The Chasm: A Journey to the Edge of Life [NOOK Book]

Overview

A Journey He Couldn?t Miss? and a Step He Couldn?t Take

He found himself a traveler in the strangest of lands. Where invisible secrets come starkly into sight. Where the fairest of companions leads the way into unsuspected danger and darkness. Where hidden battles burst into the open. Where so much is grasped?and so much more seems unattainable.
   Driven by a yearning he doesn?t understand, ...

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The Chasm: A Journey to the Edge of Life

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Overview

A Journey He Couldn’t Miss… and a Step He Couldn’t Take

He found himself a traveler in the strangest of lands. Where invisible secrets come starkly into sight. Where the fairest of companions leads the way into unsuspected danger and darkness. Where hidden battles burst into the open. Where so much is grasped…and so much more seems unattainable.
   Driven by a yearning he doesn’t understand, compelled toward a destination he can’t quite see, the traveler navigates the inhospitable landscape with determination and a flicker of something like hope—despite the obstacles that seem to unerringly block his path.
   Best-selling novelist Randy Alcorn weaves a supernatural interplay of wills and motives, lusts and longings, love and sacrifice. It’s a potent mix that leaves every reader wondering: Do I really understand this world I live in? Do I really understand myself? Is there more to all this than I’ve ever dared hope?

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Alcorn offers a companion to his novel, Edge of Eternity, in this Pilgrim's Progress–style allegory about a man who comes to see his own wasted life through a series of misadventures, battles, and sins. These lead him to a chasm he cannot cross without the help of trusted—should he trust them?—guides, most importantly a Christ figure, the Woodsman, and a tempter, Joshua. The end is not utopia, but a life with unexpected joys and faithful companions. For those who appreciate allegory, Alcorn's fills the bill even as it also includes the realities of contemporary life: "I gazed into the emptiness of my daughter's eyes. I started pushing and shoving. I wanted to kill the men who lusted after her—vile men whose daughters I lusted after." Nothing here tops classic Christian allegories, but noteworthy is a "new creation" view of afterlife: "You will live on a new earth—the old earth made new.... I came not to destroy but to redeem my fallen creation." (Feb.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601423405
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 2/8/2011
  • Sold by: Random House
  • Format: eBook
  • Pages: 112
  • Sales rank: 283,622
  • File size: 5 MB

Meet the Author

Randy Alcorn is the bestselling author of Heaven, with more than 500,000 copies sold. As a fiction writer, his novels include Deadline, Dominion, Deception, Edge of Eternity, Lord Foulgrin’s Letters, The Ishbane Conspiracy, and the Gold Medallion winner Safely Home. He has written numerous nonfiction books as well, including The Treasure Principle, The Purity Principle, and The Grace and Truth Paradox. A former pastor, Randy is the founder and director of Eternal Perspectives Ministries. He and his wife, Nanci, live in Oregon and have two married daughters and four grandsons.

