Courageous: A Novel

Courageous: A Novel

4.5 190
by Randy Alcorn

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Retailers Choice Award winner, 2012
From the creators of Fireproof comes an inspiring new story about everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer. Yet at the end of the

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Retailers Choice Award winner, 2012
From the creators of Fireproof comes an inspiring new story about everyday heroes who long to be the kinds of dads that make a lifelong impact on their children. As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners willingly stand up to the worst the world can offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they’re quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark.
They know that God desires to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, but their children are beginning to drift farther and farther away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those who are most dear to them? When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God . . . and to their children?

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Editorial Reviews

On September 30th, a Christian film drama called Courageous will be released across America. It tells the story of four men wrestling with the responsibilities of fatherhood. Stephen Kendrick, who co-wrote the screenplay, described the filmmakers' intentions quite simply. He said that they hoped that when men leaving the theater will make the decision enunciated best in Joshua 24:15: "As for me and my house, we will serve the Lord." This novelization by faith-based author Randy Alcorn recaptures the power of the movie's plot and themes. (Hand-selling tip: Courageous was created by the same team behind the hit Fireproof.)

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Tyndale House Publishers
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5.40(w) x 8.20(h) x 1.10(d)

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a novel

Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.

Copyright © 2011 Kendrick Bros., LLC.
All right reserved.

ISBN: 978-1-4143-5846-8

Chapter One

A ROYAL-RED Ford F-150 SuperCrew rolled through the streets of Albany, Georgia. The pickup's driver brimmed with optimism, so much that he couldn't possibly foresee the battles about to hit his hometown.

Life here is going to be good, thirty-seven-year-old Nathan Hayes told himself. After eight years in Atlanta, Nathan had come home to Albany, three hours south, with his wife and three children. New job. New house. New start. Even a new truck.

Sleeves rolled up and windows rolled down, Nathan enjoyed the south Georgia sunshine. He pulled into a service station in west Albany, a remodeled version of the very one he'd stopped at twenty years earlier after getting his driver's license. He'd been nervous. Wasn't his part of town—mostly white folks, and in those days he didn't know many. But gas had been cheap and the drive beautiful.

Nathan allowed himself a long, lazy stretch. He inserted his credit card and pumped gas, humming contentedly. Albany was the birthplace of Ray Charles, "Georgia on My Mind," and some of the best home cookin' in the galaxy. One-third white, two-thirds black, a quarter of the population below the poverty level, Albany had survived several Flint River floods and a history of racial tension. But with all its beauties and flaws, Albany was home.

Nathan topped off his tank, got into his pickup, and turned the key before he remembered the carnage. A half-dozen big, clumsy june bugs had given their all to make an impression on his windshield.

He got out and plunged a squeegee into a wash bucket only to find it bone-dry.

As he searched for another bucket, Nathan noticed the mix of people at the station: an overly cautious senior citizen creeping his Buick onto Newton Road, a middle-aged woman texting in the driver's seat, a guy in a do-rag leaning against a spotless silver Denali.

Nathan left his truck running and door open; he turned away only seconds—or so it seemed. When the door slammed, he swung around as his truck pulled away from the pump!

Adrenaline surged. He ran toward the driver's side while his pickup squealed toward the street.

"Hey! Stop! No!" Nathan's skills from Dougherty High football kicked in. He lunged, thrust his right arm through the open window, and grabbed the steering wheel, running next to the moving pickup.

"Stop the car!" Nathan yelled. "Stop the car!"

The carjacker, TJ, was twenty-eight years old and tougher than boot leather—the undisputed leader of the Gangster Nation, one of Albany's biggest gangs.

"What's wrong wichu, man?" TJ could bench-press 410 and outweighed this dude by sixty pounds. He had no intention of giving back this ride.

He accelerated onto the main road, but Nathan wouldn't let go. TJ repeatedly smacked Nathan's face with a vicious right jab, then pounded his fingers to break their grip. "You gonna die, man; you gonna die."

Nathan's toes screamed at him, his Mizuno running shoes no match for the asphalt. Occasionally his right foot found the narrow running board for a little relief, only to lose it again when his head took another blow. While one hand gripped the wheel, Nathan clawed at the thief. The pickup veered right and left. Leaning back to avoid the punches, Nathan saw the oncoming traffic.

TJ saw too, and he angled into it, hoping the cars would peel this fool off.

First a silver Toyota whizzed by, then a white Chevy; each veered off to avoid the swerving truck. Nathan Hayes dangled like a Hollywood stuntman.

"Let go, fool!"

Finally Nathan got a good toehold on the running board and used every remaining ounce of strength to yank the steering wheel. The truck lost control and careened off the road. Nathan rolled onto gravel and rough grass.

