Monday, September 1, 2008

Waking Lazarus, by T.L. Hines (Bethany House)

(Click cover for more information)

In his work The Prophets, Abraham Heschel writes, "None of the prophets seems enamored with being a prophet nor proud of his attainment." Jude Allman, hero of T.L. Hines' Waking Lazarus, can identify with Dr. Heschel's words.
His gift? Well, it’s unlike any popularly associated with that of a prophet. He writes no book, he preaches no sermon, he calls no fire down from Heaven. Rather, Jude has experienced clinical death no less than three times: once as a young boy, once as a teenager, and once as a young man. Each time, against all medical reason, he returns to life. But these resurrections are not his gift; they are merely preservations of the gift.
The notoriety these miraculous raisings inflict on Jude has a sensation-seeking public breathing down his neck at every turn. Like the Biblical Jonah, he runs from the world and from his calling. Jude’s Tarshish is Red Lodge, a sleepy hamlet in Montana, where he adopts a name change to protect his identity, a comfortable paranoia to protect his sanity, and tucks himself into a cocoon of obscurity.
Enter a series of crimes so heinous it strips away Jude’s protections and he is forced once again to face his calling and the eyes of a prying world. He stubbornly clings to the shreds of his cocoon until events threaten to destroy the one connection to his past—his only son.
Waking Lazarus will evoke a curious mixture of emotion. You’ll find yourself in the awkward situation of fearing the next page turn, but being powerless to resist it. Masterfully written and eerily imaginative, Mr. Hines achieves a quasi-believable surrealism without resorting to excessive paranormality. There are twists and turns, blind alleys and perpetual horizons, and a spiritual element that is quiet, but unmistakable.
Highly recommended for readers who lean toward the Frank Peretti and Ted Dekker edge, but have a greater appreciation for the art of subtlety.


Anonymous said...

Sounds like a good book!

Thanks for these book reviews! I really enjoy reading what you have to say, and from there I am able to decide if it's a good book for me. Thank you very much for sharing!

Bruce Judisch said...

Thanks, Jennifer. This one was really interesting. I appreciated how Mr. Hines was able to incorporate a supernatural element that was clearly the focal point, but without blowing you over with it. I'm not sure what your taste in fiction is, but this one's worth a try. We got it on the clearance rack out a local Christian book store.

Cheers! Bruce