Wednesday, December 3, 2008

On My Nightstand - Billy by William Paul McKay & Ken Abraham

I grew up watching Billy Graham on television, and later participated in one of his crusades as a counselor and choir member. How could anything new be written about this well-known evangelist? The story told from the perspective of his erstwhile friend-and-mentor-turned-atheist, Charles Templeton, proved too intriguing to pass up. I wasn't disappointed.

Hoping to save her job, an aging reporter accepts an assignment to interview Charles Templeton. Maybe she'd unearth some skeletons buried in the background of Billy's stellar life. Since Templeton never achieved the notoriety of Billy Graham, he might provide enough tantalizing details to formulate a scandalous story.

Suffering from Alzheimer's and facing death, Templeton jumps at the chance to stroll down Memory Lane. To the reporter's chagrin, he insists on giving details from the beginning of Billy's life to the present.

A picture comes into focus that contrasts the choices of the two men. Templeton's abandonment of God inflames Billy's doubts. Like a raging fever, they threaten his soul. His friend's passionate arguments against faith leave him bewildered and unable to answer the questions tormenting his mind.

The dramatic finale to this tale made me both weep and rejoice. The loss of another night's sleep didn't even register as I devoured the last half of the book.


Jessica Nelson said...

Wow, you should be paid to write reviews. Every time you write one I want to read the book.

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Jessica -

Thanks for the compliment. Anybody out there listening???

Seriously, I only review books I've enjoyed. How can I recommend something if I don't like it? As far as books that make my stomach turn, I go by the maxim, "if you can't say something nice, don't say anything at all."

Susan :)

Annie said...

Sounds like a great book and I agree, you should write reviews (although there's not much money in it, you do get free books :)

Susan J. Reinhardt said...

Hi Annie -

Thanks for the kind words. This was the first book I've reviewed for Thomas Nelson. You must write a review whether you enjoyed it or not, so I was careful with my choice.

BTW, check out Monday's Contest post. I'm doing a drawing for Lynn Austin's book, "Hidden Places."

Susan :)