TJ smashed into a tree, and the air bag exploded into his face, leaving it red with blood. The gangbanger stumbled out of the truck, dazed and bleeding, trying to find his legs. TJ wanted some get-back on this dude who'd dared to challenge him, but he could barely negotiate a few steps without faltering.

The silver Denali from the gas station screeched to a halt just a few feet from TJ. "Hurry up, man," the driver yelled. "It ain't worth it, dawg. Get in. Let's go!"

TJ staggered into the Denali, which sped away.

Stunned, Nathan pulled himself toward his vehicle. His face was red and scratched, his blue tattersall shirt stained. His jeans were ripped, his right shoe torn open, sock bloody.

An auburn-haired woman dressed for the gym in black yoga pants jumped out of the passenger side of a white Acadia. She ran to Nathan. "Are you okay?"

Nathan ignored her, relentlessly crawling to his truck.

The driver of the SUV, a blonde, was giving their location to the 911 operator.

"Sir," the auburn-haired woman said, "you need to stay still."

Nathan continued his crawl, disoriented but determined.

"Don't worry about the car!"

Still moving, Nathan said, "I'm not worried about the car."

He used the tire to pull himself up enough to open the back door of the pickup. An ear-piercing cry erupted from a car seat. The little boy let loose his pent-up shock at the sight of his daddy on his knees, sweaty and bleeding. Nathan reached in to comfort him.

As sirens approached, the auburn-haired woman watched Nathan with his little boy in the tiny denim overalls. This stranger wasn't blindly obsessed with a possession. He wasn't crazy.

He was a hero—a father who'd risked his life to rescue his child.


Excerpted from Courageous by RANDY ALCORN Copyright © 2011 by Kendrick Bros., LLC. . Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, 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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Meet the Author

Randy Alcorn is the founder of Eternal Perspective Ministries (EPM). Prior to starting EPM, he served as a pastor for 14 years. He has spoken around the world and has taught on the adjunct faculties of Multnomah Bible College and Western Seminary in Portland, Oregon. 

Randy is the best-selling author of over 35 books (4 million in print), including the novels Deadline, Dominion, and Deception, Safely Home, as well as The Chasm and Courageous. His nonfiction works include Heaven; If God is Good; Managing God's Money; Money, Possessions and Eternity; The Purity Principle; The Treasure Principle; The Grace and Truth Paradox; and The Law of Rewards. Randy has written for many magazines and produces the popular periodical Eternal Perspectives. He's been a guest on numerous radio and television programs, including Focus on the Family, The Bible Answer Man, FamilyLife Today, Revive Our Hearts, Truths that Transform, and Faith Under Fire

The father of two married daughters, Randy lives in Gresham, Oregon, with his wife and best friend, Nanci. They are the proud grandparents of several grandchildren.

