Friday, September 7, 2012

Billy Goat Hill: Forgiveness and Faith

Billy Goat Hill: Forgiveness and Faith

A few months ago Billy Goat Hill was unknown to me, until it ended up on my booket list. after reading the description on the back I decided the book wasn't for me and so I started to read with much skepticism. As I began to read I was swept away from reality and sent back to the 50's to meet young Wade Parker. The more I read the more I was engaged and swept through time on young Wade's thrilling adventure. Mark Stanleigh Morris did an excellent job at using a thriller to emphasis the theme of Christ's love and forgiveness.

The book is 349 pages and I think it is very well written. Mr. Morris uses the first person point of view, which was an excellent choice for this type of Bildungsroman. You will follow the story of young Wade as he grows up into a man. He has a rough journey one of pain, suffering, but he discovers how to carry on through his life although he is continually hurt by those closest to him. With a burden of guilt he carries and a longing inside for the the truth, he discovers what forgiveness means and what having a fulfilling life really means. This book is very emotionally powerful and has a strong Christian message.

While I enjoyed Billy Goat hill tremendously and I believe it is a must read for anyone struggling with forgiveness or pain or heartache, I would like to warn you that it is not for everyone. I would not recommend it for young children as there are some themes tending towards late teens and young adults such as death, divorce, and alcoholism. I had never read a Christian thriller such as this before and I am pleased to say that I highly recommend it.

Were it not for the total emphasis on Christ's forgiveness and love, it would have been a sad and depressing book, but that is just the point! Life with anything, but Christ is sad and lonely and meaningless, but when a person receives Christ as their personal Lord and Savior, their life can be transformed into a work of grace! Praise God for his love and goodness!

So what's holding you back from finding a copy of Billy Goat Hill today!

Warning: I cried and I rarely cry while reading! 


Up next: Pride and Prejudice (hopefully)   

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Les Miz

Les Miz
Very likely, you fit into one of two categories: Someone who loves Les Misérables, or someone who’s never heard of it. The chances you fall in between are slim to none. If you are the latter, then you have been missing out on one of the greatest works of the millennium.

What is Les Mis? It is a riveting tale of 19th century France written by Victor Hugo. It is a chronicle of society. If there is one word I could use to outline it, it would be redemption. Without completely expounding upon the plot, it is the story of a wretched convict named Jean Valjean whose life is completely transformed by an act of pure mercy. 

The title, Misérables, is a French word that cannot be fully described in a single English term. Some example translations might be The Miserable, The Wretched, The Poor Ones, The Wretched Poor, or The Victims. It refers to, obviously, the downcast and low class of folk that populate the story. The emphasis on the horrible condition of these people is a central topic throughout.

Now that the simplest possible form of the narrative has been laid, some more detail can be discussed. First off, there is a misconception that this work is about the French Revolution. It is not, but rather set around fifty years after, and it chronicles the June Rebellion, a relatively small but unsuccessful uprising comprised chiefly of students. 

Hugo’s themes are beautifully woven within the writing, such as Mercy, Justice, Injustice, Redemption, Love, Compassion, and of course it’s title, Misérables. Although the book is amazing, it is also incredibly dense. It requires a lot of effort to work through it, but in the end, as always in this echelon of novel, it is worth it.

The musical is truly astonishing. It manages to convey all of the book’s themes and the majority of the plot over into a form which may seem odd for this type of story. If you have not listened to it yet, then I strongly urge you to look into it. A movie of the musical is at the time of writing in production, and it is definitely going to be spectacular. 

Les Mis Trailer:

The movie based upon the book (not to be confused with the movie based on the musical) is also worth seeing, as it it portrays the main story arc between Valjean and Javert extremely well. It does a great job of condensing a 1400 page book into a 2 hour movie, as impossible as that seems. 

In the end, I can only hope this long-winded post will either turn interested ears towards a truly mind-blowing experience, or provide fans with a look back at it. Characters like Jean Valjean and all that they stand for shall go down in history as the individuals who we should take note of and look up to. 

“Do you hear the people sing?
Singing a song of angry men?
It is the music of a people
Who will not be slaves again!
When the beating of your heart
Echoes the beating of the drums
There is a life about to start
When tomorrow comes!”

Tuesday, May 29, 2012

Elois, Morlocks, and Weena, Oh My!

The Time Machine

Have you ever dreamed you could travel through time? In H.G.Wells science fiction novella, The Time Machine, the time traveler does just that. In this forerunner and herald to the science fiction age, the main character simply known as, The Time Traveler, leaves the end of the 19th century and travels through time to the future world of 802,701.

The story is being told to a group of friends and social elite who are quite skeptical and think the Traveler might be just a tad eccentric. He relates the feeling of traveling through the fourth dimension, meeting the delicate descendants of the human race, and discovering the mysterious and filthy Morlocks. When his time machine goes missing, how will he return home? How is he able to travel through time? I'm not going to tell you!

While it is a forerunner to many of our modern science fiction, it also supports many naturalistic ideas. H.G.Wells uses the time machine to show what human progress can do and what it has done. The Time Traveler is quite suppressed to arrive in a future that is very primitive. He says, "I grieve to think of how brief the dream of the human intellect had been. It had committed suicide." Wells seems to be giving the message that human progress will not last and that mans existence is in fact, pointless. I wont spoil it for any of you that haven't read it, but I will say that his naturalist views are plain to see at the end of the story.

The Time Machine, is definitely a worth while read. It is only a few chapters, so it does not take long at all to read. For science fiction geeks the is a must read. Even if you do not prefer that genre... Give it a try!!! Who knows you might find it a new favorite. It is also a great book for a book club or group. The short, yet thrilling plot is fun to study and discover new aspects. I give The Time Machine, by H.G.Wells, 5 out of 5 stars. So why are you still reading? Go get a copy!!!

Lance Fillmore

Monday, April 16, 2012


Hey, all. We're still getting the details worked out for this website. If you want to know more about what we're doing, read this link.