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After Marvin's blog tour I won a copy of Hug, but since I had already read that one I was sent another earlier book by him. This book is Owen Fiddler. This modern allegory is a short easy read of about 200 pages. It comes with the same caveat as Beware the Devil's Hug--if you are easily offended by, or prefer not to read, some profanity or sex scenes you should be forewarned that this book contains both. It is not excessively used, but it is there.
If you're past that, then you're ready to delve into this earthy earthly morality tale that's got one eye heavenward bound and the other studying things here at home. Owen Fiddler is a guy who feels misunderstood and may be misunderstood at times. He feels that he has been dealt a bad hand in life so he doesn't feel compelled to play life's game by the rules.
Owen goes through life with one mistake leading to another. Even when good things come his way he manages to screw things up. When it looks like Owen's life has really started going down the toilet, an amazing series of events occur as fate, or perhaps even the hand of God, step in to confront Owen with the man he has been, the man he is now, and the man he can be. Will he make the right decisions? Can he become a truly changed man?
The book brings up important issues in a sometimes controversial way. The characters are much like people you know or live in your own neighborhood. The incidents are like things that could really happen. The story is nicely told with a fast pace that keeps things moving. There were times when I wanted more details about certain things, but the author has wisely chosen to keep the story compact and focused on the message.
And there is a message. However, this message is delivered carefully and with affection. The story leaves you with a smile and a ray of hope for all of us. There were a few theological cringes in the telling of this tale, but nothing that detracted from the ultimate lesson that is being taught.
In all, I liked the story. It has stayed with me in a good way and it made me think. I also liked the characters--even that scummy Owen Fiddler. Marvin's portrayal of his main character shows what a dirtbag Owen can be, but also takes us into Owen's mind far enough to feel empathy for what he is going through. This book is a careful literary balancing act that left me satisfied with the reading experience.
You can visit Marvin D. Wilson's blog at The Old Silly. Stop in and tell him hello and let him know that you saw this review. Thanks for reading!
I won this book as a prize during a blog tour. I have decided to review this book on my own accord and what I say here is my opinion. --AB