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Courageous 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 190 reviews.
TheReadersCove More than 1 year ago
The life of a deputy sheriff is no easy job. It requires split-second judgment, level headed confidence, and a genuine concern for the public they serve. Courageous takes a deep look into the lives of four deputies, their choices in life, their wives, their children and their friends. The writing is very realistic and believable and gives the reader a front row seat to the drama that is everyday life for them. The amazing stories emphasize life threatening situations on a daily basis and how easily their life's focus can alter their family life The characters are well written with distinct personalities, ups and downs, and struggles that many in today's world face. Their development and growth is influenced by their desire to make life better by starting within their own families. There are valuable lessons for all in this book, but especially for fathers who want to "man-up" and make a difference to those they love and serve. A perfect gift for fathers, young or old.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I lovee thiss book i LOVEEEE The movie it made emotional andd im only 11! Its reminds me of losinq my dad because if how he lost his dauqhter
MissHoneyBee More than 1 year ago
Sometimes novels can be as powerful as sermons, and for me this was one of those times. I isn't a perfect book, but it caused me to really think about how much (or how little) time I spend with my family, what the outcomes of my choices might be, and inspired me to want to witness to others more and study my Bible more. There are some mature elements (violence, drug content, etc.), but this is primarily a book for fathers. There were also some moments of humor, though one of them which involved deception seemed a bit on the questionable side to me--funny, but unnecessary. Overall it was a fast-paced book for me. The characters could have been developed a bit more length, perhaps. I hope fathers read this and are truly inspired to change their priorities. Fathers are very important, not to mention the other parts of a family! I received a complimentary copy of this book from Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for my honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A must read for every man!
CNJohnson More than 1 year ago
Randy Alcorn recently wrote the novelization, "Courageous", to go along with the movie by the same name. The first third of the book introduced me to police action and the characters including: 1. Nathan and Karla Hayes and children who move to Albany, GA, Nathan's home town, so Nathan can join the police force and be near William Barrett, a man who mentored him when a father had not been there for him. 2. David Thomson who has a daughter by a woman he never married, but in the meanwhile becomes Nathan's police partner. 3. Adam and Victoria Mitchell who have high drama in their family including the fear of losing their teen son to other influences. 4. Tom Lyman, now in a retirement center and in a wheel chair, Adam's older godly mentor. 5. Brad Bronson, a character in Randy Alcorn's other police novels, as well as a mention of Ollie, lead character in Alcorn's novels. (Brad has moved to Georgia from Oregon.) 6. Shane Fuller, partner of Adam. 7. Javy who writes an inspiring letter thanking his father. 8. "TJ was the son of no man and the father of a gang of men." After the first fourteen chapters to page 111 when I had essentially figured out the above characters, I couldn't put the book down until I had read all 362 pages. Then I knew why I had to get all of that early background for the last two-thirds of the book. I am not giving away the plot to the book and spoiling it for you because the movie will be coming out in a month and I haven't seen that movie. I wonder what is in the book that will not be in the movie. I know Alcorn is a dog lover and dogs are in the book. I wonder if dogs will be in the movie. Alcorn has been a long-time defender of right to life and that comes out in the novel. I wonder if that is in the movie. Alcorn milks this plot for a lot of Christian themes: God's leading, prayer, sanctity of human life, forgiveness, redemption, hospitality, responsibility of parents and even Charles Spurgeon, a favorite preacher of Alcorn, only to mention a few themes. Some will call this a preachy novel. However, everyone is not converted in the novel, and we have an ETERNAL PRESPECTIVES (name of Alcorn's ministry) ending to look forward to, not an earthly Hollywood ending in the book and probably not in the movie that I have yet to see. Adam dreams about one day in heaven dancing with his daughter. One reviewer didn't think that heavenly scene was necessary, but I think this heavenly dream is VERY Randy Alcorn who is also known for such books as "Heaven". You have to consider some questions. Why can't Christians wonder about eternity? Must novels only entertain? Why can't they instruct? "Pilgrim's Progress" does. Realistically Alcorn says at the end: "To most people, none of this--not what these men were doing now, nor what He [Christ] did two thousand years ago--made sense. From the outside, grace and truth, honor and courage, seldom do." Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick wrote and produced the movie as they also did other films including "Fireproof". "The Resolution for Men" and "The Resolution for Women" are spin-off books from this film, like "The Love Dare", was a spin off book from "Fireproof". The promos for their movie "Courageous" are all about fathers, absent fathers, and the need to RESOLVE to be a better parent. I am not sure how thorough "The Resolution" books a
rtwins More than 1 year ago
God desires for every father to courageously step up and do whatever it takes to be involved in the lives of his children. But more than just being there or providing for them, he is to walk with them through their young lives and be a visual representation of the character of God, their Father in heaven. A father should love his children and seek to win their hearts. He should protect them, discipline them, and teach them about God. He should model how to walk in integrity, and treat others with respect and should call out his children to become responsible men and women who live their lives for what matters in eternity. ~ Adam Mitchell Adam Mitchell and Nathan Hayes, both police officers following Christ, have witnessed tragic experiences in their lives and the lives of their co-workers. Adam begins to develop a burden to see the men in his community step up and become the courageous men that Joshua 1:7 mentions. Adam and Nathan witness local gangs further destroying fatherless homes, but they never expect how deep the gangs are rooted in their police force and families. What can these men do to begin to bring change to the city of Albany, Georgia ? Author Randy Alcorn masterfully wrote this novel from the script of the movie of the same name, set to be released September 30, 2011.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a great book!! I loved the movie too and creid like a baby with a guy that I've neve even met!!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A really good book for teens
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I've seen the movie and read the book and both of them were good. I like the ideas that the book discusses. It really makes you think about what it means to be part of a family.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
One of the best novels I have ever read. A must read for parents, especially fathers. Don't wait until it's too late. See for yourself now how you can make a difference in your child's life. I thought I heard there was a female version of this book. I'd love to read that. Cookie62
