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After a soul-crushing thirtieth birthday party, Pastor Adam Tyler, the hopelessly single son of a single mom, is given a chance to see what the world would be like without him. But surprisingly, rather than just an Adam-less world, he finds instead that he has been replaced by two others, each man his "half-self." One, the child of his mother, is a wealthy and successful ...
After a soul-crushing thirtieth birthday party, Pastor Adam Tyler, the hopelessly single son of a single mom, is given a chance to see what the world would be like without him. But surprisingly, rather than just an Adam-less world, he finds instead that he has been replaced by two others, each man his "half-self." One, the child of his mother, is a wealthy and successful businessman. The other, the child of the father Adam has never known, is a movie-quoting, streetwise con man. It seems the only things these two have in common are Adam's DNA, and that both are on a collision course for Deep Trouble. With a hand from his crusty guardian angel, it's up to Adam to rescue them. But is he up to the task? And can he find his way home again?
This hilarious journey of half-self-discovery is the lovechild of Kurt Vonnegut and Anne Lamott, and is sure to delight all who enjoy a trip into the magical land of "what if?"
Posted April 30, 2012
So that's where my socks go...
I'm usually a fan of darker esoteric reads when it comes to Angels, but that didn't stop me enjoying J.R.Fords excellent take on alternate realities. So, the story:
Doubting cleric shepherding oldies and goldies is visited by an Angel and asks the eternal question; what if I had never been born. What follows is a marvellous romp through a reality in which Adam's genes have off-sprung two new Adams, one a big shot, one an apparent down and out chancer, each possessing in themselves a trait Adam lacked pre-ethereal-being.
Ford's character development is spot on. Straight from the get go you really empathise with Adam and all his self-imposed rules, which keeps him from truly living. All the while playing on this big question, what is Eternity's plan for me? I see John Cussack in the role. As for the Angel, Zach Galifianakis, constantly slapping Adam's forehead and with his all-knowing, un-revealing, smarm.
As for the alternate Adams, Chase is the epitome of someone bordering on highlighter OCD. I don't know if anyone got this but I found his controlling nature slightly menacing, and I expected him to just implode in a fit a curses and arm waves at any moment, which certainly kept the suspense going. Chase on the other hand, was easy to sympathise with, a fiercely independent man whose preoccupation with scribbling reveals he's the ego and the acumen to rival Victor.
Ford's style is similar to that of Douglas Adams and the smatterings of humour (a la socks, as above) together with the bits where Adam is a voyeur is really a joy to read. Well done Author.
Posted April 30, 2012
By John R. Ford
Adam Tyler is restless he was called to be a pastor but for some reason he never feels fulfilled on his thirtieth birthday he is visited by an angel sent from his mother. When the angel asks him what he wants Adam pulls an “It’s a Wonderful Life” moment and wishes he had never been born but what he doesn’t realize is that even if he had never been born his mother and father would have still procreated only with other people causing there to be two half selves of Adam. This is not just Adam’s story but theirs as well and the only way Adam can get home is to change his own perspective of his life.
This was an interesting novel of the power of faith and realizing you are just a drop in a pond but the ripples your life creates are what truly matter. John R. Ford did a wonderful job bringing Adam and his two half selves to life, each one unique and no quite as distant as they may seem at first to each other. Though Victor is a businessman and Chase is a con-artist they all share something at the core of their being that is irreplaceable, goodness and kindness. It’s a heartwarming story that I recommend for anyone to read full of love and cherishing what you have, which is a good lesson for anyone.
Posted March 29, 2012
The best thing about Splitting Adam was the humor, which turns what otherwise could have been a heavy-handed drama into a wondrous experience we share with Adam.
In some ways the guardian angel, who just happens to sound like a native from Philly, reminded me of the ghosts of Christmas Past and Present in the Bill Murray comedy Scrooged. It didn't hurt that by the end of the book the angel was looking up information on his new iHeaven.
Ford's explanations for questions many of us have on scripture, like why there's no marriage in heaven, and why certain things are possible though they seem impossible are sensible and understandable. Still, he leaves room for our own interpretations as well. I particularly like the explanation of why socks seem to disappear in the dryer.
This is one of those great stories that leave you rooting for the characters by the end, then holding your breath as everything comes to a climax. I even had to grab a tissue as I finished the book because it literally moved me to tears.
The prologue really wasn't necessary. In fact I thought the story would have been even better if I hadn't known how it all began. I strongly suggest skipping it unless you have a deep desire to know the answer to the mystery of Adam's parentage before reading his story.
I laughed my way through Splitting Adam by John C. Ford and came away with a deeper appreciation of my own path of life. If you enjoy a story with a solid Christian message and lots of humor, you'll love this book.
Posted March 15, 2012
"Splitting Adam" started off with what I thought was a very interesting premise--if you weren't born, what would happen to the two parts that didn't become you? Did they become other people? Intriguing premise, beautifully executed.
Ford's writing is easy. He proposes interesting concepts and ideas as to how faith and God work in very accessible ways, within the context of the story without being preachy.
But honestly, he had me from the very beginning. The prologue begins with a sort of surprise stream-of-consciousness that was not at all what I was expecting, but just drew me in. And his story-telling continued to keep me in his world easily.
For me, the biggest thing is always characters, and again, Ford delivers. He gives you a cast of multifaceted characters who are real and relatable. Adam is the best example because he's so *normal.* He's got a couple things he's good at, a lot of things he's not, a bit of a temper, issues with motivation, he's just really like most of us--relatively unremarkable. And, like most of us, he wants to be remarkable or make a difference in some way, even if it's just to one person. He wants his life to have meaning and is really unsure, at the beginning of the book, if it does. He's normal and unremarkable, but he is still a developed character. I'm impressed.
His two half-selves, Chase and Victor, are just as well developed, even if they're a little more remarkable in different ways. They were characters you wanted to know about, characters you *cared* about.
Perhaps the best thing Ford crafts, however, is the structure--how people get into the messes and slumps that they do, how they justify their actions to themselves and how, when they subconsciously realize that they're doing things that are wrong, it actually affects them and how they deal with others. That's craft. I appreciate it.
Well done. 4.5 stars. Every time I picked it up, I delved right in, but I wasn't chomping at the bit for the next chance to dive in. Great read, definitely recommended to anyone who isn't going to be offended by the Christian threads running through it. They aren't the core of the story--the characters are.