FOY: ON THE ROAD TO LOST
Genre: Literary Fiction
Publisher: Material Media LLC
Date of Publication: March 1, 2017
Number of Pages: 194
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Gordon Atkinson, of the popular blog RealLivePreacher, brings us Foy, a recently- divorced, recently-resigned pastor in the midst of redefining personal meaning. As Foy travels to New Orleans, hoping to find a new identity separate from the church, he keenly observes the everyday, rendering ordinary moments unexpectedly significant. Atkinson’s own background as a preacher and blogger inspires Foy’s confessional voice, the voice which characterizes this story about how our own experiences impact the universal search for meaning.
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PRAISE FOR FOY: ON THE ROAD TO LOST
“If the magnitude of difference between the stars and humankind is the purest of religions, reminding us of our insignificance (so thinks Foy), then that magnitude is collapsed in the hands of Atkinson, whose words elevate the most insignificant of objects, acts, and characters to startling heights. A key shifted on a desk, a communion cup offered to an old woman despite a philosophical mismatch, a baby’s bottle first ignored and then retrieved for a frazzled stranger on a bus. Each commands, each arrests, each persists. And we suddenly remember that what we create with mere words can be as lasting as the luminaries.” — L.L. Barkat, author of Rumors of Water: Thoughts on Creativity & Writing, twice named a best book of 2011
“Few writers can match Gordon Atkinson’s ability to tell stories about the sacred in our everyday lives. Foy is a work of power, beauty, and clarity–I saw myself and the world more clearly after reading it. I think you will too.” — Greg Garrett, author of The Prodigal and Entertaining Judgment
“I really, really like Gordon Atkinson’s Foy. I like the character Foy himself. He’s Everyman and he’s me and he’s Gordon, all at the same time. Nice trick. I like Gordon’s writing — straightforward, but with a simple elegance. But what I really like is the no-holds-barred honesty. This feels real because it is real. Foy at his worst, Foy at his best, Foy at his most wonderful/awful. It’s an on-going series, just like life. I look forward to the next chapter.” — Robert F. Darden, author of Nothing but Love in God’s Water, Volume II: Black Sacred Music from Sit-Ins to Resurrection City
Books in the Literary Fiction genre seem to be hit and miss with me. However, Foy surprised me and I found this introspective look back at his life very fascinating. The book starts off and Foy is being let go from the church where he is a pastor. I think it is something of a shock, and like most people that are let go, he seems to stumble around trying to figure out what he should be doing with his life. The following chapters are a flashback of his life and how he got to this point. I liked that each chapter was more of a snapshot of an influential time in his life, whether he knew it or not at the time. It seems like he was meant to be a preacher from his early days, but was that because he was emulating his father?
This book also peeks inside Foy’s relationship with God and religion, and perhaps it causes the reader to also consider how they feel or what they believe when it comes to God and religion. One paragraph (or close) made me think a little. This is from the Bearing Witness chapter – “I think hell is a place where God is not. And if people don’t want to be with God, then he honors that choice and they can be away from God for eternity. If that’s what they choose, he’ll give it to them. But I think hell must be a terrible place if God is absent from it.” This gave me pause and actually changed my thinking on how to perceive hell (whether there is one or not is a whole other topic!)
Another paragraph that stood out to me is from The Sermon chapter. “The thing about forgiveness is, we don’t even know what the hell it means. People are always saying “Forgive me” or “I forgive you”, but we don’t define it. That’s a problem.” This is tied to a biblical verse that talks about forgiving someone not seven times, but seventy times seven. If you think about it, that is a lot of forgiveness. What could someone do 490 times (70 x 7) that you would forgive them every single time? For most people it would never get that far before they had enough of the situation.
The only thing I don’t really like in this book is the use of the f* bomb. Ironically there is a chapter titled F-Bomb and there is a bit of humor in that chapter tied to this word, but there were many other uses of the word in this book that weren’t really necessary. Maybe I grew up in a sheltered household, but I don’t recall this word being used much in the 70’s and 80’s. I could be wrong though.
The book doesn’t really end and in the notes from the author it seems that he is working on a Part II that will pick up where this book ends.
Overall I give it 4 paws and if you are looking for a book that will make you think, then check out this one.
Atkinson is the author of the books RealLivePreacher.com (Wm. B. Eerdmans), Turtles All the Way Down, and A Christmas Story You’ve Never Heard. He was a contributor for the magazine Christian Century and founding editor for the High Calling website, which brought together hundreds of independent writers and featured their work.
His writing career started on Salon where he was among the most read bloggers on the site. One of his essays was chosen to be included in The Best Christian Writing 2004 (Jossey-Bass) and his book RealLivePreacher.com won the Independent Publisher Book Award in the creative non-fiction category.
GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY! GIVEAWAY!
Grand Prize: Signed Copies of Foy: On the Road to Lost, Turtles All the Way Down, and A Christmas Story You Never Heard
2nd Prize: Signed Copy of Foy: On the Road to Lost
3rd Prize: Signed Copy of RealLivePreacher.com
March 1 – 15, 2017
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|3/1||Video Guest Post||Hall Ways Blog|
|3/2||Review||Momma On The Rocks|
|3/3||Excerpt 1||CGB Blog Tours|
|3/4||Video Guest Post||Syd Savvy|
|3/6||Author Interview||Kara The Redhead|
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|3/9||Excerpt||My Book Fix Blog|
|3/10||Review||Margie’s Must Reads|
|3/11||Video Guest Post||Chapter Break Book Blog|
|3/12||Author Interview||Missus Gonzo|
|3/14||Video Guest Post||Texas Book Lover|
|3/15||Review||Reading By Moonlight|
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