Customer Reviews for

The Ambition: A Novel

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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 41 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted April 7, 2011

    Fantastic Suspenful Novel!

    Here's my impression of The Ambition by Lee Strobel ~ WOW ... Riveting ... Superb! I guess from the above statements you've pretty much gotten the picture but just in case you haven't (LOL) let me write this ... The Ambition is Mr. Strobel's debut fiction novel and well, this book is fantastic!

    Not being an regular reader of suspense novels, I found the prologue to be a bit unnerving and I began to question why I had agreed to read a suspense novel. Well, my attitude changed into the first two pages of Chapter 1!

    The story is well written, fast paced but not laced with blood and gore. The characters are interesting, challenging and fully developed. The plot twists and turns are amazing and they kept me in suspense with my adrenaline rushing the entire time I read this book.

    I highly recommend this book and I look forward to reading more of Lee Strobel's books in the future!

    Many thanks to Kim at Nancy Berland Public Relations for the opportunity to read this book in exchange for a review on this blog. My review is based on my honest impressions of this book.

    9 out of 9 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 17, 2011

    Strobel's Jump to Fiction Yields a Can't-Put-It-Down Thriller

    Popular Atheist turned Christian nonfiction author Lee Strobel, noted for his widely read "Case For" series of books on the intellectual support for the Christian faith, has made his fiction debut with a legal thriller novel. The action is based in Chicago and focuses on Eric Snow, pastor of a suburban megachurch. The engaging mystery weaves intriguing characters into a fast paced story line. A corrupt judge, a cynical reporter and his girl friend, a gambling addict in possession of a secret tape, Snow's best friend and fellow pastor, an Elder in his church, his wife, and a mob king-pin all converge in a tale where the Governor's appointment to a vacant Senate seat is a stake - along with the lives of everyone who hears the secretly made tape recording. New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel takes his readers inside a suburban megachurch, a big-city newspaper struggling for survival, a court system tainted by corruption, and the local and national political scenes. The action takes place in Chicago and includes the familiar sights, sounds, history, traditions and tastes of the Windy City. Having lived in Chicago, Strobel treats the local color perfectly. Only someone who truly knows that city could pen an entire page describing the nuances of a Chicago-style hot dog, for example. An unexpected climax avoids any cliché ending (with all the good guys living happily ever after.) In fact, readers are left looking forward to another installment in the form of a sequel. Strobel, who has been prolific in nonfiction, writes with a confident and crisp style as he jumps over to fiction writing. He successfully avoids turning an excellent thriller into something less, with his measured injection of Christian themes. The story isn't interrupted by preaching, but the Christian worldview vs. opposing ideas is definitely included. Strobel's personal background includes involvement in a magachurch which leads to some very real feeling portrayals in that area. His background as an award winning legal journalist makes for a realistic portrayal of the legal and journalism themes in the plot as well. One character clearly mirrors Strobel's background in legal journalism. However, the author commendably holds back from resolving that character's skepticism, before the book ends, in parallel with the author's own journey to faith. With a growing interest in faith-based films, I would expect this story might well make it to the big screen one day. This one definitely belongs on your summer reading list if you haven't already devoured it like a tasty slice of Chicago-style deep dish pizza by then.

    5 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 3, 2012

    A good, fast paced read!

    This book got me to put aside my computer, for a while. Loved the way Mr. Stroble portrayed Christains in a non- preachy, unsentimental way. Enjoyed how the different story lines intersected. Hope there is a sequel.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 29, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Consumed by Power!

    A bookie meets his end at the hands of the no-nonsense Mafia mobster, Nick Moretti. That event will foster a series of conversations and illegal actions that focus on how not to get caught and have one's future ruined. A typical scenario? Well, this one's got a bit of a different twist to it.

    An Illinois Senator has been criminally convicted and is forced to resign. It's up to the Governor to appoint an interim Senator. His choices are a Chicago Judge, Reese McKelvie, or an evangelistic preacher, Eric Snow. The former engages in some manipulation in order to free the murderer, Nick Moretti; and the plot unwinds with him telling the Bugatti family. As the violent consequences follow, it seems there's no way to pull back the forces aiming to eliminate all threats to the Judge's senatorial selection!

