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The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari (2012-01-03)

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    Available in PDF - DJVU Format | The Book of Joby by Mark J. Ferrari (2012-01-03).pdf | Language: UNKNOWN
    Mark J. Ferrari(Author)

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  • Mark J. Ferrari(Author)
  • Tor Fantasy (1618)
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Review Text

  • By MW on August 11, 2014

    I really loved this book, I couldn't stop reading it because I just had to know what happen next. I'm not a religious person but, I really enjoyed the way God and the angels/demons were portrayed within this book. I really like the message of that it was more so about love and kindness rather than disobeying him, which was consider to be "sinful," so I'm not sure if this type of book will be against some religions or not, with the portrayal of God himself but, I quite enjoyed it. I also enjoyed the Arthurian bit mix into it all, though felt a bit force at times (mostly the love triangle) but, enjoyed it nonetheless.There might be times where it does seem a bit slow, with what is going on but, I feel like that is to flesh/explore the characters more than the plot itself, which I personally enjoyed. You got to know plenty of these characters quite well, learn to love them and you saw flaws in them but still were able to adore them regardless of those flaws. There were quite a few moments that were rather emotional and did have me tearing up a bit.My only issue is the bit of homophobia slurs and such handled at the start of the book, they never corrected such thought progress with these characters and made it seem like being queer was bad/not "manly," I was hoping throughout the book they would have at least one queer character to make up for such but alas, didn't happen.

  • By Patrick Shepherd on March 31, 2008

    It's not often that you run into such a scintillating first novel. But this one certainly is.As the first chapter notes, it's all about "the same old stupid bet" - the one between God and Satan that Satan can corrupt a human and make him actively join forces with the dark side. There's only one small difference: for this round, God is forbidden to intervene in events (though, conspicuously, his servants can, if asked for help). For his chosen champion, God selects a young boy named Joby. Joby, like many young boys, is enthralled with the legend of King Arthur, and in a dream promises Arthur that he will fight the forces of evil, and be as perfect as can be. From this starting point, we follow Joby through his life, his successes and his failures, the trials and very real tribulations he is faced with, his dreams, his joys, and his depressions.Now all this has been done before in other books. What makes this book more than worthwhile to read is the absolute believability of Joby. His character is very finely delineated, along with those around him who are touched by his actions and in turn have deep effects on him. I found myself cheering him on when he was being all he could be, rushing through those pages, uplifted by this portrait of a truly good person, and falling into a depression almost as bad as his when things go horribly wrong, again and again. And throughout the first three quarters of this book, what Joby faces are very believable, and some would say, very normal problems and defeats, things that everyone can relate to, with some real tragedies that will make you groan in despair. Only in the last stages of this book does it really delve into the metaphysical/fantasy aspects, but here again we find a fine picture of true moral dilemmas, not just for Joby, but even for some angels.In between those pages about Joby we are treated to a rather satirical portrait of Satan and his cohorts, and a portrait of God that might seem rather different than the one you might have gained from church services. While some may be offended by these portraits, the final picture that emerges is one that is fully in keeping with the Bible. Right alongside this, there is some rather sharp commentary about certain types of people and just how `good' goals and institutions can be subverted to where their actual achievements are the opposite of their supposed intentions, and certain aspects of our culture receive a rather merciless pounding. Much of this is delivered with a mild touch of humor, and almost all of it is done by `showing' - no long philosophical essays here.There are a few not very expectable plot twists here and there, and certain familial relations don't become clear until fairly late in the book, but this merely keeps the suspense alive until the final resolution. The tie-ins with the Arthurian legends are well done, and add an aspect to this story that is not present in most other books that utilize this idea.An excellent book, populated by people you will remember for a long time, and with a lot food for thought permeating its pages.--- Reviewed by Patrick Shepherd (hyperpat)

  • By hoops on August 13, 2013

    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 is that it's really long. When I first read it, I did so with an old-fashioned, paper and print book and the font was small, the spacing was minimal and the pages themselves were larger than normal. And the page count came in, I believe, over 1000 pages. I am on record as not liking writers who can't get their story across in a reasonable number of pages and this would seem like it should be one of those books, but it's not. Here's why: This book is split up into three parts and in many ways, those three parts are like separate books in a series. However, those separate parts don't have endings. The story simply goes on. They are obvious closure points, but the story itself goes on and to have closed them off, only to continue in the next book would have been cruel. So, even though this book is very long, I actually commend Ferrari for choosing to make it all one book instead of breaking it up. It's a story told in three acts that could have been split up, but as they are all part of the same play, he chose to make it all-inclusive.The second warning I'll give you is that this book has Judeo-Christian themes involved in it and actually, I'd go so far as to call it a Christian book. HOWEVER, I also think it's an all-inclusive book because this book is far from the right-wing, conservative Christian point of view. In fact, that POV is blatantly fought against. This is a brand of Christianity that preaches love, acceptance and inclusion. For that reason, I think that people of any faith, or no faith at all, can enjoy the larger story.What is that story? Well, if you're familiar with the Book of Job in the Old Testament then you'll have an idea of the main premise of The Book of Joby. The cast of characters includes God, a few arch angels, the devil and his demon faithful. Those characters provide the framework for the very human story and characters who you can't help but fall in love with and feel for in the most palpable of ways. The characters in this book are simply outstanding. They are developed well, they are dimensional and full and interesting. The plotting is excellent. The story is amazing. The messages are pure and true and resounding. The pace...I won't lie. I don't believe the pace of this book is meant to be downhill, until the end. This is an intricately built story and things you read on page one will matter on the final page. You're not meant to devour this book without fully digesting it. That said, it's not slowly paced either. The story and the characters are so compelling that they pull you along. This is a tough book to put down. Even when you start reaching points, halfway through the book, where you feel like things SHOULD start moving downhill toward a conclusion, they don't. They keep moving on and building up and building up. That's on purpose too. But, while in the hands of a lesser author you might start screaming and pulling your hair out and throwing the book against the wall, in Ferrari's hands, you feel like you can trust him and where he's going with his story.I first read this book years ago and I loved it. I just completed a re-read and it certainly holds up and makes for an amazing re-read as well. This time around, I found that I enjoyed it even more--catching things I'd missed the first time through. However, a major reason, I think, I enjoyed it even more this time around is that I read it on my Kindle. Without the issues of small fonts and tight spacing, the book was a much better read for me (admittedly, I'm kind of a stickler for those things which is why I now prefer e-books). So, my final piece of advice on this book is that if you can, I advise reading it on an e-reader of some sort. But, I'll also tell you that for all it's aesthetic and readability issues in print, it was still one of the most worthwhile books I'd ever read, so don't deprive yourself based on that.Read this book. Read it now. It's brilliant. Easily, firmly and forever entrenched in my Top 5 Books of All-Time.

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