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Read an Excerpt

Chapter One

For most of a day, I’d been climbing a sharp incline of rocks and shale, for an outcropped ledge that would afford a better view than anywhere else in this strange land. Finally, scrambling up the last twenty feet, I stepped out on that ledge and looked. What I saw took my breath away.
   There it lay, stretched out against the horizon as far as I could see—the thing I’d been warned about, the thing I’d been told was ultimately unavoidable. The sight of it was even more devastating than I’d feared.
   Here I was, hoping to travel to the distant shining city, a world of wonders I absolutely had to reach. For my first thirty years, I’d never dreamed such a place even existed. Then when I started to believe it might, I tried like the devil to avoid thinking about it, for reasons I still don’t understand. And now here I stood, all hopes of reaching that magical place dashed. Before me lay the biggest obstacle imaginable.
   No, it was absolutely unimaginable. That great yawning chasm took my breath away. An abyss of staggering proportions. I had once stood with my family, when I had one, gazing down into the Grand Canyon. I’d been swept away by its grandeur for a few minutes before needing to pack up the kids, grab a hamburger, and get them to the hotel. But this endless rift, this hole in the universe, made the Grand Canyon appear in comparison as the grave I dug when ten years old, to bury my old dog Ranger. It seemed infinitely large, deep and foreboding, containing not a shred of beauty. It stripped my heart of hope. For clearly the Chasm meant that the city calling to me from the great beyond, if it were real at all, lay forever out of reach.
   All that mattered for me was the place I could still glimpse on the horizon, far beyond the impassible barrier spread out below me. I had to get there—I had to reach that stunning capital of a great undiscovered country, that shining city that rested on the great white mountain. The place named Charis.
   My name is Nick Seagrave. My story is true, though what world it happened in is hard for me to say. The memories burn in my brain, more real and weighty than what we call the real world. Before I tell you the incredible events that unfolded next, what happened to me at that chasm, I must first take you back to explain what led up to the moments I have just described. Only then can you understand me and my story, and perhaps unfold its meaning.
   I remember like it was yesterday that moment when I caught my first glimpse of Charis, glimmering in the distance. Initially I thought the remote city seemed cold, even oppressive. Our band of travelers that day had rounded a bend shaded by rock towers, and there it was, off to the west, rising high on a ridge. Silently, we all stared at it.
   From where we stood, all we could see between us and the mountain crowned by Charis were rolling green hills scrawled with various pathways, including a ribbon of red. This was the “red road” I’d first learned of in some ancient inscriptions in a cave I’d entered one evening to escape a pounding rain and crashing thunderstorm—and something far worse. But that’s another story, to tell another time.
   As my traveling companions and I continued absorbing our first glimpse of the faraway city on the summit, it took only a moment for my heightened vision to pierce its walls. How did this happen? I can’t explain it, but I was as certain of my perception as I could be. My intuition told me that the light was but a ruse, that inside the city all was dank and shadowy. And enthroned there sat a dreadful, intolerant tyrant, squashing creativity and initiative, enslaving any subjects foolish enough to have entered the city. I envisioned him granting his slaves freedom enough to make a mistake just so he could condemn them for it and command their execution.
   I’d long ago learned to trust my instincts, which had helped make me such a successful businessman and entrepreneur. And those prized instincts assured me this city was a monument to the pride of some self-proclaimed, glory-hungry sovereign who delighted in robbing men of their dignity. A strangely confident assessment for one who knew so little. But if I lacked something in those days, it was not confidence.
   As this insight percolated within me, our silence was broken by one of my companions—a white-haired, craggy-faced man they called Shadrach, dressed in a tattered toga. “Behold,” he said, air moving through a gap in his teeth, “Charis, the City of Light.”
   Light? What about the shadows I felt certain lie within? How could that old geezer be fool enough to trust that light on the outside meant light within?
   Then suddenly another traveler, a young African woman named Malaiki, her face glowing, gasped, “Do you hear it? Music!
   I heard nothing. Who was she trying to trick, and why?
   With enchanting fervor Malaiki exclaimed, “Songs of life and learning, choruses of pleasure and adventure! In a thousand languages!” She broke into dancing, soon joined by some of the others.
   Were they trying to make fools of themselves? The uncomfortable thought struck me that perhaps I envied them, wishing I had a reason to dance. I quickly pushed the thought away.
   Even as they twirled and high-stepped, they kept looking toward the city. Following their gaze, I found my perception changing, despite my resistance. The coldness of the place was gradually replaced by light and warmth and by what seemed to be the radiant energy of people there celebrating. The city began to shimmer on the horizon, touched by sparkling blues and greens and golds that blended with the sky and sunlight, pulsing in and out of my vision.
   Soon I, too, could hear music from the city and then what sounded like a geyser of laughter exploding from a fountain of joy.
   My traveling comrades went on to speak of Charis as the city of a certain king whom they described in fantastic language. But my ingrained skepticism welled up and overtook me again. How could they make such claims? For reasons I couldn’t grasp, I refused to let myself fall in with these people or be drawn to this city that enchanted them. I could not surrender control of my life’s journey or its destination. I was master of my fate and captain of my soul. Besides, I reminded myself, I knew of someone who could take me elsewhere, to a better place.
   I’d met Joshua on the morning I stumbled out of that cave, when I’d wandered in a daze, not knowing where I really was. I started running, and as I came into an oak grove, a man bounded in my direction. He was tall, muscular, and handsome, with a neatly trimmed copper beard. He wore sandals and an emerald toga, cinched at his slender waist with a braided red cord. Though his dress was like a statesman’s from another era, he somehow appeared modern and fashionable.
   “Welcome, Nick,” he called in a rich, clear voice, smiling broadly.
   I wanted to grill him with a dozen questions, starting with, “How do you know my name?” and “Where are we?” and “How did I get here?” But I didn’t want to reveal too much about myself and my ignorance.
   “Call me Joshua,” he said, extending his arm. I was struck by the strength of his grip. I couldn’t help staring into his eyes—morning-glory eyes, radiant blue windows of experience and knowledge and promise, deep-set eyes I could get lost in.
   He invited me to join a group of travelers he was with, but at the time I preferred to go farther on my own. Joshua put his arm around me. “Go if you must,” he said, then gave me a solemn look. “But be careful whom you trust.” This country, he explained, was beautiful but not always safe.
   Here was a man with inside information, and I wanted to know what he knew. Still, for some reason, I held back from asking him. As I turned to go on my way, Joshua smiled broadly and waved his great right arm, bronzed and powerful.
   Soon I met him again, after I’d joined another group—the travelers on the red road who’d shared with me that first faraway glimpse of Charis. The old man Shadrach—who seemed overly confident about what was true and what wasn’t—had warned me against nearly everything I found interesting, including spending time with Joshua. But by now I wasn’t sure about the red road and where it led, and I certainly wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in the company of those travelers, Shadrach in particular. I told Joshua, “I’d like to check out some other options.”
   “I’d be happy to serve as your guide,” he answered. He led me off the red road and down a series of roads that were gray—roads that promised me all the things I’d ever wanted.
   When we first set out, Joshua pointed ahead and told me, “Lead the way, my friend.” Though he was my guide, he showed me respect by walking to my side, a step behind me, giving me a sense of control. I liked that.
   I was in conquer mode, so we marched down the terrain at a fast clip. It was a plunging path at first, filled with sharp turns and lined with thornbushes that kept nipping at my pant legs. After an hour, we hadn’t reached a single rise in the trail.
   “Does this path only go down?” I asked.
   Joshua laughed and answered, “To the very heart of things!”
   The path kept descending, and our pace kept accelerating.
   Finally, after dropping into a treacherous bog, we came to an intersecting path that rose upward toward firmer ground. Reaching the top of a slope and emerging from some trees, I came to a halt. Before me, positioned amid a half-dozen towering spires of rock, stood a glass and granite high-rise building. The sight of it was dreamlike yet so vivid, down to every detail. As I walked toward the structure, heart pounding, I stopped abruptly. This was the office building where I worked! I’d never seen it like this, isolated from the surrounding cityscape, as if it had been uprooted by some alien power and transported here.
   I entered the familiar ground-level front door with Joshua a step behind. We took the elevator to the twenty-fifth floor, and I instinctively walked through the maze of work stations toward my corner office. Joshua gazed approvingly at the view through the windows towering beside us. “You belong here, don’t you?” he asked me.
   I nodded. This was my world, and I had sailed its waters as expertly as any sea captain had ever commanded his ship and his men.
   Inside my office, Joshua said with a gesture of his hand, “This is what you were made for, isn’t it?”
   Before I could answer, my attention was drawn to a photograph on the desk, a picture of my wife and two children. It had been taken three years earlier, when we still lived together. I hadn’t been able to get away from the office that day to make the appointment at the studio, but my wife told the photographer to take the picture anyway. “It’s more realistic with just the three of us,” she said to me later, twisting the knife.
   Joshua and I left the office. But after stepping off the elevator and out the front door, everything went out of focus—until I suddenly found myself with Joshua in my condo, listening to classical music. The absence of transition made me think I must be dreaming, yet I was completely lucid, and my blue recliner was as tangible as could be, right down to the little coffee stain on the right arm.
   For a few hours, I was immersed in a whirlpool of melancholy and reflection, going wherever the melodies led, over the mountains and valleys and through the deserts of my life. Especially the deserts.
   “The music’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Joshua said.
   “Yes. Beautiful.”
   I followed him as he walked down a hallway lined on one side with oak shelves filled with books. “Commendable,” Joshua commented as he pulled out volumes here and there. “You have a genuine thirst for truth.”
   He fixed those radiant blue eyes on me. “I know you can find what you seek on one of the roads traveled by the great minds. Choose any of them. I’ll take you there in an instant. And if you don’t like one of them, I’ll take you to the next and then the next.”
   For some reason I shook my head, believing there was something more I wanted, something no great thinker could lead me to.
   No sooner had I turned down this offer than we materialized back on a gray road. Before us stood more buildings rising up from the rocks and sagebrush. We entered a maze of mall interiors, where my eyes were drawn to displays of home theaters, power tools, antique guns, shiny knives, snow skis, camping gear, sports clothing. We looked over a balcony to see spotlights zooming over showroom floors filled with the latest-model cars and pickup trucks, boats and RVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles.
   Then the spotlights melted into marquee lights. Joshua and I walked into a fine restaurant filled with people in fine clothes drinking fine wines. My heart suddenly buoyed when I saw a woman alone at one of the tables, a woman who’d been part of the group of travelers I was with earlier. She looked so beautiful tonight, so slight and delicate, dressed so elegantly. I studied every inch of her. The longer I looked, the more she filled my heart.
   “Go sit with her,” Joshua suggested. He led me by the arm and took me to her table, then excused himself. “I have other things to take care of.”
   The woman seemed pleased to see me. We dined alone and toasted with champagne. When the music began, we danced. I felt intoxicated.
   She kissed me, then smiled and said she had to go.
   “Can I…go with you?”
   “Not tonight,” she whispered, but she smiled as she walked away, and her eyes said yes.

