Monday, May 08, 2006

A word on End Times 'Thrillers'


What, you want more than a word? Well, OK, but I don't think they deserve it. The only reason I mention them at all is to point you to this blog, which runs an occasional series plotholing the Left Behind series.

But while I'm on the subject, I may as well get my rant over, since Left Behind and all the other 'End Times Thrillers' that followed in its wake can be included in the broad definition of science fiction, in that they are set in the not too distant future. But having read the original LB series (I know, what was I thinking?) and been utterly underwhelmed, I don't intend to give this sub-genre a regular spot in the blog. At least until someone writes a decent one.

I commented on my other blog that, even recognising that I'm still an amateur at the writing game, I could have written the LB series better. I came up with the idea when I was about 14, just before the Cold War ended, but didn't have the Bible knowledge to do anything with it. Heck, I probably could have written it better then...

Tyndale House have, thus far, declined my offer to write Left Behind: London, presumably in case I do in fact turn out to be much better than LaHaye & Jenkins...

Anyway, enough of this speculation.

In the hope that LB had in fact spawned a sub-genre now packed with decently written Apocalypse stories with a Christian twist, I grabbed Wired by Robert L Wise from the library a while back. That was nearly as bad.

Well, maybe I'm being a bit harsh. The plot was predictably similar to that of the LB series, which gave the whole book an instant disadvantage, but the quality of writing didn't do much to counter that. And then there was the odd phrase that caused me to chuckle. Take, for instance, our introduction to the post-Rapture Christians:

"They are more of an underground group."
"Really!" Matthew grinned. "Now that really gets my attention. What are they called?"
"New Seekers." Jennifer lowered her voice.
"Awesome. I like the sound of the name."
The New Seekers? I mean, for goodness sake, the rapture's just happened, and you want to buy the world a flippin' Coke?

And, just like in LB, spiritual enlightenment is provided by a Jewish Bible scholar who just happened to be passing, in this case, former adult film star* Adah Honi. Who, annoyingly, talks like Yoda:

"The important issue is what says the Bible."

"Perhaps, we simply have not figured out for what idea the number is a symbol."

"Let us quickly walk away from the platform. We need from any cameras to stay away."

"One of the next steps in the Anti-Christ's plan is new believers to persecute."

I won't be following that series until the Glorious Appearing. Which, incidentally, I thought might put a stop to LaHaye and Jenkins in their quest for world domination, but, like George Lucas before them, they have discovered the prequel. The latest of which, apparently, will be launched on 06.06.06.

I've just realised. LaHaye and Jenkins are the anti-Christ!

*OK, I may have added that bit myself.


Unknown said...

Hilarious ending to your post. I'm not a fan of LB either, but I am in awe at the number of readers that flock to bookstores to by it. I have many friends who will by nothing but that, because their church recommends it and everyone in their neighborhood has a copy. I'm all for stories that glorify Christ, but I really want to read quality work.

Elliot said...


You might enjoy this post on my blog: