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The Dirty Parts of the Bible

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It's 1936, and Tobias Henry is stuck in the frozen hinterlands of Michigan. Tobias is obsessed with two things: God and girls. Mostly girls, of course. But being a Baptist preacher's son, he can't escape God. When his father is blinded in a bizarre accident (involving hard cider and bird droppings), Tobias must ride the rails to Texas to recover a long-hidden stash of mone It's 1936, and Tobias Henry is stuck in the frozen hinterlands of Michigan. Tobias is obsessed with two things: God and girls. Mostly girls, of course. But being a Baptist preacher's son, he can't escape God. When his father is blinded in a bizarre accident (involving hard cider and bird droppings), Tobias must ride the rails to Texas to recover a long-hidden stash of money. Along the way, he's initiated into the hobo brotherhood by Craw, a ribald vagabond-philosopher. Obstacles arise in the form of a saucy prostitute, a flaming boxcar, and a man-eating catfish. But when he meets Sarah, a tough farm girl under a dark curse, he finds out that the greatest challenge of all is love.


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It's 1936, and Tobias Henry is stuck in the frozen hinterlands of Michigan. Tobias is obsessed with two things: God and girls. Mostly girls, of course. But being a Baptist preacher's son, he can't escape God. When his father is blinded in a bizarre accident (involving hard cider and bird droppings), Tobias must ride the rails to Texas to recover a long-hidden stash of mone It's 1936, and Tobias Henry is stuck in the frozen hinterlands of Michigan. Tobias is obsessed with two things: God and girls. Mostly girls, of course. But being a Baptist preacher's son, he can't escape God. When his father is blinded in a bizarre accident (involving hard cider and bird droppings), Tobias must ride the rails to Texas to recover a long-hidden stash of money. Along the way, he's initiated into the hobo brotherhood by Craw, a ribald vagabond-philosopher. Obstacles arise in the form of a saucy prostitute, a flaming boxcar, and a man-eating catfish. But when he meets Sarah, a tough farm girl under a dark curse, he finds out that the greatest challenge of all is love.

30 review for The Dirty Parts of the Bible

  1. 5 out of 5

    Michelle

    Every once in a while, and through dozens and dozens of book flops, a reader will stumble upon a gold mine. And stumble I did! The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a diamond that seems to be hidden from the general population of book readers and lovers! Thanks to Pixel of Ink's daily blog, I took a chance on a free little gem one day, many months ago. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. I can't even remember if I read the description or was just enamored by the ingenious title. But there it sat on Every once in a while, and through dozens and dozens of book flops, a reader will stumble upon a gold mine. And stumble I did! The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a diamond that seems to be hidden from the general population of book readers and lovers! Thanks to Pixel of Ink's daily blog, I took a chance on a free little gem one day, many months ago. I honestly wasn't sure what to expect. I can't even remember if I read the description or was just enamored by the ingenious title. But there it sat on my virtual bookshelf until just earlier this week. From page one, Torode's writing had me hooked. With a spellbinding narrative that'll leave you in stitches, you won't care who is looking at you sideways as you laugh-out-loud with the crazy antics Tobias and Craw get in to during their journeys of self discovery at any age. Torode seamlessly marries the likes of Water for Elephants and O Brother Where Art Thou into a gripping tale of a young boy who sets out to help his father, but instead finds himself, and his own faith, along the way. Set in my own neck-of-the-woods (the heart of Texas), Tobias' coming of age is relatable to both men and women, especially those who grew up in church where "sex" was a four letter word. While I have found myself quoting and sharing this book with everyone I have come into contact with, I'd bet my bottom dollar that if you give it a try, you'll love this little gem and agree that it's worth its weight in gold (or as Craw might say, worth its weight in catfish hearts)!

  2. 4 out of 5

    Montzalee Wittmann

    Loved this book! It was about a over zealot preacher who sends his son to Texas to finding hidden money and the crazy adventures the son has along the way. The son, Tobias, befriends a hobo before finding family in Texas. His family in Texas take him in and he learns more about his dad and life. A fun, enjoyable, and thoughtful read. Could not stop once I started. 2-17-2021 Enjoyed this book again! I received the book from freeaudiblecodes and listened to it this time. I enjoyed it either way. Wou Loved this book! It was about a over zealot preacher who sends his son to Texas to finding hidden money and the crazy adventures the son has along the way. The son, Tobias, befriends a hobo before finding family in Texas. His family in Texas take him in and he learns more about his dad and life. A fun, enjoyable, and thoughtful read. Could not stop once I started. 2-17-2021 Enjoyed this book again! I received the book from freeaudiblecodes and listened to it this time. I enjoyed it either way. Wouldn't change my review from before.

  3. 4 out of 5

    d.a.v.i.d

    No pictures? No sexual dialogue? Almost nothing regarding the bible? Not even enough info on the Baptist culture? Only a few curse words? I could have opened another DH Lawrence for my romantic needs. I do not remember what inspired me to by this book. I do know, that I paid either .99 cents or $1.99 for it, through some email promotion. But, maybe something in the synopsis of it convinced me that this could be a ‘lite’ read respite, for a guy who generally requires more serious stuff. Guess what? I re No pictures? No sexual dialogue? Almost nothing regarding the bible? Not even enough info on the Baptist culture? Only a few curse words? I could have opened another DH Lawrence for my romantic needs. I do not remember what inspired me to by this book. I do know, that I paid either .99 cents or $1.99 for it, through some email promotion. But, maybe something in the synopsis of it convinced me that this could be a ‘lite’ read respite, for a guy who generally requires more serious stuff. Guess what? I read the thing in two or three sittings and…I liked it. It is a little, tame fiction, about a young man, approximately twenty years old (like, 3-5 years younger than me), who grew up in Michigan and spent some time in Texas. But here’s the deal, to me. I suspect that this new author, Sam Torode, is a nice young man. And I like nice. There is just not enough of it out there. He weaves a cute tale, makes some silly jokes, interjects simple philosophical questions, is always sweet, and creates a little nothing of a love story. I sense he is a good guy, and his essence and this endeavor, should be rewarded by this reader. Good for your, Sam. Be proud of yourself. And, I suspect that you are reading this review. Let this be, to you, a metaphorical hand on your shoulder, or a firm handshake, an appreciation, from an older man, who aspires only to be true.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Linda

    The tale of Sarah and Tobias from the book of Tobit in the bible is retold in a story set during the depression with a bit of native American lore added. It's about a man raised in a conservative Baptist home in Minnesota whose preacher father commits acts that he admonishes others for who is sent to his fathers family in Texas for buried treasure to save his family from poverty. The treasure he finds is the extended family he never knew, his identity, and love. It's a quick coming of age story The tale of Sarah and Tobias from the book of Tobit in the bible is retold in a story set during the depression with a bit of native American lore added. It's about a man raised in a conservative Baptist home in Minnesota whose preacher father commits acts that he admonishes others for who is sent to his fathers family in Texas for buried treasure to save his family from poverty. The treasure he finds is the extended family he never knew, his identity, and love. It's a quick coming of age story that is quite satisfying.

  5. 4 out of 5

    Suanne Laqueur

    Read it straight through, one sitting. Loved it. LOV. ED. IT.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Ken Wilson

    I loved this book. My wife told she had downloaded it so I did as well just because I liked the title. I had no idea what it was about. It is the retelling of a story from the Book of Tobit from the Catholic/Orthodox canon. I didn't know that until after I read it. I wonder how many other great stories are out there the protestants don't want anyone to share? Religion aside, this is a great read. Lots of laughs and a great journey. I loved this book. My wife told she had downloaded it so I did as well just because I liked the title. I had no idea what it was about. It is the retelling of a story from the Book of Tobit from the Catholic/Orthodox canon. I didn't know that until after I read it. I wonder how many other great stories are out there the protestants don't want anyone to share? Religion aside, this is a great read. Lots of laughs and a great journey.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Betsy Robinson

