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The End Is Now

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  • Posted June 26, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    An excellent upcoming author

    Stennett, a rising author gaining quick popularity in the Christian subculture because of his tongue and cheek approach to subjects that are often treated with both pious reserve and outright disdain has given the rapture a humorous twist. Here, God is seen as somewhat of a businessman, seeking to create a test market for the rapture. Goodland, in many ways has a similar local make-up of what one would expect in a Coen Brothers film, and although it's not quite as dark as Fargo, it still retains the same situational humor brought out by the interconnection of Midwest American culture. Stennett's almost satirical approach to the apocalypse, and how it affects people from all sorts of theological and philosophical perspectives is in many ways more effective as a catalyst toward enabling people to reflect on their own views and incorporate a larger perspective on the matter than straightforward dogmatic texts can be. In many ways, the text shows the absurdity, not of the rapture itself, but of people's responses to it. At the same time, there are many references that will only be humorous to people within the subculture, as much of the satire is contextual. For those who are not Christians, it can be an interesting book in that it will show many of the intricacies of a complex and dysfunctional group of people that make up about 25% of America. Also, although this is an adult book, Stennett switches from person to person as the main character of each chapter. Will takes the forefront a lot, which can potentially put this text in a hybrid between adult and young adult literature. -Lindsey Miller,

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 19, 2012

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  • Posted October 10, 2009

    Page-turner with great characters, cinematic storytelling

    The feel of this story is best summed up by the author's tongue-in-cheek epilogue, wherein he thanks the future cast of the movie that would be made from the book.

    This suits the story, one surrounding a family struggling with everyday turmoil, that builds to an epic climax (albeit a small-town epic) with close friends turned enemies and reasonable folk becoming cruel, blood-thirsty mobs.

    Perhaps most powerful (and what prevents clichés from taking over) is the way the characters are developed: with believable, even relatable, internal conversations of self-doubt and monumental pride and confidence in questionable goals.

    I especially liked the jump-cut like "scenes" that keep you deeply engaged to the story and individuals, rather than long monologues or third-person commentary that would have threatened to become preachy. I could see certain non-crucial details that the story relies on for comedic relief being lost on some readers who may not have a Christian background, though I think they could share that very trait with the father featured prominently in the storyline.

    I have intentionally avoided the rapture/apocalypse/Bible code literature that has become popular with religious types in the last several years, as their premises are weak and what I tried to read revealed one-dimensional characters with uninspired storytelling. Though it may share the topic, this book stands apart.

    And it even dares to tell a story that CONCLUDES at the end!

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  • Posted July 3, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    The End Might Be Sooner Thank You Think

    "Goodland, Kansas, is the test market for the rapture. The ultimate warning sign for all to repent," That's what the locals feel they are anyway.

    "..Once everyone sees how powerful the rapture is, they will hit the floor and repent of their sins. Everyone, everywhere, will know the truth. Not only that, but this event will provide God a chance to see what worked and what didn't. He can watch the good, the bad, and the ugly of the apocalypse so He can know how to improve it when He takes it global."

    I don't know about you but this is funny stuff!! Rob Stennett takes a serious subject many talk about all over the world and puts a "what if" scenario to it. He reminds me of a comedian Steven Wright who said, "I received a post card from my friend. It was a picture of the whole world. My friend wrote, "Wish you were here!". Steven says, "I thought I was!"

    This book also reminds me of Eli, a story written by Bill Myers, that entertains the scenario of, 'what if Jesus were to be born for the first time in our generation.' Sad to say the same things would happen to Jesus, maybe just happen a little sooner in this generation because of instant communication.

    Rob got me thinking about some questions he brought up in, The End is Now. How would we know the end was here? What would it look like? Why has Goodland, Kansas felt that they were the test market for the rapture? This author says stuff out loud-and in print, that we would never dare verbalize to our friends (or anyone else for that matter).

    As you read and start smiling then laughing, you'll be caught off guard by some definite things to ponder- things you hadn't thought of before about the end. For example, "God didn't need the test market for the rapture. After all, He is God. He already knows everything. He was, is, and forever will be omnipotent.. Maybe the testing was more for all of us. This is the age of skepticism. This is the age where the answers to any of life's questions are just a Google search away. So, perhaps humankind will need a sneak preview of what the rapture looks like so they can know how to respond." And ready their hearts (I added the last comment).

    I can now see why God will NOT tell us exactly when the END will happen - we just could not take it. It is way more information than the human race can handle. Thanks Rob, for taking me away into a scenario I haven't thought much about--until now. It just goes to show me that my Father in Heaven loves me so much, wants the best for me; which means He's keeping his mouth shut about the exact moment the END will happen. Rob, I appreciate you making me laugh, look at life, relationships and what's really important. We're here to do more than sleep walk through life. Each chapter in this book is from a different characters point of view on their take as to what is really happening in Goodland Kansas. It's a hoot!! You just have to read this book. So, grab a copy and read about The End! It just might give you the nudge you need to really start living your life. You won't be sorry you did.

    Book Club Servant Leader

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