Customer Reviews for

Almost Heaven

Average Rating 4.5
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(49)

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Most Helpful Favorable Review

3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

A True Gift

"Almost Heaven" is the story of Billy Allman. The story follows Billy from a young boy who witnesses the destruction of his small town in the hills of West Virginia by devastating flood waters, to a semi-reclusive adult who tries to maintain his struggling small town ra...
"Almost Heaven" is the story of Billy Allman. The story follows Billy from a young boy who witnesses the destruction of his small town in the hills of West Virginia by devastating flood waters, to a semi-reclusive adult who tries to maintain his struggling small town radio station while dealing with unpredictable and at times the seemingly insurmountable obstacles laid in his path by sinister and impish demonic forces (unseen by Billy, but who were under the watchful eye of Billy's guardian angel, Malachi). The demons were relentless in trying to tear apart Billy's faith . and they tried to do this by destroying everyone and everything that Billy loved. And they succeeded. In tormenting the lives of those Billy cared about, but not at destroying his faith. Billy's relationship with God is about as real as it gets. And Chris Fabry in "Almost Heaven" is able to masterfully weave together the story of this man's life. Sometimes in heart-wrenching detail. The story of a man who truly tried to "honor God, with every decision he made." The first couple of chapters of the book were hard for me to read. The emotion Mr. Fabry is able to reveal through his writing is truly remarkable. Keep your Kleenex handy. Trying to read through some of the chapters may have you in tears because it is so easy to relate to what the main characters and especially Billy are going through. That being said, I was able to read this book in less than a week. It was impossible to put down. You're drawn in at the very first page and compelled to continue reading, anxious to find out what happens next. "Almost Heaven" is a very inspirational and thought provoking novel. When you turn the last page, you don't feel like you just read a book, but that instead you were given the privilege of witnessing and sharing in the life journey of Billy Allman. And you're now sad that it ended. Highly recommended.

posted by FictionWithFaith on January 10, 2011

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Intriguing story

A very interesting story of how challenges are met and dealt with daily. It is about overcoming and making something of your life.

posted by songbirdsue on November 8, 2011

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  • Posted January 10, 2011

    A True Gift

    "Almost Heaven" is the story of Billy Allman. The story follows Billy from a young boy who witnesses the destruction of his small town in the hills of West Virginia by devastating flood waters, to a semi-reclusive adult who tries to maintain his struggling small town radio station while dealing with unpredictable and at times the seemingly insurmountable obstacles laid in his path by sinister and impish demonic forces (unseen by Billy, but who were under the watchful eye of Billy's guardian angel, Malachi). The demons were relentless in trying to tear apart Billy's faith . and they tried to do this by destroying everyone and everything that Billy loved. And they succeeded. In tormenting the lives of those Billy cared about, but not at destroying his faith. Billy's relationship with God is about as real as it gets. And Chris Fabry in "Almost Heaven" is able to masterfully weave together the story of this man's life. Sometimes in heart-wrenching detail. The story of a man who truly tried to "honor God, with every decision he made." The first couple of chapters of the book were hard for me to read. The emotion Mr. Fabry is able to reveal through his writing is truly remarkable. Keep your Kleenex handy. Trying to read through some of the chapters may have you in tears because it is so easy to relate to what the main characters and especially Billy are going through. That being said, I was able to read this book in less than a week. It was impossible to put down. You're drawn in at the very first page and compelled to continue reading, anxious to find out what happens next. "Almost Heaven" is a very inspirational and thought provoking novel. When you turn the last page, you don't feel like you just read a book, but that instead you were given the privilege of witnessing and sharing in the life journey of Billy Allman. And you're now sad that it ended. Highly recommended.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted October 8, 2012

    Beautiful dynamic

    I LOVED this story. I think the best part was the input from the anel. It truly brought home the scripture that we're not fighting against flesh, but spirits and evil. It gave insight into how the spirit realm interacts with the world.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 24, 2012

    Highly Recommended

    Awesome read... starts out kind of slow but captivates you later. Love reading this book. It is the last of a set of books but not really a series. The author threads characters from one book to the other. Skyped the author in on our book club...great personality! Excited about reading one of the previous books...JUNE BUG.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013

    Fabulous

    There are tons of super long reviews on here, but for you that would like a short but sweet opinion, heres mine. This book, was one of the most inspirational and heartwarming stories ive ever read. Youll regret not reading it.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 13, 2012

    Great Book Highly Recommend

    I could really see the characters in this story. The author was very descriptive. Meaningful story. Would love to read more from this author!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 11, 2012

    A touching story. Brought tears to my eyes several times

    A touching story. Brought tears to my eyes several times

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 30, 2012

    Loved it!