    Until reading this rollicking tale, I never knew that Jesus and Socrates were hoboes. According to Craw, a hobo/philosopher accompanying young Tobias, the protagonist, on a road trip to Texas, a hobo is a person who "stand[s] on the fringes, refusing to put on any costumes. We reject the gold and silk and finery of this life, preferring to stand as signs of contradiction—witnesses to truth." According to the author's note at the end of this 1936-era Mark Twain-esque adventure, The Dirty Parts of Until reading this rollicking tale, I never knew that Jesus and Socrates were hoboes. According to Craw, a hobo/philosopher accompanying young Tobias, the protagonist, on a road trip to Texas, a hobo is a person who "stand[s] on the fringes, refusing to put on any costumes. We reject the gold and silk and finery of this life, preferring to stand as signs of contradiction—witnesses to truth." According to the author's note at the end of this 1936-era Mark Twain-esque adventure, The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a retelling of the ancient Jewish tale of Tobias and Sarah, found in the Book of Tobit, but as a heathen and aspiring hobo who has never read Bible stories, I could not appreciate this part of the book. Still, I found the beginning, especially, to be mostly entertaining—even if, midway through, pedagogy about Bible stories being metaphorical did get a bit heavy-handed. If the deep truth carried by metaphor is an unknown concept to you, or if it's an issue whether the Bible is a metaphor or literal truth, or if you believe in a punishing or loving God, perhaps you won't find the pedagogy as stultifying as I did. Although I'm not the audience for this book and had some trouble finishing it, I laughed out loud a bunch of times in the earlier part of the story and think the writing is good enough to recommend—to its intended audience: churchgoers and Bible readers.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    I started out really liking the tone of this book... it was dark but funny. And then it all went to hell. It became a schmaltzy, sappy mess of lighthearted adventures with a mystical black train riding hobo and wacky Texas family. And random "Indian spirit magic" slapped on near the end out of nowhere, for some reason?? The ending was so sickly sweet, with everything tied up conveniently... characters celebrating with a throw of a cap in the air and a "whoop!" (Not exaggerating, that actually hap I started out really liking the tone of this book... it was dark but funny. And then it all went to hell. It became a schmaltzy, sappy mess of lighthearted adventures with a mystical black train riding hobo and wacky Texas family. And random "Indian spirit magic" slapped on near the end out of nowhere, for some reason?? The ending was so sickly sweet, with everything tied up conveniently... characters celebrating with a throw of a cap in the air and a "whoop!" (Not exaggerating, that actually happened more than once). So corny and fluffy and shallow compared to what it could have been with the original set up. Very disappointing.

  9. 4 out of 5

    Theresa Errante-Parrino

    This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. I don't think the title lined up with the story line. From the title, I thought it would be more seductive and juicy. The only one small part mentioned was about a small framed woman's breast.this book was not what I expected. I found a few humourous lines in the book. I don't think the title lined up with the story line. From the title, I thought it would be more seductive and juicy. The only one small part mentioned was about a small framed woman's breast.this book was not what I expected. I found a few humourous lines in the book.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Ben

    I downloaded a sample of this book from the Kindle store months ago because it sounded charming and irreverent. I started reading it again this morning. I liked the first three chapters so much, I bought the ebook -didn't hurt it was only $0.99- and finished it. There are some passages in this book that at one point convinced me this might be favorite bedtime reading with my kids some day (I'll be a weird dad, yes), but as the book progressed I felt myself losing the connection. Around the last th I downloaded a sample of this book from the Kindle store months ago because it sounded charming and irreverent. I started reading it again this morning. I liked the first three chapters so much, I bought the ebook -didn't hurt it was only $0.99- and finished it. There are some passages in this book that at one point convinced me this might be favorite bedtime reading with my kids some day (I'll be a weird dad, yes), but as the book progressed I felt myself losing the connection. Around the last third there's a supernatural twist and some SUPER-cliched dialogue that does not belong. The conceit of the 'wise negro' starts out tolerable but eventually some of the lines delivered are just too much for a depression-era hobo. The dialogue between the protagonist and his romantic interest degrades rapidly, too, as the book draws to a close, lessening for me some of the genuinely delightful charms sprinkled in the earlier 66%. Seriously, these people have all read their Joseph Campbell, apparently. There's a bit of a kicker in the Author's Note that might explain some of the bizarre choices at book's end, and while they may give understanding they do NOT give satisfaction. But for 99 cents, how can I complain really? Buy it and read most of it. Then write your own ending.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Ange H

    This was such a charming, enjoyable read. Great title, great story, it would make a great movie. (I couldn’t NOT picture Morgan Freeman as Craw the Hobo.) It's a quest, a road trip, a love story. Highly recommend. This was such a charming, enjoyable read. Great title, great story, it would make a great movie. (I couldn’t NOT picture Morgan Freeman as Craw the Hobo.) It's a quest, a road trip, a love story. Highly recommend.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Matt Schiariti

