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The Righteous (Righteous Series #1)

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  • Posted July 16, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Loved it!!

    Absolutely loved this book!! It was a great read with lots of twists and turns. Just found out it was part of a series so I'm definately getting the others.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Righteous

    Most people will find the setting for "The Righteous" will feel foreign, even if they live in the US. Those who have seen the HBO show "Big Love" are a possible exception. "The Righteous" takes place in a fictional town in Utah, not unlike the fictional town where "Big Love" takes place. The residents of the town in the novel are practitioners of a fictional religion that is a fundamentalist offshoot of the Mormon Church; also, the same as on the HBO show.

    The part of the story that makes it a thriller is unique. Although the concept behind the thriller portion of the plot could work anywhere where a group of people feel they are God's chosen or better in some way than everyone else, this setting works especially well. Some of the beliefs of the fictional religion (based on actual Mormon beliefs and practices from the past) are integral to the story. I'm hesitant to say anything more specific about the plot lest I let a spoiler slip. I'll say that as a fan of thrillers I found that portion of the story more than satisfying.

    However, what sets "The Righteous" apart is the accuracy of the depiction of both the Mormon Fundamentalist culture and beliefs. Since religion, along with politics and sex, are the touchiest subjects there are, I should give a few more disclaimers before proceeding.

    Mormon fundamentalist sects are not Mormons anymore than Lutherans are Catholics. The relationship between the two and the formation of the fundamentalist churches are much the same as in Protestant religions. The fictional religion depicted here has beliefs that are very much like the mainstream Mormon Church, with a few noteworthy exceptions. The most significant difference is the acceptance of polygamy and the beliefs of the fictional church that are in place to support and reinforce this practice (arranged marriages and pushing single males of a certain age out of the community). It has been more than a hundred years since the mainstream church abandoned the practice of polygamy. I believe a few other beliefs and practices depicted in the novel are no longer the official policy of the mainstream church. The mainstream church has changed over time, albeit extremely slowly -- the fundamentalist sects, not so much. That is what makes them "fundamentalist."

    Last, I should confess that I spent my life until my late teens attending the mainstream Mormon Church, much of that time in Utah, so I've also had exposure to and experience with the fundamentalist sects, their members, and beliefs. I'm knowledgeable enough to evaluate the accuracy of what is depicted, while hopefully far enough removed to not be overly sensitive to areas where the religious practices might come off as strange or backward.

    Finally, I've covered my rear and can return to discussion of the book, "The Righteous," by Michael Wallace for those who have forgotten. Often Mormons and Mormon fundamentalists as they appear in fiction or non-fiction books, movies, or TV shows are caricatures, accurate as far as it goes, but mainly making an appearance to get a laugh. Where a character is more complex writers often get something significantly wrong, whether on purpose (taking literary license for a better story), or ignorance. Although the cliché about truth being stranger than fiction might not apply in this case, the truth is strange enough.

    Wallace gets everything right. His char

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 17, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Michael Wallace has definitely hit a home run!

    This book is an incredible though provoking book. There are twists and turns all the way to the end. This book is very well written. Michael Wallace has definitely hit a home run with this book.

    It is very hard to write a review without giving the whole story away. He has really dug deep into this religious world filled with deceit and jealousy. There is a group that is hungry for power and will do anything to acheive it, including murder.

    This was a hard book to put down. I think that anyone who enjoys thrillers will enjoy this book a lot.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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