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First Chapter

The Chasm

A Journey to the Edge of Life
By Randy Alcorn

Multnomah Books

Copyright © 2011 Randy Alcorn
All right reserved.

ISBN: 9781601423399

Chapter One

For most of a day, I’d been climbing a sharp incline of rocks and shale, for an outcropped ledge that would afford a better view than anywhere else in this strange land. Finally, scrambling up the last twenty feet, I stepped out on that ledge and looked. What I saw took my breath away.
   There it lay, stretched out against the horizon as far as I could see—the thing I’d been warned about, the thing I’d been told was ultimately unavoidable. The sight of it was even more devastating than I’d feared.
   Here I was, hoping to travel to the distant shining city, a world of wonders I absolutely had to reach. For my first thirty years, I’d never dreamed such a place even existed. Then when I started to believe it might, I tried like the devil to avoid thinking about it, for reasons I still don’t understand. And now here I stood, all hopes of reaching that magical place dashed. Before me lay the biggest obstacle imaginable.
   No, it was absolutely unimaginable. That great yawning chasm took my breath away. An abyss of staggering proportions. I had once stood with my family, when I had one, gazing down into the Grand Canyon. I’d been swept away by its grandeur for a few minutes before needing to pack up the kids, grab a hamburger, and get them to the hotel. But this endless rift, this hole in the universe, made the Grand Canyon appear in comparison as the grave I dug when ten years old, to bury my old dog Ranger. It seemed infinitely large, deep and foreboding, containing not a shred of beauty. It stripped my heart of hope. For clearly the Chasm meant that the city calling to me from the great beyond, if it were real at all, lay forever out of reach.
   All that mattered for me was the place I could still glimpse on the horizon, far beyond the impassible barrier spread out below me. I had to get there—I had to reach that stunning capital of a great undiscovered country, that shining city that rested on the great white mountain. The place named Charis.
   My name is Nick Seagrave. My story is true, though what world it happened in is hard for me to say. The memories burn in my brain, more real and weighty than what we call the real world. Before I tell you the incredible events that unfolded next, what happened to me at that chasm, I must first take you back to explain what led up to the moments I have just described. Only then can you understand me and my story, and perhaps unfold its meaning.
   I remember like it was yesterday that moment when I caught my first glimpse of Charis, glimmering in the distance. Initially I thought the remote city seemed cold, even oppressive. Our band of travelers that day had rounded a bend shaded by rock towers, and there it was, off to the west, rising high on a ridge. Silently, we all stared at it.
   From where we stood, all we could see between us and the mountain crowned by Charis were rolling green hills scrawled with various pathways, including a ribbon of red. This was the “red road” I’d first learned of in some ancient inscriptions in a cave I’d entered one evening to escape a pounding rain and crashing thunderstorm—and something far worse. But that’s another story, to tell another time.
   As my traveling companions and I continued absorbing our first glimpse of the faraway city on the summit, it took only a moment for my heightened vision to pierce its walls. How did this happen? I can’t explain it, but I was as certain of my perception as I could be. My intuition told me that the light was but a ruse, that inside the city all was dank and shadowy. And enthroned there sat a dreadful, intolerant tyrant, squashing creativity and initiative, enslaving any subjects foolish enough to have entered the city. I envisioned him granting his slaves freedom enough to make a mistake just so he could condemn them for it and command their execution.
   I’d long ago learned to trust my instincts, which had helped make me such a successful businessman and entrepreneur. And those prized instincts assured me this city was a monument to the pride of some self-proclaimed, glory-hungry sovereign who delighted in robbing men of their dignity. A strangely confident assessment for one who knew so little. But if I lacked something in those days, it was not confidence.
   As this insight percolated within me, our silence was broken by one of my companions—a white-haired, craggy-faced man they called Shadrach, dressed in a tattered toga. “Behold,” he said, air moving through a gap in his teeth, “Charis, the City of Light.”
   Light? What about the shadows I felt certain lie within? How could that old geezer be fool enough to trust that light on the outside meant light within?
   Then suddenly another traveler, a young African woman named Malaiki, her face glowing, gasped, “Do you hear it? Music!
   I heard nothing. Who was she trying to trick, and why?
   With enchanting fervor Malaiki exclaimed, “Songs of life and learning, choruses of pleasure and adventure! In a thousand languages!” She broke into dancing, soon joined by some of the others.
   Were they trying to make fools of themselves? The uncomfortable thought struck me that perhaps I envied them, wishing I had a reason to dance. I quickly pushed the thought away.
   Even as they twirled and high-stepped, they kept looking toward the city. Following their gaze, I found my perception changing, despite my resistance. The coldness of the place was gradually replaced by light and warmth and by what seemed to be the radiant energy of people there celebrating. The city began to shimmer on the horizon, touched by sparkling blues and greens and golds that blended with the sky and sunlight, pulsing in and out of my vision.
   Soon I, too, could hear music from the city and then what sounded like a geyser of laughter exploding from a fountain of joy.
   My traveling comrades went on to speak of Charis as the city of a certain king whom they described in fantastic language. But my ingrained skepticism welled up and overtook me again. How could they make such claims? For reasons I couldn’t grasp, I refused to let myself fall in with these people or be drawn to this city that enchanted them. I could not surrender control of my life’s journey or its destination. I was master of my fate and captain of my soul. Besides, I reminded myself, I knew of someone who could take me elsewhere, to a better place.
   I’d met Joshua on the morning I stumbled out of that cave, when I’d wandered in a daze, not knowing where I really was. I started running, and as I came into an oak grove, a man bounded in my direction. He was tall, muscular, and handsome, with a neatly trimmed copper beard. He wore sandals and an emerald toga, cinched at his slender waist with a braided red cord. Though his dress was like a statesman’s from another era, he somehow appeared modern and fashionable.