    I love surprises, don't you? This book popped up on my recommended list and frankly, I got sucked in by the title so I pulled the trigger. I'm glad I did. Don't let the name fool you. This is NOT a raunchy read in any way, shape or form. Sometimes it's a little irreverent but in a naive/innocent/young man with zero experience sort of way. And it's told in such a fun and lighthearted way that you probably won't be able to stop smiling. Tobias Henry is about to embark on a journey, whether he wants I love surprises, don't you? This book popped up on my recommended list and frankly, I got sucked in by the title so I pulled the trigger. I'm glad I did. Don't let the name fool you. This is NOT a raunchy read in any way, shape or form. Sometimes it's a little irreverent but in a naive/innocent/young man with zero experience sort of way. And it's told in such a fun and lighthearted way that you probably won't be able to stop smiling. Tobias Henry is about to embark on a journey, whether he wants to or not. Born to a strict Baptist preacher in Michigan, he doesn't know much about the world. That changes when a fateful event leads to his father sending him back to Texas, the home of his birth and his estranged family, to go on a treasure hunt of sorts in order to save their little family from the brink of destruction. Along the way, Tobias runs into Craw, a hobo. But he's not a wastrel. He's very wise, learned and the two make a quick friendship. When Tobias finally does get to Texas, he meets someone that will change his life. Torode tells this story in such a hypnotic fashion that, once you start, you'll realize that the last page has been turned. The characters are FANTASTIC to read and the dialogue is always entertaining. Toby's thoughts on his stringent upbringing and the inconsistencies he's found in his own readings of the Bible are almost worth the price of admission alone. It's funny, it's sad, it's sweet, it will make you think, and once the last page is turned, you'll be sad it's over. Bravo to Sam Torode for a great coming of age adventure!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Carmel

    The Dirty Parts of the Bible Author: Sammy Torode The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a coming of age story sent in post depression America and is centered around a young boy named Tobias. Tobias is the son a Baptist preacher from Michigan, and he only has two things on his mind God and girls. The adventure begins when Tobias’ father is blinded in a freak accident. This causes the preacher to send 20 year old Tobias across country to his hometown of Glen Rose, Texas to find money he buried in a dry wel The Dirty Parts of the Bible Author: Sammy Torode The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a coming of age story sent in post depression America and is centered around a young boy named Tobias. Tobias is the son a Baptist preacher from Michigan, and he only has two things on his mind God and girls. The adventure begins when Tobias’ father is blinded in a freak accident. This causes the preacher to send 20 year old Tobias across country to his hometown of Glen Rose, Texas to find money he buried in a dry well decades before. In his quest for the cash Tobias encounters prostitutes, hobos and even a demon and learns more about himself and his faith. Dirty Parts is like an adventure, comedy and love story all wrapped up in one smartly written and entertaining novel. It is a quick and easy read that keeps your attention from cover to cover and will even have you laughing out loud. I only discovered this book after I ordered Water for Elephants (haven’t read it yet, review still to come)and Amazon suggested I read it too. Since it was only .99 cents, (I‘m not gonna lie the title peeked my interest a little) I decided to get it and it has become one of my all time favorite books. I definitely recommend giving it a try. :)

  14. 4 out of 5

    Candy

    I ran across this book while teaching my mother-in-law to use her new Kindle. We both found the title intriguing and laughed while reading the preview. I downloaded it back in March ($2.99) and read it this weekend while traveling. It certainly will not go down as a masterpiece, but I found it enjoyable as a traveling companion as it was easy to put down and pick up and not taxing on the brain. The author's ending comments explaining his inspiration for the story made me want to go back to "sourc I ran across this book while teaching my mother-in-law to use her new Kindle. We both found the title intriguing and laughed while reading the preview. I downloaded it back in March ($2.99) and read it this weekend while traveling. It certainly will not go down as a masterpiece, but I found it enjoyable as a traveling companion as it was easy to put down and pick up and not taxing on the brain. The author's ending comments explaining his inspiration for the story made me want to go back to "source" and read first hand his inspiration. The edition I read included highlights which I always find interesting. The highlighted passages were often cliches, however I found them humorous as well as enlightening in the way a myth might enlighten you. I enjoyed the references to myth as I am often surrounded by folks who take the Bible literally while I am all about the myth. Light, quick read, but food for thought if one wants to delve further into the concept of the myth. I'd liken it to a midrash.

  15. 4 out of 5

    Rina

    Small town Michigander If you are religious maybe you should not read this book. As a Michigander I enjoyed this novel and found it quite comical.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Denise Baer

    *sigh* If only all books could take me away as The Dirty Parts of the Bible did. This is a unique book with a Huckleberry Finn/Forrest Gump vibe. Torode can definitely write. It isn’t an easy feat to create distinct characters, who stand alone in voice. Each character holds their own, and I adored every quirky part of them. The story touches on all types of adventures the main character, Tobias, encounters with humorous naivety. In his travels to Texas, he comes across Craw, a hobo—a character l *sigh* If only all books could take me away as The Dirty Parts of the Bible did. This is a unique book with a Huckleberry Finn/Forrest Gump vibe. Torode can definitely write. It isn’t an easy feat to create distinct characters, who stand alone in voice. Each character holds their own, and I adored every quirky part of them. The story touches on all types of adventures the main character, Tobias, encounters with humorous naivety. In his travels to Texas, he comes across Craw, a hobo—a character like no other; one you can’t help love. Craw helps Tobias survive the struggles of being a hobo, explains the bible, love, and seedier things in life. I found myself laughing aloud at the dialogue, which is rich in authenticity. I definitely would recommend this book to anyone who wants a poignant coming-of-age story, wonderful characters, and great writing. Here are a few of my favorite lines: “She seemed to gather up all the sadness in the world, boil it down to its essence, and pour it out in her song.” They ain’t worth a fart in a whirlwind.” “He can recite all Ten Commandments by heart. Course, that’s cause he’s done broke ’em so many times.” “Food on the road is as scarce as preachers in heaven…”

  17. 5 out of 5

    Wendy, Lady Evelyn Quince

    "The Dirty Parts of the Bible" is a loose retelling of "The Book of Tobit" from the Catholic/Orthodox Deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It's a cutesy story about a 1930's Baptist preacher's son, Tobias Henry, a devout atheist. Well, he's not a total unbeliever, admitting: "Whenever I feared I was in imminent danger of death, I’d call on Jesus and beg for salvation. The rest of the time, I didn’t give him any thought. Jesus was like an insurance policy against eternal fire." This is a sweet, w "The Dirty Parts of the Bible" is a loose retelling of "The Book of Tobit" from the Catholic/Orthodox Deuterocanonical books of the Bible. It's a cutesy story about a 1930's Baptist preacher's son, Tobias Henry, a devout atheist. Well, he's not a total unbeliever, admitting: "Whenever I feared I was in imminent danger of death, I’d call on Jesus and beg for salvation. The rest of the time, I didn’t give him any thought. Jesus was like an insurance policy against eternal fire." This is a sweet, whimsical tale, full of little dabs of brilliance. After his father is blinded after a bird shits into his eyes, Tobias leaves home to follow his father's exhortations to seek out and regain the family's "fortune" & honor. Tobias rides the rails from Michigan to Texas. Along the way, he gets screwed by hookers whom, lamentably, he doesn't get to screw. There's a hobo named Craw, who's full of St Augustinian insights like "You've got to sin before you can be redeemed. A man might as well enjoy it." and “Don’t get old. When I was your age, all I thought about was girls. When I was forty, all I thought about was money. These days, all I ask for is a good shit once a week.” All while subsisting on "sonuvabitch" opossum stew. In Texas, he meets Sarah, a tough, gun-toting farm girl, whom he falls for. "Sarah might not have been pretty in the usual way, but it was her little quirks that got to me. Her freckles, pointy eyebrows, the fine, downy hairs on her arms, the way she smelled. Other girls powdered over their skin, plucked their hairs, perfumed their hair. Sarah was a wild rose—graceful without trying, beautiful without knowing it. Whether it was love, lust, or just the effects of beer and a wine-colored dress, I didn’t know. But I was smitten." Unfortunately, the love of his life is a durn Cathylick. Through his relationship with Craw and his love of Sarah, he becomes more accepting to understand different religious perspectives and as he opens his mind, his heart opens to love. Has Tobias been looking for God in all the wrong places? Has he been so stuck on deconstructing fables that he's missed out on experiencing something truly sacred on here on Earth? Craw tells him bluntly: “Stop thinking like a damn Baptist. It’s a myth, boy. And the point is, every woman is a vessel of beauty, life, and love—though most don’t know it. And all the forces of evil in the world are dead-set against her. That’s why loving a woman is the hardest battle you’ll ever face. Love isn’t going to fall into your lap—you’ve got to fight for it.” While this book tackles one of life's most controversial mysteries, religion, it's an accessible read for anyone looking for a short, humorous slice of Americana. 4 stars

