Tuesday, 29 July 2014

Book Review: The No.9 Bus To Utopia by David Bramwell


Singing plants, a spiritual caravan park. a community of Czech dominatrixes and time travel? David Bramwell got more than he bargained for when he went looking for a new way of life.

My review:
Like many of us at some point in our lives, David Bramwell decided that he needed something different from life. For him, this was a quest to find Utopia. But what did Utopia truly mean? This book chronicles to journey to his answer, and helps the reading formulate their own reply.
Each community that David visits in interesting in its own way. He describes every one with feeling and genuine interest, drawing the reader into considering their benefits and negative aspects. It piqued my inquisitive nature, occasionally making me feel as if I'd been let into some hidden world.
As David travels we ca begin to glimpse not just the physical journeys he made during the book, but also the mental and philosophical ones. With frankness, he describes how his out-look was changed and affected by each new experience. Its easy to sympathise (and sometimes laugh) with him.
Most of all this is a truly though-provoking yet easy to read book. I picked it up at the same time as another and yet was so gripped by it that I read the whole thing in less than two days. 
A great book for anyone who is, or has ever searched for Utopia. Or simply for those who like exploring different ways of living through other communities or closer at home.

Have you ever been on a quest to find Utopia?

Saturday, 1 February 2014

Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos (a book review)


Imaginary Jesus is a hilarious, fast-paced, not-quite-fictional story that’s unlike anything you’ve ever read before. When Matt Mikalatos realizes that his longtime buddy in the robe and sandals isn’t the real Jesus at all, but an imaginary one, he embarks on a mission to find the real thing. On his wild ride through time, space, and Portland, Oregon, he encounters hundreds of other Imaginary Jesuses determined to stand in his way (like Legalistic Jesus, Perpetually Angry Jesus, and Magic 8 Ball Jesus). But Matt won’t stop until he finds the real Jesus—and finally gets an answer to the question that’s haunted him for years. Be warned: Imaginary Jesus may bring you face-to-face with an imposter in your own life.

My Review:

Don't be put off by the cover, the title or the blurb! It's much better than that!
Honestly, I almost didn't pick up this book. It's outlook, plot and pretext just seemed too extreme! However, something inside me said 'give it a go'. And I'm so glad I did! 

Imaginary Jesus really makes you think. Who is the real Jesus? How does he fit with the images we get of him from religious and secular society? How can we recognise him in our lives? The real skill of Matt Mikalatos is being able to present questions like these not only in a non-preachy manner, but in a light-hearted and humorous story. 

Never for one moment does this book stop being entertaining. Yes, it can verge on weird at times but keep reading and the reason will always be revealed. 

Pick this book up if you want a change from more serious Christian books, but don't want to hang up your brain cells completely. 
Recommended for Christians in their teens, twenties or simply young at heart.