   “Welcome, Nick,” he called in a rich, clear voice, smiling broadly.
   I wanted to grill him with a dozen questions, starting with, “How do you know my name?” and “Where are we?” and “How did I get here?” But I didn’t want to reveal too much about myself and my ignorance.
   “Call me Joshua,” he said, extending his arm. I was struck by the strength of his grip. I couldn’t help staring into his eyes—morning-glory eyes, radiant blue windows of experience and knowledge and promise, deep-set eyes I could get lost in.
   He invited me to join a group of travelers he was with, but at the time I preferred to go farther on my own. Joshua put his arm around me. “Go if you must,” he said, then gave me a solemn look. “But be careful whom you trust.” This country, he explained, was beautiful but not always safe.
   Here was a man with inside information, and I wanted to know what he knew. Still, for some reason, I held back from asking him. As I turned to go on my way, Joshua smiled broadly and waved his great right arm, bronzed and powerful.
   Soon I met him again, after I’d joined another group—the travelers on the red road who’d shared with me that first faraway glimpse of Charis. The old man Shadrach—who seemed overly confident about what was true and what wasn’t—had warned me against nearly everything I found interesting, including spending time with Joshua. But by now I wasn’t sure about the red road and where it led, and I certainly wasn’t sure I wanted to stay in the company of those travelers, Shadrach in particular. I told Joshua, “I’d like to check out some other options.”
   “I’d be happy to serve as your guide,” he answered. He led me off the red road and down a series of roads that were gray—roads that promised me all the things I’d ever wanted.
   When we first set out, Joshua pointed ahead and told me, “Lead the way, my friend.” Though he was my guide, he showed me respect by walking to my side, a step behind me, giving me a sense of control. I liked that.
   I was in conquer mode, so we marched down the terrain at a fast clip. It was a plunging path at first, filled with sharp turns and lined with thornbushes that kept nipping at my pant legs. After an hour, we hadn’t reached a single rise in the trail.
   “Does this path only go down?” I asked.
   Joshua laughed and answered, “To the very heart of things!”
   The path kept descending, and our pace kept accelerating.
   Finally, after dropping into a treacherous bog, we came to an intersecting path that rose upward toward firmer ground. Reaching the top of a slope and emerging from some trees, I came to a halt. Before me, positioned amid a half-dozen towering spires of rock, stood a glass and granite high-rise building. The sight of it was dreamlike yet so vivid, down to every detail. As I walked toward the structure, heart pounding, I stopped abruptly. This was the office building where I worked! I’d never seen it like this, isolated from the surrounding cityscape, as if it had been uprooted by some alien power and transported here.
   I entered the familiar ground-level front door with Joshua a step behind. We took the elevator to the twenty-fifth floor, and I instinctively walked through the maze of work stations toward my corner office. Joshua gazed approvingly at the view through the windows towering beside us. “You belong here, don’t you?” he asked me.
   I nodded. This was my world, and I had sailed its waters as expertly as any sea captain had ever commanded his ship and his men.
   Inside my office, Joshua said with a gesture of his hand, “This is what you were made for, isn’t it?”
   Before I could answer, my attention was drawn to a photograph on the desk, a picture of my wife and two children. It had been taken three years earlier, when we still lived together. I hadn’t been able to get away from the office that day to make the appointment at the studio, but my wife told the photographer to take the picture anyway. “It’s more realistic with just the three of us,” she said to me later, twisting the knife.
   Joshua and I left the office. But after stepping off the elevator and out the front door, everything went out of focus—until I suddenly found myself with Joshua in my condo, listening to classical music. The absence of transition made me think I must be dreaming, yet I was completely lucid, and my blue recliner was as tangible as could be, right down to the little coffee stain on the right arm.
   For a few hours, I was immersed in a whirlpool of melancholy and reflection, going wherever the melodies led, over the mountains and valleys and through the deserts of my life. Especially the deserts.
   “The music’s beautiful, isn’t it?” Joshua said.
   “Yes. Beautiful.”
   I followed him as he walked down a hallway lined on one side with oak shelves filled with books. “Commendable,” Joshua commented as he pulled out volumes here and there. “You have a genuine thirst for truth.”
   He fixed those radiant blue eyes on me. “I know you can find what you seek on one of the roads traveled by the great minds. Choose any of them. I’ll take you there in an instant. And if you don’t like one of them, I’ll take you to the next and then the next.”
   For some reason I shook my head, believing there was something more I wanted, something no great thinker could lead me to.
   No sooner had I turned down this offer than we materialized back on a gray road. Before us stood more buildings rising up from the rocks and sagebrush. We entered a maze of mall interiors, where my eyes were drawn to displays of home theaters, power tools, antique guns, shiny knives, snow skis, camping gear, sports clothing. We looked over a balcony to see spotlights zooming over showroom floors filled with the latest-model cars and pickup trucks, boats and RVs, snowmobiles and motorcycles.
   Then the spotlights melted into marquee lights. Joshua and I walked into a fine restaurant filled with people in fine clothes drinking fine wines. My heart suddenly buoyed when I saw a woman alone at one of the tables, a woman who’d been part of the group of travelers I was with earlier. She looked so beautiful tonight, so slight and delicate, dressed so elegantly. I studied every inch of her. The longer I looked, the more she filled my heart.
   “Go sit with her,” Joshua suggested. He led me by the arm and took me to her table, then excused himself. “I have other things to take care of.”
   The woman seemed pleased to see me. We dined alone and toasted with champagne. When the music began, we danced. I felt intoxicated.
   She kissed me, then smiled and said she had to go.
   “Can I…go with you?”
   “Not tonight,” she whispered, but she smiled as she walked away, and her eyes said yes.