  18. 5 out of 5

    Beth

    This ended up being a little too clich_d and mystic for me in the end, but it was still a fun read. Young Tobias (son of a preacherman...thank you, Dusty Springfield!) is sent from Remus, Michigan by his father to the family homestead in Glen Rose, Texas, in order to recover the money his father hid in a well. Along the way, Tobias encounters some heathens in Chicago, some hobos when he rides the rails to points south (including a great character named Craw), and eventually finds love in Texas. M This ended up being a little too clich_d and mystic for me in the end, but it was still a fun read. Young Tobias (son of a preacherman...thank you, Dusty Springfield!) is sent from Remus, Michigan by his father to the family homestead in Glen Rose, Texas, in order to recover the money his father hid in a well. Along the way, Tobias encounters some heathens in Chicago, some hobos when he rides the rails to points south (including a great character named Craw), and eventually finds love in Texas. Much of it was very silly, but there were some really likeable characters here, especially Tobias. A nice coming-of-age story. A couple of fun quotes: "I done got religion myself once. Just can't remember where I put it." "A girl would probably be insulted if you told her she smelled like a cat, but to me that's a compliment."

  19. 5 out of 5

    Mark Tilbury

    After his preacher father is blinded, Tobias is sent on a journey to find money that could save his family from ruin. What Tobias experiences and feels during this journey is both atmospheric and at time, comical, due to his travelling companion, Craw. Craw knows a lot of things about topics that both surprised and helped Tobias, and I liked how their friendship grew through the book. This isn't a thrill a minute read. Instead, it looks at truth vs myth in the bible (and yes some dirty parts are d After his preacher father is blinded, Tobias is sent on a journey to find money that could save his family from ruin. What Tobias experiences and feels during this journey is both atmospheric and at time, comical, due to his travelling companion, Craw. Craw knows a lot of things about topics that both surprised and helped Tobias, and I liked how their friendship grew through the book. This isn't a thrill a minute read. Instead, it looks at truth vs myth in the bible (and yes some dirty parts are discussed,) morality and living life to the fullest. It was an enjoyable change to what I normally read.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Michelemybell429

    What an absolutely great book! I cried. I laughed and I giggled. This book brought me truths and questions and life lessons. Just fabulous ❤️

  21. 5 out of 5

    Lindy Hoppr

    Fun ride! The story is well paced, tons of fun, and the characters are all believable, flawed, likable and so much fun to read. I loved Tobias and his clueless aimlessness, and Craw made me laugh out loud so much I scared the cat. Great story. 5 stars. Should be a bestseller.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Scot

    Ultimately, this book was a disappointment. The author had an interesting idea: retell a love story from the book of Tobit in the Apocrypha, and set it during the Great Depression. However, the narrator’s voice and character development are both uneven, all over the place: sometimes, for instance, the narrator uses modern slang with 21st century youth attitudes about what sort of vulgar language is appropriate in polite conversation; sometimes he speaks with deep knowledge about the Bible and is Ultimately, this book was a disappointment. The author had an interesting idea: retell a love story from the book of Tobit in the Apocrypha, and set it during the Great Depression. However, the narrator’s voice and character development are both uneven, all over the place: sometimes, for instance, the narrator uses modern slang with 21st century youth attitudes about what sort of vulgar language is appropriate in polite conversation; sometimes he speaks with deep knowledge about the Bible and is witty and clever with astute repartee; other times he acts extremely shy, naive and insecure, and doesn’t seem to know or understand any basic social skills. Also, if you’re going to set a story in the 1930s, just working in obvious direct references to the 1930s doesn’t make it feel authentic. A deeper understanding of the historical period, social customs, behaviors, etc. through preparatory research might have helped make the desired setting seem more believable. The story did get more interesting when it switched to the quest followed by the developing love story theme, and the guide character of the hobo Craw was introduced. But to be honest, the only component that held my attention and kept me reading was the lifted elements of the story of Tobias and Sarah from the Hebrew Scripture; I was intrigued to see how it would play out and be adapted.