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is about five dads, four of whom try to become better fathers. Adam Mitchell realized when his daughter was killed by a drunk driver that he was not doing what he was supposed to be doing as a godly father. This realization lead to the Resolution that they all signed. One, however, did not keep his promise and wound up in jail. Join these men on a trip to becoming godly (or for one man ungodly) lives. With action and emotion and even a few helping tips at the end, I think that you will enjoy alot! I have seen all four of the movies, but this was the first one that I read. The book is so much better than the movie. I think that you will enjoy. ~Jeremy
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Hey this is deanna i will talk to you about the bok
VicG More than 1 year ago
Randy Alcorn in his new book "Courageous" which is a novelization of the screenplay by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick and is published by Tyndale House Publishers gives us a look into fatherhood. Four men work as police officers in Georgia. Each of these men have issues from their own childhoods that they are bringing into their current family relationships and are driving their children away from them. One knows how to deal with his daughter but not his son because his son has interests other than his. One never met his father but is doing all he can to be the best husband and father in his family. Another drinks to hide his pain. These four men sign a Resolution to be there for their children and despite near death experiences at the hands of criminals and the stress of their jobs, they become closer to their children by helping each other make better choices. There are amazing themes in "Courageous". Some are gang violence, drug and alcohol use, relationships, restoring relationships and accountability for men. It is an exciting story as these men come against the Gangster Nation and their lives are in danger. I do not recommend starting this book late at night because it will cost you sleep as you will not want to put it down. Mr. Alcorn is an excellent writer and knows how to twist your nerve endings as he tightens the suspense. If you would like to listen to interviews with other authors and professionals please go to Kingdom Highlights where they are available On Demand. To listen to 24 hours, non-stop Christian music please visit our internet radio station Kingdom Airwaves Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Tyndale House Publishers. 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."
kwaub More than 1 year ago
I received a complimentary copy of the book "Courageous" by Alex Kendrick and Stephen Kendrick for review purposes from Tyndale House. The book is based on the screenplay, which is to be released on September 30, 2011 and based on what I read in the book I can't wait to see the movie. This book is a great tool for fathers looking to become closer to their children. When I got the opportunity to read and review this book, I was sort of skeptical about it because I normally like watching the movie and then reading the book, just in case I missed something in the movie. Now I am glad I have read this, just because I know what I have learned from reading will help me with my own child sooner rather than later. I really enjoyed how the authors conveyed the story of how to be a better father through the trials and tribulations of these different men, all with different backgrounds, and probably different beliefs. All of them ended up having the same goal, and that was to be a better man and father.
Mother-of-ThreeJM More than 1 year ago
On September 30th, the highly anticipated movie by the creators of Facing the Giants and Fireproof will be released. I had the amazing opportunity by Tyndale House Publishers to review the book Courageous. Yes, you heard me right, the book. Randy Alcorn took the screenplay for Courageous written by Alex and Stephen Kendrick and wrote a novel telling the story of four law enforcement officers seeking to make a God honoring, lifelong impact on their children through their role as fathers. Here's the synopsis from Tyndale's website: "But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord." Joshua 24:15 Four men, one calling: To serve and protect. As law enforcement officers, Adam Mitchell, Nathan Hayes, and their partners are confident and focused. They are willingly to stand up to the worst the streets have to offer. Yet at the end of the day, they face a challenge that none of them are truly prepared to tackle: fatherhood. While they consistently give their best on the job, good enough seems to be all they can muster as dads. But they're quickly discovering that their standard is missing the mark. They know that God desires to turn the hearts of fathers to their children, but their children are beginning to drift further and further away from them. Will they be able to find a way to serve and protect those that are most dear to them? When tragedy hits home, these men are left wrestling with their hopes, their fears, their faith, and their fathering. Can a newfound urgency help these dads draw closer to God . and to their children? Protecting the streets is second nature to these law enforcement officers. Raising their children in a God-honoring way? That takes courage." I have never before read a book before seeing the movie portrayal of the story. But based on the amazing story found within the pages of this book, I can't imagine being disappointed on September 30th! The book includes subplots, characters and backstory that will not be seen in the movie. Alcorn moves the story along, but it is an amazing ride. He captures well the typical humor and raw emotion that we have become accustomed to with the stories from Sherwood Pictures. What I appreciated most about the book is Alcorn's careful attention to making much of Christ and the clear message that any good in us comes from Him while at the same time encouraging the personal responsibility of making self sacrificing decisions for the glory of God. You will see this in the conversations between one of the more seasoned sheriff's deputies and his younger rookie partner. The older deputy is portrayed in the very first chapter of the book and through his courageous action in the very beginning, he earns the ability to be able to speak into his partner's life. The book releases in August, while the movie doesn't release until September 30th. Whether you read the book before or after seeing the move, DO BOTH! You will not regret having this story in print! There are discussion questions included at the end of the book. This would be an amazing resource for a mentoring relationship or for use with a small group of men meeting together for discipleship. Grab this book and see Micah 6:8 played out on the streets of Albany, Georgia! "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the LORD require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." You can visit my
ReadingRoom More than 1 year ago
This is a fantastic book for fathers. It reminds us of what's really important....God and Family are the #1 priorities, which we often forget in the busyness of this world and culture. The book is well-written and makes good entertainment, but more importantly it provides us with life lessons that we can apply to our own lives. This book really made me think.
Anonymous 8 months ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The book came out first DUH dumbO
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I am on chapter 35 of the book and i love it!!!! I feel like i am really ther witnessing the events. I get to love Emily that i cried when she died. This book shows that God will help dads be all that they need to be. I love how Adam gets close to dylan
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This just reminds everyone that life isn't always going to be roses. There will be heartache & God can help you through it.
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Love it. The movie is awesome too.