The Thunder (Douglas Bond) pdf, epub, doc

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[Abridged review; full review here. ]

While The Thunder is a wonderful and detailed portrait of John Knox, it has some rather deep flaws as a novel. For one, any fictional characterizations are remarkably flat, and rather pointless to the developing of John Knox's life. George is known for bugging out his eyes and getting sick to his stomach on the least provocation, and Francis I knew even less about—besides the fact that he liked to dig his fingers into his brother's arm to keep him in line. George's only feelings were those that worked to support the reader's understanding of the Reformation. Most of what I loved about him I discovered through inference.

However, novel and plotting aside, it's an excellent biography. John Knox is the strongest character, as he ought to be, and his passionate love for Jesus and the people of Scotland, his hard work in spite of bodily suffering, and his faithful preaching even when he felt unable or afraid are all clearly portrayed. I loved his family life, and my favorite part of the book was his ministry in Geneva, when he spent time preaching with Calvin.

I learned much; before reading The Thunder Knox was a familiar name. Now I actually know facts and details about his life, and could carry on a conversation about him, as well as about the monarchs of Europe during that time period. I love it when a novel gives me a good education at the same time!

It's a hard book to rate. From a historical perspective four stars, possibly even five. From a novel perspective, three stars. But I will say, I enjoyed being able to read a book with no objectionable content, no swearing, and good, straight, clean theology. Those are important books to have around, and I enjoyed giving it a perusal and chewing over its flaws and its strong points. I'll probably read it again; and I'm glad to own Bond's Calvin/Knox collection.

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