    I purchased this book because it won a Christy award. I absolutely loved this book and couldn't put it down. I went out and bought all of Chris' books. Excellent!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 29, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is an interesting character study

    In Dogwood, West Virginia Billy Allman is considered a genius as well as an incredible mandolin player. However, as brilliant as he is with an IQ that would be in the troposphere, Billy lacks common sense when it comes to social interaction with people.

    Still Billy who is very pious works diligently on making a successful radio station from his home using discarded spare parts as he lacks funding. Over the years he remains dedicated to his dream and diligent in his reverence of his Creator though he has been taken aback by the angry spiritual adversarial assaults on his soul and the ridicule by others that he wastes his gifts. Malachi the angel becomes a silent observer and soon an avid fan of Billy who has spent his lifetime choosing faith over materialism.

    This is an interesting character study of a deeply religious person who chooses to honor God in his way through music though he faces all sorts of hardship and isolation with his endeavor and a belief that whatever he does ultimately turns into failure. Billy is a fascinating individual with a brilliance that the townsfolk feel should take him far, but he prefers scrounging for parts to create his radio station so that the West Virginia hills are alive with the sound of music dedicated to the Lord.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 9, 2013

    I really enjoyed the story of Billy Allman and Callie and all of

    I really enjoyed the story of Billy Allman and Callie and all of the characters that they meet along the way. I was intrigued by the guardian angel that was sent to assist Billy in his life and the angel's interactions with the not-so-heavenly demons. There are a lot of dark moments in Billy's and Callie's lives, but with God's assistance, they somehow manage to overcome them. This is a book worth reading. Enjoy!

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  • Posted January 16, 2013

    Oh my goodness . . . where to begin??? This book was absolutely

    Oh my goodness . . . where to begin??? This book was absolutely fabulous. The story of a young man, "walking the walk", not just talking the talk. Every so often, the font changes in a new chapter, and the person speaking isn't the same - it doesn't take long to realize, it's an angel. I truly believe the angels as well as satan's imps are around us continually. Outstanding . . . just bought another one of Fabry's books.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 18, 2012

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    0 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 5, 2012

    Great

    Wonderful story

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 23, 2012

    Wonderful story

    I finished this book in 2 days. Great read!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 12, 2012

    Very Good Book!

    One of the best stories I've read in a long time...highly recommend!

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  • Posted December 6, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    An Inspiring must read

    Billy Allman is an extraordinarily ordinary man, a man who has lived through heartbreaking crises that would test the faith of any man, but then Billy Allman is much more than any man, he's one in a million.
    Chris Fabry takes his readers through the life of his incredible protagonist Billy, a simple man with a true faith, but it's how the author tells the story that's the true gift. He uses his whole heart to take his readers through Billy's trials, his triumphs and his defeats and in doing so he brings out all the emotions in his readers as well, so you'll find yourself laughing in one instant and wiping dry your tears in the next. He uses dialogue that's easy to understand as he takes his audience on this journey. His star character Billy is the epitome of what it means to be a decent humble human being, one who sees beyond what his eyes tell him to what his heart tells him. And then we have the other main character Malachi, Billy's guardian angel who's decreed by God to watch over the life of this one man, the consequences that come of that decree and the evil that seeps in when the devil finds a tear in the armor. The other characters in the novel all play their parts very well too as they lay the foundation or build the walls of the tale. There is a love story besides Billy's love of God and it's sweet and innocent even though it seems the couple has to go through endless pain to find it and each other.
    Any human being could love this piece of literature, you don't have to be a person of faith to read it, but be prepared to get some faith by the time it's over. It shows the human factor and just how resilient we are in the face of obstacles, it shows that while one man is not an island, one man can change the world or at least his little part of it. I encourage you to read this book, to meet these people and make them your friends and just maybe you'll learn a little in the process. Chris thank you for taking me on this journey. I can't wait to read your next one.

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  • Posted November 12, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderful story for all ages!

    I'm a lover of fiction books, most fiction books. This book, <em>Almost Heaven</em>, took fiction to a whole new level for me. Mixed with a bit of truth, this story grabbed me from the very beginning and had wanting to know what happened next. At first, I was a little confused as to who was doing the 'talking' because it jumped from the main character's perspective to the angel Malachi's perspective, but my confusion was quickly cleared up.

    I soon found myself immersed in Billy's life, and began thinking of him as a real live person rather than a character on paper. The events that shaped his life are so life-like I could see it unfolding vividly before me. At times I found I was angry at what seemed to be his stubbornness and at other times I praised his humility and heroics. Though his life, at times, was tragic, there was always a light at the end of the tunnel.

    One of the things I liked most about this book was that parts of it were written in the perspective of the angel who was assigned to watch over Billy. It was a fresh new take on guardian angels and the battle of good and evil with the main elements of Truth included. There are lessons that can be taken from this fictional story and applied to everyday life for all of us!

