Thursday, February 10, 2011

"Defiant Joy" by Kevin Belmonte

Snack of Choice:
Wave Potato Chips with French onion dip from that company my mom doesn't let me say. I personally pronounce it He-LU-va Good. This along with sweet tea and Old School Christian Music (PFR and Geoff Moore) brought me through victoriously!
Story behind the story:
Although in Glens Falls we just had our semi-annual book sale (favorite time of the year), this is NOT where I got this book.  The fact is that my friends at Thomas Nelson provided this book for me at no cost and does not and cannot require a favorable review in exchange. Does calling them "my friends" sound bias? Sorry... Can we strike that from the record? I still like ya though...

Story Line:
G. K. Chesterton's influence spans generations. C. S. Lewis was greatly affected by his work and attributes his breakthrough in faith to Chesterton's The Everlasting Man. Philip Yancey acknowledges the power of Chesterton's testimony concerning his "dark days" and how he came to the light. He is not, however, just a "Christian" writer. Many of his works are considered valuable literature as well as respected literary reviews of Chaucer, Dickens, and others.

This book is less of a biography as a life story and more a chronological survey of Chesterton's literary career. From his young days to his final breath, Chesterton was always busy writing something. Novels, detective stories, apologetics, poetry, and more.

The Real Story:
First, this is the coolest cover I have ever seen for a biography. I HATE biographies, but this made me pick it up with great anticipation. It sets a tone for the feel for the entire book.

Second, the author's written hope is that "this book might encourage young scholars to enter the rich,largely untilled field of Chesterton" (xiii). With this work he has done just that. I found myself thinking, I'd like to read that work or this work. 

I also appreciate Belmonte's tone. Chesterton and others use some very high language and Belmonte seems to leave the writing to an accessible level. I just finished my graduate degree and I'm incredibly thankful for this!

One last thing that I found helpful was the Timeline in the back of the book. It helps me keep track of all those insane dates that biographies are famous for. 

Check out:
"The Man Who Was Thursday" G.K. Chesterton (see the bottom of this page); Biographies of David Livingstone or George Mueller; The Gospel's (the greatest biography ever written) 

Mark Twain, Albert Einstein, G. K. Chesterton and one more crazy haired dude. (4 out of 5 crazy haired dudes)

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