Continues...

Excerpted from The Chasm by Randy Alcorn Copyright © 2011 by Randy Alcorn. Excerpted by permission of Multnomah Books, a division of Random House, Inc.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 26 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 27, 2012

    Unlike the other Randy Alcorn books that I have enjoyed (especia

    Unlike the other Randy Alcorn books that I have enjoyed (especially the Deadline, Dominion, Deception trilogy and his other allegories), I had a difficult time understanding the book at first. It seemed very fragmented and purposeless. Even though I could tell it was written in the vein of "Pilgrim's Progress," the jumping from scene to scene was very disconcerting and confusing.

    I put the book aside and picked it up again a few months later, I was finally able to connect with the character and the format, and I wasn't able to put it down until I finished it! The story had gripped my heart, and the compassion I felt for Nick as he progressed through the journey was reflective of many incidents in my life that paralleled his.

    So this is just an encouragement to those of you who purchase the book, persevere and you will be rewarded!

    I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 29, 2011

    Buyer Beware

    This is a very abbreviated condensed version of Alcorn's earlier book, The Edge of Eternity and not a sequel! Unless you have ADHD or simply don't have the time to invest in reading the original text save your money!!

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 10, 2011

    Difficult read

    I tried reading The Chasm by Randy Alcorn, & it is a difficult read. If your into romance, Amish, or war history type novels, this is not your type of read. The author is well wrote, but unless you have time to understand were the Randy is coming from, its not exactly a great book for novel readers....

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  • Posted June 24, 2011

    A Well Written Allegory

    Overview:

    The Chasm by Randy Alcorn tells the story of Nick Seagrave. Nick is a traveler on the paths of life-only his life story is told through allegory. You experience epic battles, struggles, and vivid pictures of what our average life looks like in a less than average land. Along his journey Nick reflects on the good and bad times he has had in his life. He also meets many different travelers, some of them good for him and others not so much. Nick encounters a picture of Christ in the woodsman and a picture of the devil in the tempter Joshua. Will he ever get across the Chasm?