  23. 5 out of 5

    Melissa Acuna

    I really wanted to like this book far more than I did. I started it twice and stopped before finally knuckling down and reading it. After a slow start--19 year old, girl obsessed naive sons of preachers are too common and Tobias Henry is too cliched (leaves home, accidentally finds himself in a whore house but is too polite to consummate the deal--good grief), the story finally picks up when Tobias meets Craw. Craw is an elderly hobo, who becomes a surrogate father to Toby and helps him out of ma I really wanted to like this book far more than I did. I started it twice and stopped before finally knuckling down and reading it. After a slow start--19 year old, girl obsessed naive sons of preachers are too common and Tobias Henry is too cliched (leaves home, accidentally finds himself in a whore house but is too polite to consummate the deal--good grief), the story finally picks up when Tobias meets Craw. Craw is an elderly hobo, who becomes a surrogate father to Toby and helps him out of many predicaments. Craw is a spiritual man who believes, but unlike Toby's dad, does not judge and doesn't live by the letter of the Old Testament law. In the end, Toby gets his girl, saves the day and the family house, and makes peace with this dad.....if this hadn't been such a quick read with a few funny moments it would be a one star read. The extra star is for "short and quick."

  24. 4 out of 5

    Ceci

    I loved this book. It is so well written and kept me engaged to keep reading. His style of writing is different than I've experienced before. He added a depth to each character and I love how biblical references and poems and historical facts all integrated. I'll be reading this book more than one time! Additional review: Now that I've read the book twice and followed the note at the end of it from the author, and researched The Book of Tobit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_... \ - now I LOV I loved this book. It is so well written and kept me engaged to keep reading. His style of writing is different than I've experienced before. He added a depth to each character and I love how biblical references and poems and historical facts all integrated. I'll be reading this book more than one time! Additional review: Now that I've read the book twice and followed the note at the end of it from the author, and researched The Book of Tobit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Book_of_... \ - now I LOVE this book even more!! and respect the authors intricate expansion of the subject to a closer to our imagination scenario from the 1920's! Talent! Kudos Sam!

  25. 5 out of 5

    Anagha

    At first I thought this is anti-Christian. Not really. Then I thought it's a dirty book. Not really. Then I thought maybe it's a mystery. Not really. A ghost showed up... but it didn't really go into the horror genre. Not really. It's just a non-thrilling, but yet pleasantly interesting tale of a unexperienced fellow travelling from Michigan to Texas in the 1930s and having a bunch of weird experiences. At first I thought this is anti-Christian. Not really. Then I thought it's a dirty book. Not really. Then I thought maybe it's a mystery. Not really. A ghost showed up... but it didn't really go into the horror genre. Not really. It's just a non-thrilling, but yet pleasantly interesting tale of a unexperienced fellow travelling from Michigan to Texas in the 1930s and having a bunch of weird experiences.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Ursula Hanna

    Very enjoyable book. I won't go into the storyline like some reviewers do, I think it's enough to say that I liked the writing style and was invested in the likeable main character doing well & achieving his goal. I do feel more could have been made of the paranormal aspects, seeing how it's a reinvention of an old tale, but overall this was a nice story, written well, that can be read quickly. A good way to spend an afternoon. Very enjoyable book. I won't go into the storyline like some reviewers do, I think it's enough to say that I liked the writing style and was invested in the likeable main character doing well & achieving his goal. I do feel more could have been made of the paranormal aspects, seeing how it's a reinvention of an old tale, but overall this was a nice story, written well, that can be read quickly. A good way to spend an afternoon.

  27. 5 out of 5

    A'Sian Starr Dotson

    Simply Great!! This novel was funny and heart gripping at the same time. I fell in love with Tobias innocence and Craws witty wisdom on life. I wasn’t sure what to think of the title when I first got this book, but I’m glad I didn’t pass it up. It was simply great.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Lani Myers

    This novel just kept me intrigued as to what Tobias would discover next. It reminds me that God works mysteriously by whom he puts on our paths.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Carol Bell

    I really enjoyed this book. It's nostalgic and simple yet tells a great truth about love and relationships. And the humor is fresh and natural. a great story, thanks. I really enjoyed this book. It's nostalgic and simple yet tells a great truth about love and relationships. And the humor is fresh and natural. a great story, thanks.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Gordon

    Glorious A timely tale of a boy becoming a man, of love being found, and a happy ending. Rich characters and scenes, a joy of a story.

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