    At the same time, Eric Snow and his legal adviser are doing everything possible to secure the position as well. Meanwhile, miracles are happening in his former church, and he only wants to distance himself from acknowledging the special answers to faith-filled prayer. His once faith-filled life becomes divided until inspired words break through the hard veneer he's been developing.

    Ambition has different meaning to those reaping its different consequences. The Ambition is a novel about examining choices and looking around at the lives one affects on all levels of life and death! Lee Strobel has crafted a realistic, conscious-raising story that every reader will long remember and ponder! Outstanding!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 28, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    a great jump to fiction by this author

    The Ambition
    A Novel
    Lee Strobel
    2011
    Zondervan
    Fiction/Suspense
    Reviewed by Cindy Loven

    Eric Snow is a pastor of a mega church in Chicago, but he is restless. Perhaps it is time to move past this phase of his life, after all, he is a rich man, from his previous career as a software designer. He feels that perhaps the time has come where he can be more useful in a different arena, perhaps the political arena.

    A new elder in his church is gently nudging him toward this, Debra Wyatt, a former high profile federal prosecutor, now in private practice has been informing him that the current Senator is fixing to be forced to resign. Since he has had one political success he is on the governor's radar to replace the Senator.

    Tom O'Sullivan, a sleazy lawyer who defends criminals has found himself in a position he never would have dreamed of, he is forced by the mob to take a bribe to a federal judge, to fix an arraignment. He is terrified, but knows his deep gambling debt to the mob makes it impossible to refuse this little errand.

    Garry Strider a long time newspaper man, is determined to dig up something on the Diamond Point Fellowship Church. He is initially angered by what he feels is their interference in his life, by swaying his long time live in girlfriend to move out. He is sure he can find something negative to report. He will dig deep, and uncover whatever dirt he can find on Pastor Eric Snow and the Diamond Point Fellowship.

    A book filled with desperate people who will do whatever it takes to make their way, Lee Strobel will pull you into this story. As his first fiction book, you will admire his writing, and be drawn into the story. I enjoyed the story, it totally caught my attention and kept me interested to the end. Filled with scenes that are easily imagined, you will too find yourself drawn into The Ambition. 283 pages $24.99 US Hardback 4 stars.

    This book was provided by Authorsontheweb for review purposes only. No payment was received for this review.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Ambition is an exhilarating political thriller

    In Chicago, the Bugatti brothers need to insure the right judge controls a murder trial that they have a vested interest in the outcome. Thus the siblings send money to Judge Reese McKelvie who is running for a U.S. Senate seat. The current incumbent Senator Barker was forced to resign due to corruption as he had mob connections. Reese's opponent is Pastor Eric Snow, head of a mega-church.

    Gina D'Orazio attends Pastor Snow's church. She believes living outside of wedlock is a sin so she moves out of the home of her boyfriend investigative reporter Garry Strider. Upset and cynical Strider investigates candidate Snow and his mega-church as he expects to find plenty of corruption to write about; he finds much more than he anticipated as his inquiry expands into the political arena.

    The Ambition is an exhilarating political thriller that grips the audience who will wonder if government office denotes corruption as cynical Strider is like a modern day Diogenes only he finds dishonesty. The story line is fast-paced throughout setting up the convergence of the key players. Although the climax feels abrupt, fans of Lee Strobel's nonfiction bestsellers and legal thriller readers will enjoy The Ambition that supersedes ethics.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Disappoinrig

    Not a terrible read but certainly lacking. The spotty character developement, abrupt ending, and the lack of closure for some of the character's storylines didn't leave me thinking of a sequel - it just left me feeling disappointed.

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  • Posted August 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Too Ambitious

    For his foray into fiction, Lee got a bit ambitious and bit off more than he could chew. The writing was so-so. The plot seemed to move along pretty good, but then just stopped. Character development was minimal and at times one-sided. Characters did things that just didn't fit with how they were originally written. Spiritual change in the characters was almost non-existant. This could have been a much better book. I felt very let down after finishing this one.

