Book info

Eli (2003)

Eli (2003)
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Rating
4.07 of 5 Votes: 5
ISBN
0310251141 (ISBN13: 9780310251149)
languge
English
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publisher
zondervan
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Eli (2003)
Eli (2003)

About book: There are very few books I can read more than once--not because I don't often find good books, but because there are so many books I haven't read and want to and don't want to spend time on books I've already read. Bill Myers' brilliant story, Eli, is one of the few (along with anything by Amy Tan). This book tells two stories, one about Conrad Davis, a reporter for a primetime news magazine who has nothing but his job. He's divorced from Suzanne, the mother of his daughter, Julia, and recently divorced from his second wife. At the beginning of the book, Conrad is in a coma following a car crash, and his daughter must come to terms with her feelings for him--having a series of flashbacks leading up to the incident that damaged their relationship--as she struggles to determine whether or not to pull the plug.The second story is about Eli Shepherd. While in a coma, Conrad is in a world in which Jesus never existed. Myers answers the question, "What if Jesus hadn't come until today?" with Eli. Conrad sees Eli as a baby, born in a motel laundry room, and he sees him again as a young man embarking on his ministry and revealing to people that he is the son of God. Unlike in the time in which Jesus lived, Eli can communicate to the masses through television and other modern technologies. His apostles include a former white supremacist biker, a former adult filmmaker, and Conrad. Suzanne also is a follower of Eli, and Conrad is given a second chance to treat her like he should have during their marriage.Eli offers a modern-day telling of the raising of Jairus' daughter and of Lazarus and the healing of many sick and disabled people. Sandwiched between scenes from Eli's ministry is Conrad's fight for life. Julia, struggling with her own family problems, is pressured by her father's most recent ex-wife to end Conrad's life, but she is hesitant. Meanwhile, Eli, like Jesus, comes to the end of his ministry on earth. Myers does an excellent job presenting a modern-day version of the crucifixion and balancing parallel worlds.I think I enjoy Eli so much because it makes the story of Jesus come alive and makes the Gospel relevant to our lives today. It's also a story about forgiveness, redemption, and second chances--things we all need at one time or another.ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED AT:http://diaryofaneccentric.blogspot.co...

So this is kind of a weird book to review. This is actually the second time I've read it- the first time was when I was a kid, and I pulled it off my parents' bookshelf because it looked interesting. I remembered bits of it, and a few weeks ago decided I wanted to read it again.It's still an interesting book. The writing style is pretty hokey in places, I won't lie, but then again flawless writing style isn't really the point of the book. It is basically a retelling of the Gospel story, set in the modern day. It's really interesting to read the stories again set with modern styles and meanings. Instead of being born in a manger (seriously, who does that anymore?) he is born in a motel laundry room. Instead of fish and loaves, he feeds a crowd with a burger and side of fries (it's set in America, after all). Instead of throwing out the moneychangers from the temple, he trashes a gift shop in a overly-elaborate mega-church. Again, a lot of it is kind of hokey, but in the end it's okay because it really does recast these stories in a new light. It's easy to think "hey, no one has money changers in their churches anymore, it's all good" when really you've got the same effect from a million other influences. It stuck with me as a kid (I never did like mega-churches) and I'm glad to have reread it. It's a pretty good "thinkin' book".
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Reviews
Briana
Beautifully written. I haven't read it in a while, because I lent it to someone and I don't remember who it was...sadness...Anyway, this book avoided any irreverent look at Christ while still maintaining a modern-day outlook. It's really a discomforting, provocative thought to imagine what Jesus would do and say if He had come today...and then what we would do and say back to Him...I think sometimes when reading the Bible, we tend to get caught in a false romanticism...and that's somewhat excusable, because we don't know that world. But then this book strikes home...like, I used to subconsciously think "IRS" whenever I saw "tax collector"...and I knew that wasn't true, but I couldn't help it...But then there's this one scene where Eli is telling the story of the prodigal son to a group of porn stars, transgenders, and prostitutes...and that's a shocker, to turn around and look at the people that are hated in the present in the way that Christ would see them...am I rambling? If I am, it's because I really loved this book. Definitely not a substitute for the Bible--nothing is--but a very challenging, emotion-filled book. I *almost* cried when I read it...and that's saying a lot for me. Now I want my book back!!*EDIT*Thanks to this review, I got my book back! ...the guilty party shall remain UNNAMED...but you know who you are.
Jen
The premise was interesting, but the follow through didn't work so well for me. I ended up skimming most of it. It was written well, but I highly doubt that someone from now would be bounced into a parallel universe, live through a modern-day Jesus story and not realize that what happened had to happen. Maybe I missed that part when I was skimming, but that point seemed shaky. Also, the reason why the daughter and father were estranged because she thought he had lied to her about not letting go of the bike...that's just too sad. I really hope that people don't hang onto silly things like that and use them as wedges between one another. I'm going to try Joshua next, which is a similar plot line. We'll see which one I like better.
Paige [eastIndies.]
At first, I thought this was going to be one of those cheesy Christian books. But, as I persisted myself to keep reading it, it got better, and I slowly started to make the connections between Jesus Christ in the Bible and Eli Sheperd in today's society. Although, I will admit, the book had it's cheesy moments, I do want to give the author definite credit for the excellence and accuracy in the way he portrayed Eli as Jesus and especially how he depicted him in today's world. I was impressed, to say the least. Overall, the story had a great twist to it, and I am also impressed with the way the author strung the events of the New Testament together to create them in a new, modern way. It was very creative and he must have spent some time thinking about it. I would suggest this to anyone who has a hard time reading (and enjoying) the Bible.
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