutionary."
That sounds like something from a bad Hitchhikers Guide fanfic.



Offline Kete

  • Dragon Ryder
  • ***
  • Posts: 6545
  • Liked: 3529
  • All joking a salad.
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #12 on: October 19, 2009, 10:05:29 AM »
I love it.  The writer appears to be Christian, and he's attacking the books based on both bad theology and terrible writing.  There are too many great bits to pick out a favorite, so I'll share this one which I happen to be reading just now:

This reminds me of something that a Catholic priest said about The Da Vinci Code.  I don't remember it word for word, but it was something like, "This novel is more blasphemous towards decent writing than it is towards the Catholic Church".


Offline Darth Geek

  • The Efron
  • ****
  • Posts: 27639
  • Liked: 5547
  • I am boring and destined to die alone!
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #13 on: October 19, 2009, 06:22:39 PM »
I love it.  The writer appears to be Christian, and he's attacking the books based on both bad theology and terrible writing.  There are too many great bits to pick out a favorite, so I'll share this one which I happen to be reading just now:

This reminds me of something that a Catholic priest said about The Da Vinci Code.  I don't remember it word for word, but it was something like, "This novel is more blasphemous towards decent writing than it is towards the Catholic Church".
Now if they could only teach common sense stuff like THAT to their followers.

"How come God hogs up all the good followers and we get left with the retards?" - Clown



Offline Tripe

  • Stars in Musicals
  • *
  • Posts: 41553
  • Liked: 9932
  • Very dapper
    • Nick Rowley, Voice Artist
Re: The Left Behind books were such a great concept...
« Reply #14 on: October 19, 2009, 06:26:36 PM »
I love it.  The writer appears to be Christian, and he's attacking the books based on both bad theology and terrible writing.  There are too many great bits to pick out a favorite, so I'll share this one which I happen to be reading just now:

This reminds me of something that a Catholic priest said about The Da Vinci Code.  I don't remember it word for word, but it was something like, "This novel is more blasphemous towards decent writing than it is towards the Catholic Church".
Now if they could only teach common sense stuff like THAT to their followers.

"How come God hogs up all the good followers and we get left with the retards?" - Clown
I was going to say "Hey most Catholics are fairly sensible", but then I turned on the radio to the local Catholic station and I'll keep schtum (they are having difficulty raising funds though which gives me hope, Waugh, Chesterton and Greene would be ashamed).