    Review:
    From the first pages you are drawn into Nick's story. It's important to know that The Chasm is a partner story to Alcorn's Edge of Eternity. So if the book leaves you wanting to know more about Nick Seagrave you can find the information you seek there. The Chasm deals specifically in Nick's journey to cross the chasm that separates travelers from the city of Charis. The story is extremely well written. It's hard to put down and pretty fast paced. The book is only 110 pages long but it is truly action packed. The Chasm is written in an allegorical style so there are obvious allusions and comparisons between characters in the book and important Christian figures like the devil and Jesus. The allegory is easy to follow which is a blessing. I recommend this book to readers ninth grade and above. It will be a journey that's hard to forget.

    This book was provided to me by Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing at no cost for review purposes.

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  • Posted May 20, 2011

    An allegory about life

    In "The Chasm", Randy Alcorn has given us a glimpse into the life travels of Nick Seagrave. In a style similar to "Pilgrim's Progress", the reader is shown the many choices that Nick has to face in his life. Nick faces many colorful characters that some will quickly equate to Bible characters and common temptations. This is one of those books that could be read quickly before going back on the shelf, or read slowly multiple times and studied. - I suggest the slow reading. There is a reader's guide at the end with several thought-provoking questions. ***I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review. I was not required to write a positive review. **

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  • Posted May 2, 2011

    Beautifully written!!

    The Chasm is a beautifully written and genuine illustration of our journey with Christ. Alcorn presents and honest dipiction of how most of us attempt to become the master of our own lives, and can allow ourselves to become blinded to the realities in the world around us and the choices we make in our own lives. Alcorns imagery is brilliant and his approach allows the reader to relate to and follow the main charachter through his stuggles with salvation. I definitely reccommend this book!!

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  • Posted April 22, 2011

    Wonderful Easter read -- a must read for every Christian!

    The small book has been sitting on my desk for a while, but I have failed to pick it up. In the midst of a rather hectic week -- filled with Holy Week activities and work responsibilities -- I finally decided to pick up Randy Alcorn's The Chasm to have a time of leisure reading in the evenings. It would have been impossible to find a better work to read while celebrating our Saviour's passion. I have been tremendously blessed by the book and will definitely return to it again in the near future!

    The Chasm is reminiscent of Pilgrim's Progress in my mind. As the reader follows traveler along the Red Road, we become aware of the impact sins -- both public and private -- have had upon his life as well as others in his world. Spiritual warfare and deception are shown with such powerful language that the reader quickly begins to think of the presence of such activity over his head at that very moment.

    As the work progresses, our sinfulness is clearly blamed for the divide between man and God. In one of the most beautifully conceived allegories I have ever read, Alcorn examines our role in the suffering of the crucified Christ and the incredible love and provision demonstrated by Jesus' willing sacrifice at the cross. Although I quickly became aware of the direction the story would move, I found myself engrossed in the details and crying because of the undeserved suffering of my Saviour for me.

    I finished the book last night and have already passed it on to a friend. My hope is to see a class developed in my local congregation using The Chasm as a jumping off point. Of all the books I have read so far this year, this work has made the greatest impact upon me. I pray that the story will not soon be forgotten as I continue my personal journey along the Red Road.

    *I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review.

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  • Posted April 12, 2011

    The Chasm

    This brief novel by Randy Alcorn is an allegory of life, the Christian walk, and Christ's sacrifice for us.

    It is quite a bit like Bunyan's 'Pilgrim's Progress' in both the feel and message. It is very well done, although it is a bit shorter than I would have liked. It can also be read as a companion to Randy Alcorn's own Edge of Eternity. It has been quite awhile since I've read that one, but I think this one would go well with it.

    In one section describing the unawareness that so many are in regarding spiritual warfare, he writes this incredibly astute line: 'I looked around again at the little people so pathetically oblivious to the battle. They seemed to fancy themselves neutral and at peace, hoping to maintain dual citizenship in two warring kingdoms.'

    There is some very graphic imagery about the way that Satan uses people as pawns including smoking them 'as if they were cigarettes'.

    There are several other very good parts and a couple of amazing ones. This is very thought provoking as well as entertaining. I plan to buy a couple of other copies to share with some friends. I recommend it.

    For anyone who has not read Mr. Alcorn's novel, Deadline, it is one that should not be missed.


    I received this book from Multonomah's Blogging for books for review purposes.

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  • Posted April 4, 2011

    One of the finest allegories written!

    The Chasm is an adapted version of Randy Alcorn's full novel Edge of Eternity. Now that I have read this short work, I am definitely going to read the full novel.

    Using an allegorical style of writing, Mr Alcorn took me on an exciting spiritual journey through life. He tells a story of love, sacrifice and redemption. Getting down to the hard stuff in life that at some point affects all of us he shows that in the end no matter what we try to do as humans we still need Christ. On our own we cannot cross The Chasm!

    I highly recommend this book.

    I received this book from Waterbrook Multnomah for free in exchange for my honest review.