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  • Posted August 1, 2011

    Suspenseful first novel from famed journalist

    The Ambition by Lee Strobel is the best-selling journalist's first novel. Several stories of high-powered men in Chicago come together in a climactic way. The Bugatti brothers are known for their control of the Chicago mafia and their business as cut-throat loan sharks. Tommy O'Sullivan has coasted through much of his life on his last name until a gambling addiction puts him deep in debt to the Bugattis and he participates in a bribe that will change the city forever. Eric Snow is a respected pastor of a megachurch in Chicago who is thinking about switching careers to politics, but his best friend questions his motives. Garry Strider's life is going pretty well, with a successful career as an investigative journalist and live-in girlfriend, Gina. But when Gina gets some religion, she moves out and starts pushing him to consider finding faith himself so they can be married. Instead Garry starts investigating the pastor at Gina's church, Eric Snow. Strobel takes these disconnected stories and weaves them with suspense until they come together with a crash. Where Strobel really shines is in his portrayal of Snow and his church. The church tries so hard to fit in with pop culture, that they try to play it down when miracles begin occurring there. They refuse to call them miracles or anything supernatural in order to keep from being attacked by scientists and atheists. Strobel really doesn't have time to develop the characters too deeply but the story is entertaining and thought-provoking. Strobel wrote the premier apologetic work of the late twentieth century in The Case for Christ. This doesn't live up to that level of writing, but it's a good read that will keep readers turning the pages. I hope that Strobel gives fiction another shot soon.

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  • Posted July 19, 2011

    RATING!4.5! SUSPENSE,THRILLER,POWER,DECEIT AND DANGER! THE AMBITION BY LEE STROBEL...

    THE AMBITION by Lee Strobel is an intriquing suspense fiction set in Chicago. It is written with depth and details. It has deceit,danger,death,the mob,payoffs, power,politics,bribes,contract killing,secrets,Senate candidate's and their secrets.This story if full of political intrigue,a megachurch,a big city newspaper,all the while taking you into the corrupt world of payoffs,corruption,and betrayal. It will have you on the edge of your seat.This is a thriller that is not to be missed as newspaper reporter Garry Strider probes into the world of justice,and corruption all while struggling to survive. The author weaves an exciting thriller with edgy characters and a powerful climax that will leave you breathless. A must read. This book was received from the Nancy Berland Public Relations,Inc.for the purpose of review.Details can be find at Zondervan and My Book Addiction Reviews.

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  • Posted June 26, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Great suspense, but a little off.....

    Absolutely different. Not in a bad way, mind you. Lee Strobel is an amazing author when he is writing his Case books. I love them. My dad has a whole collection of them, that I love to break into from time to time. They are stunning and amazing. But, when he writes fiction, well....let's just say that while his writing is not terrible, it's certainly not as good as I hoped it would be.

    With that being said, The Ambition's plot is awesome. The way the story line had to flow, with mobs, and megachurches, and politics. Very intriguing to see the way the characters were created for that plot. Each character was interesting and flowed well. I really was captured by the fast pace that this book entailed.

    The thrills of the book were good, the action was heart pounding and the suspense was fascinating, but for a debut novel, it could use some tuning. Not anything overly bad, just a few minor tweaks here and there with some grammar and issues with wording. I do recommend this book to those of you who love thrillers and politics. The suspense, the intriguing, thought provoking happenings of mobs and megachurches will have you on the edge of your seat with this Lee Strobel novel. Four stars and I am looking forward to another book by this otherwise fantastic author, in hopes that it will be even better!


    *This eBook was provided for review by Zondervan*

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    Good and fast read

    The ambition was well worth burning the midnight oil for. Finally a book with the right message. Enjoy!

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  • Posted June 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Lee Strobel- Debut Fiction release!