    I enjoyed this book so much, I literally couldn't put it down and read it cover to cover in less than two days. (A major feat for this mother of four!) It is a must read for book lovers of any age-- I wouldn't hesitate to let my twelve year old read it!

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    A Must Read!

    I was immediately drawn to this book because it takes place in West Virginia. Chris Fabry is a new to me author that captures the voice and flavor of our region beautifully. He writes his characters in such a way that you feel like you know them, people you would invite on your porch to sit a spell. In Almost Heaven he tells the story of Billy Allman, a man from the town of Dogwood WV.

    Billy's big dream was to run a radio station, and with hard work and the help of God he accomplishes just that. He builds a radio station in his home. Things never went smoothly for Billy, with his share of heartache and tragedy, but with what I would call a child like faith he never lets life get him down and he never loses faith in God. There is also another side to this story, the story that is told by the guardian angel Malachi, who is sent to protect Billy throughout his life.

    This is a story that will make you laugh and cry, you will also experience the power of God's love throughout this book. The author does an amazing job of taking an ordinary persons life and turning it into an extraordinary story of how everyone matters, how God will take the most humble, often ignored of his followers and do amazing things with their life.

    I really enjoyed reading this story, I feel like my life is richer for having read it, I now feel compelled to read the other works by this talented author.

    Even though I was provided a review copy of this book it in no way alters my opinion.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    Inspiring story by a true storyteller

    Almost Heaven by Chris Fabry is a moving follow-up to his Southern novel June-Bug. Billy Allman has faced too much tragedy for one man to face: a flood that destroyed his home, his father's suicide, the one girl he loved married someone else, he has diabetes, and taking care of his mother through terrible dementia. But through it all, Billy never let go of his staunch faith in God, so when he feels like the Lord is calling him to build a radio station to play gospel bluegrass for his tiny West Virginia mountain town, he follows his heart. Malachi, an angel, has been assigned by God to watch over Billy's life and protect him from the forces of evil lined up against him, but Malachi comes to wonder about God's plan and where He is in tragedy. Fans of June-Bug will be thrilled to see the reappearance of characters from that novel. There are writers and there are storytellers; Fabry is a storyteller. His characters are quirky but very real, and their faith is inspiring. But the stories, even when they are about a small town mountain man who isn't a stereotypical hero, soar with an epic feel. Billy's story is ordinary, you probably know someone like him, but seeing it through the eyes of an angel, and then reading how he changed people's lives through his simple faith and love is truly inspiring. Fabry has a message for his readers that each and every one of them can impact lives by the way they live, and that we never know just what God's plan for someone may be.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    A MUST read!

    What does a person write about a book that let them utterly speechless? There is not must that I CAN write about it. This book is wonderful. It is very emotional and thought provoking in a way that is beyond measure. I normally have words for books that I read, but this book, I had to ponder on my thoughts for a long while before being able to form the right words. This innovating and gripping story is one that should not be over looked. The characters are real, the plot is captivating and the author himself is truly talented. I highly recommend this book to all readers. Grab a copy, sit back with a cup of coffee and lose yourself amongst the pages and the musical tones of bluegrass, as you befriend an angel named Malachi and sweet and tough hillybilly man named Billy. ~Tyndale House Publishers has provided me with a complimentary copy of this book for review~ ~I do not receive financial compensation for any of my reviews. I do however from time to time receive complimentary review books to read and post HONEST reviews, positive and negative. The acceptance of a book does not guarantee a positive review.~

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 9, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    I Also Recommend:

    A Lyrical Story Of Tragedy and Redemption

    Chris Fabry in his new book, "Almost Heaven" published by Tyndale House Publishers takes us back Dogwood, West Virginia.

    Billy Allman is a genuine nice person, a bit of an eccentric, but he is a genius with the radio and he can play the Mandolin like no other. Billy has had many an adventure, some of them left a wound on his soul and he doesn't seem to be able to heal from those wounds so his personal social skills leave a lot to be desired. So while he has a problem with one on one his heart is to build a radio station in his own home so that he can reach the world with his love for God and God's love for them.

    Malachi is an angel who has been sent to observe and protect Billy. This is not an assignment that Malachi is happy with but he does what he is told and it is through this association with Billy that he understands that angels have something to learn from humans.

    "Almost Heaven" is a lyrical story full of life, good and bad, ups and downs. This is a story of tragedies that strike Billy Allman and the way he is able to overcome the wounds they cause by the power of God and the help of Malachi. Mr. Fabry is a wonderful writer and truly knows how to speak to the hearts of his readers. "Almost Heaven" is beautifully written and was very hard for me to put down. Mr. Fabry knows how to tell a story that is both interesting and thought provoking and I recommend it highly. "Almost Heaven" will challenge you to think biblically about your spiritual journey with all its trial and challenges and how to lean on God.

    If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and business professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where it is available On Demand.

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    Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Glass Road PR. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."

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