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  • Posted March 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Chasm

    Wowza, is there a lot of symbolism in this book! The protagonist Nick is in some sort of land that relates to Earth. There is a big chasm separating him from Charis. Charis is this great city of light and laughter that seems to represent Heaven. Throughout his journeys, Nick meets several different people. The reader has a fun time discerning who is really a friend and who is really a foe. Spiritual warfare is heavy in this book, and the illustrations are not for the faint of heart. When it comes to Jesus and the Crucifixion, there is also a plot event that correlates to it. It is not exactly the same in the sense that the story is in AD30 Middle East. However, Alcorn paints a vivid picture that makes the Passion easy to understand, especially for those that are not exactly Bible scholars. Also, at the end of the book, there are discussion questions and even a short list of Bible verses to guide the reader. I knew Alcorn was an apologetic theologian, but I had no idea how well he could write Christian fiction that impacts readers. Plus, at just over 100 pages, this book is short and easy to read.

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  • Posted March 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Alluring Read

    I've always been a lover of allegorical novels. How skillfully people can weave subliminal truths into their stories is always a fascination to me. In fact, allegories are seemingly the only kinds of stories I can write. Therefore, you can imagine my anticipation of reading The Chasm by Randy Alcorn.

    The Chasm is actually supposed to be part of a larger story called Edge of Eternity. I plan on getting a copy soon so I can get a wider scope of events and the storyline. However, I wasn't all that into this story because I'm not exactly a fan of business men or anything to do with the financial field/industry. I'm sure it is better for many other readers, but not me.

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  • Posted March 1, 2011

    Recommended

    A must read book about Redemption and God's love. This is a good book for rainy days or book clubs because even though it is short is has a strong thought provoking message and can easily be discussed. I found this book to be similar to The Pilgrim's Progress in some ways which emphasize what the author was going for.

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  • Posted February 25, 2011

    Excellent book

    When I received this book I was taken back a little by its size. It's only 120 pages and the pages are small but from the first page I was hooked and could not put the book down. The book had a very good story line and the character kept me interested and there were times in the book that I felt that I could be that character. I also enjoyed the illustrations that were in the book, there were 12 in all. It gave me excellent visuals to keep my interest in the book as I was reading it late at night. This book was very symbolic of Satan, Christ, and Heaven. At the end of the book there is a reader's guide that offered questions for me to ponder after reading each chapter. I loved this feature because as I found myself relating to the character, I was challenging myself with the questions. This book is on my read again section of my library! "I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review"

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    Allegory or Parody?

    This is an allegorical story of "man's redemption" by Christ. However, at times it read more like a parody. I am not certain of the reading level, but it read as if it were geared towards teens and young adults. The Chasm is adapted from Randy Alcorn's earlier story Edge of Eternity.

    In these stories, we are following the character, Nick Seagrave. He is on a spiritual quest. It is unclear in the Chasm whether this journey is a mental struggle or if he's walking that thin string, balanced between life and death. Regardless, no explanation is given regarding how Nick (our main character) got to this unnamed, God forsaken land.

    Throughout the story, Nick is trying to get somewhere - sometimes he wants to go back to the life he had and understood, but most of the time he is struggling to get to the city on the hill, Charis, the City of Light.

    As Nick travels, he meets up with various characters. Most have names, while a few, following allegory tradition have titles. There is the struggle between good and bad (warriors who are described as dark or light), there is a Shining warrior and a Woodsman. He takes up with one of the Characters, named Joshua. Nick learns you cannot always judge a man's heart based on how he looks. Joshua has some secrets that he's not telling Nick. The story is packed full of descriptions, however, sometimes the descriptions feel forced. Details seem to be "tacked on" and cause the reader to slow down his/her reading. The result is a jerky eye movement, decreasing the overall reading speed.

    At times during the story, Nick's vision would zoom in on some object or person-he could suddenly see what others around him could not see. Then at other times, the sizes of the characters changed suddenly. I found this confusing, I wasn't sure at any given time the meaning of the changing of his perspective. The story peaks when Nick, with the help of an old man, reaches the chasm. Here he realizes that there is no way he can cross over to the place he longs to run to, Charis. It is here that there plays out a "crucifixion" scene.

    Overall the book was interesting and fun to read. The book become easier for me to read the closer to the ending I got. The final chapters were well written. I'm not sure if this was because I became use to his method of writing or if his writing just smoothed out. However, if the reader wasn't familiar with the gospel story, I'm not sure how well the he or she could follow along. The book presented the crucifixion in a novel way, which may cause the reader to stop and question their life style. With that said, I finished the book and had more questions than answers. How does this experience change the man with the secrets or does it? The question I have is regarding the characters who are lost; How does it work out for them. How are they saved or as the story goes, are they ever able to cross the chasm?

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  • Posted February 14, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Wonderfully Condensed and Focused Version

    The Chasm is adapted from Randy Alcorn's book Edge of Eternity.

    Nick Seagrave has been brought from our world into another, where spiritual battles can be seen, where a red road holds the secret to eternal life, and a chasm awaits those who try to find Charis, the City of Light.

    I read Edge of Eternity several yeas ago and loved it. The Chasm is quite short, about 110 pages, and it took me a couple of hours to read. It nicely condenses Nick Seagraves' allegorical journey to Charis into something maybe a Bible study group would enjoy reading together and discussing. Enough is told of the backstory that readers new to the story won't feel lost, and those who have enjoyed Edge of Eternity will appreciate the book's focus on the chasm and the way the Woodsman finally makes it crossable. The only thing I missed from Edge of Eternity was how Alcorn fleshed out the other characters besides Nick, but given the focus of this story, it didn't bother me whatsoever.

    Altogether, The Chasm makes a short, enjoyable read that will introduce readers nicely to Edge of Eternity.