    A crooked judge, cynical newspaper reporter, and a big time pastor turning political candidate are just a few of the characters that you will find in Lee Strobel's debut fiction suspense novel "The Ambition". The characters are woven into a fascinating story where the mob plays into the judicial corruption of a case. With a pay off to a certain judge the system was able to be manipulated so that cases could be steered toward a certain judge who would get them off. Also woven in to the storyline, is Eric Snow; a well off mega-church pastor who is feeling the draw of the political arena and truly believes he can use his influence for good in a Senatorial position opening up due to the current senator's scandal and Eric Snow is one of the possible candidates to take over. The other possible candidate is Chief Judge Reese McKelvie also vying for that senatorial position. Yes, you quickly see the character's "ambitions" all over the place. Some motives are pure others corrupt and the story just takes off from there.

    The Garry Strider character which is a Chicago new reporter looking to dig up any possible dirt that he can on Pastor Eric Snow gives the perfect cynical character particularly with regards to anything to do with God. Not having much use for God himself, Strobel paints a great picture of the path of cynicism and disbelief in God to a door cracking open just a little bit as the character faces different challenges. For instance he witnesses with his own eyes a true healing and miracle and faces challenges with his girlfriend Gina who is a new Christian. I like it that Garry is taking his time in really figuring out what he believes. One can't help but feel that this character is close to the author's own life experience, if you've followed Lee Strobel's non-fiction work The Case for Christ. With that being said, this character in particular, rings very true to me.

    The last fourth of the book is very exciting and moves very quickly. I would have to say that the end feels a little rushed but I was able to overlook it because it was clear to me that a sequel is to be written, so we will find out more about how these characters fair. My thoughts are that as a first run novel the story kept my attention and I felt the characters were interesting. There were a lot of characters to keep track of, but with all the people groups that the author melded together- judicial, political, mega-church, journalistic and also "the mob", it was necessary. In the final analysis I always ask myself- do I like these characters and do I care about what happens to them in the future which helps me gage the effectiveness of the story. The answer is yes, I did and I look forward to Lee Strobel's fiction offerings in the future.

    Disclosure- A free Digital review copy of The Ambition by Lee Strobel was graciously provided for me by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are my own.

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  • Posted June 14, 2011

    Characters+and+character+interaction+need+more+depth

    For+a+first+fiction+this+is+pretty+good.+++First%2C+the+proofreading+was+lacking.++Found+too+many+misspelled+words%2C+grammer++goofs+and+punctuation+uh+ohs.++The+premise+and+storyline+are+excellent+and+Lee+is+to+be+commended+for+injecting+Christian+values+and+worldview+appropriately.++I+would+have+liked+to+get+to+know+his+wife+and+her+place+in+his+life+better.++The+tension+regarding+his+decision++to+resign+as+pastor+should+have+been+more+deeply+explored+both+personally+and+with+those+impacted.++The+background+interaction+concerning+the+judge%2C+the+Bugattis+and+Tom+OSullivan+needed+more+too.++It+seemed+to+leave+the+reader+with+too+many+questions.++I+will+say+I+will+read+the+next+in+the+series%2C+since+the+ending+sets+you+up+for+the+next+storyline.+Does+he+srill+go+into+politics+or+does+he+become+a+pastor+dealing+with+corruption+in+the+public+arena%3F++Whatever+direction+taken%2C+please+continue+to+keep+it+clean%21++Storylines+are+NOT+enhanced+by+gratuitous+foul+language+or+graphic+sex+scenes.++Thank+you+for+keeping+it+clean.

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  • Posted June 10, 2011

    Good story line but the ending was too abrupt.

    This is a good first outing into the realm of fiction for Mr. Strobel. I enjoyed the writing style and the story line was very believable, however I was left wondering where the characters lives would go and found the ending came to abruptly. It was as if Mr. Strobel was rushing to end the story. I'm not sure if this was due to editing or just how he finished the book. I believe he could have created a better ending.

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  • Posted June 2, 2011

    Great 1st Novel

    No one can question Strobel's abilities to write non-fiction--everything he has written is challenging and stretching to the reader.

    The Ambition is a great 1st attempt at fiction. I hope it is the beginning of great, clean fiction!

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    Posted October 17, 2011

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    Posted July 15, 2011

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    Posted February 26, 2013

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    Posted August 23, 2011

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