    *I received this book for free via Waterbrook Mutlnomah Publishing Group's Blogging For Books program*

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  • Posted February 8, 2011

    A Delight to Read!

    The Chasm by Randy Alcorn was not what I had expected, it was better! It's a short story about 120 pages but it's a pager turner! I would highly recommend this book for a short read. It takes you to another place where you wouldn't go but in a book. It even had illustrations, as an adult, you don't usually have great illustrations that go along with the story. That made it fun for me and really helped picture this strange world. It was a delight to read.

    *I was under no obligation to provide a positive review ~I was given a complimentary copy from WaterBrook Multnomah publishing.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This is a must read to be passed on!!!

    Not only did the book contain beautiful illustrations brought the message to life, but the message was made clear in this book. The main character Nick represents everyone of us ¬¬¬¬who walks the earth. Before me meet Christ we are unaware of the great chasm between us and our Lord. It is a chasm that we created. His death to save us was painted in such a way that we can't help but understand what we must do to bridge the gap. This book is one we don't want to hold on to but one we need to pass on to help others who may be like Nick and unclear about how to bridge the gap and knows something is missing but just not sure how to fill that void. This was an excellent book and one that must be passed on by word of mouth to others.

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  • Posted January 30, 2011

    Great Parallels to the Gospel

    As I started to read "The Chasm," I was skeptical about my choice of books. This was confusing and seemed similar to a mystery. I didn't understand that this book tied in to a larger novel, "Edge of Eternity." Now I haven't read the latter book, so I can't say whether it's good or bad or indifferent.

    However, I ended up really enjoying "The Chasm." There are beautiful parallels to the Gospel: the Woodsman and Jesus, the tree and the cross, Charis and Heaven. This is a tale of demons and angels, good and bad, and all the gray matter between.

    My favorite part of the book is the overhead look at the roads. Our lives are really paths that take us to one place or another - and in the end, the final one place or the other. The road you choose to travel may be scenic and beautiful...or even confusing and sorrowful...but where will it end? Charis, the city of lights, full of beautiful music and happy endings...or another city, full of darkness and eternal sorrow? I know which I would (and have) chose(n).

    Some may read "The Chasm" and completely miss the ties to Christianity (just as some watch or read "The Chronicles of Narnia" and miss the ties), but I don't see how. Randy Alcorn paints a lovely story of a man trying to find his way back home, to the place we all are meant to be.


    Disclaimer: I received this book for free from Waterbrook Multnomah Publishing in order to facilitate an honest review. My opinions are honest and my own. Others may or may not have the same experience(s) with this publishing company and/or the book and/or author.

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  • Posted January 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Chasm

    This book is about Nick Seagrave and his quest to find truth. Nick is faced with his past, the choices he made and the choices he can make now. There are several original illustrations by Mike Biegel that add much to the story. Although I would be able to picture the story without them. There are light and dark warriors fighting for and against Nick. His destiny is either the chasm or Charis the 'City of Light.' There is sin and temptation pulling him one way, faith and eternal life pulling him another way. The story reminded me of John Bunyan's "Pilgrim's Progress", where Christian must find the correct path to take on his journey. Randy Alcorn does a great job bringing out the plan of salvation in this 128 page allegory. There is a reader's guide in the back of the book which makes this appropriate for book study. I believe this book would be good reading for the secular or Christian reader or seekers of the truth. I received this book complimentary of Waterbrook Multnomah for my honest review.

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  • Posted January 18, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    The Chasm

    Having had readone of the best apologetics books on God and the purpose of evil and suffering- If God is Good, by Randy Alcorn, I was curious to read the allegorical fiction piece, The Chasm, also by the same author. In the former book, it is clear that Alcorn has deep insight into biblical truths, and effectively delivers his biblical based message. Considering that he has proved himself as an effective apologist, I anticipated that any fictional piece of writing would be based on biblical principals, as well.

    The Chasm is obviously an allegory for the story of salvation: sin, temptation, faith, free will and eternal salvation. Basically is everything is covered here in symbolic or allegorical form. The characters, places, objects and even the emotions have a symbolic counterpart to actual bible based principals and truths. The city of Charis is spiritually significant as well as Joshua, and every other element of the story. Perhaps for those readers who like liked the spiritual symbolism of the Narnia series, this story will be enjoyable as well. The hero of the story, goes on a quest to sek out truth and deliverance and is faced with the demons of his past, but also a series of choices as well- one of which is the delusion and allure of false religions-whereas just as in this world, many percieve various religions and believes as just one of many ways to attaining truth. Modern and real life misconceptions are brought to life in a palatable, allegorical form , that may perhaps speak out to the secular and non religious reader as well as Christians. Issues of justice, and injustice, human imperfection and sin are addressed. In fact, briefly, some of Alcorns philosophies and truths about injustice and suffering as well as its purpose are woven into this story. Even for those readers who do not neccessarily enjoy the symbolism of this story or the allegorical nature if this piece of work, will appreciate the biblical insights of wisdom. Although it is obvious to any bible reader this allegory is based on Christian truths, this book may be an effective outreach method for those non Christian readers who are not religious- yet conscientious of spiritualism and philosophy and self introspection.
    Within the text are simple child-like black and white illustrations- remeniscent of cartoon or comic book art. The end of this story includes some study questions which may shed light onto the specifics of the symbolism for those readers unfamiliar with the bible. As a blogger for Multnomah books I recieved a copy of this book for the purpose of writing this review.

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