Saturday, July 04, 2009
Rob Stennett's The End is Now ~ Reviewed
The End is Now
By Rob Stennett
Published by: Zondervan
Goodland, Kansas is a small Midwest town where nothing new or exciting ever happens…until now. Are the recent happenings and catastrophic weather mere coincidence, or more? The town spirals into chaos and confusion as its residents discover the end is no longer near-the end is now.
Stuck in the middle is the Henderson family: Jeff, a struggling salesman who lives with nagging fear; Will, who’s just trying to figure out life in the fifth grade; Emily, whose greatest concern is that she won’t be nominated homecoming queen; and Amy, who is growing stir-crazy from being a housewife-and is convinced this was God’s plan B for her life.
Rob Stennett’s second novel is both satire and a story of apocalyptic proportion, a thriller, and an exploration of family, community, belief, unbelief, and the two thousand-year-old Christian tradition of looking to the sky because the end is near.
“Goodland, Kansas, is the test market for the rapture. The ultimate warning sign for all to repent,” That’s what the locals feel they are anyway.
“..Once everyone sees how powerful the rapture is, they will hit the floor and repent of their sins. Everyone, everywhere, will know the truth. Not only that, but this event will provide God a chance to see what worked and what didn’t. He can watch the good, the bad, and the ugly of the apocalypse so He can know how to improve it when He takes it global.”
I don’t know about you but this is funny stuff!! Rob Stennett takes a serious subject many talk about all over the world and puts a “what if” scenario to it. He reminds me of a comedian Steven Wright who said, “I received a post card from my friend. It was a picture of the whole world. My friend wrote, “Wish you were here!”. Steven says, “I thought I was!”
This book also reminds me of Eli, a story written by Bill Myers, that entertains the scenario of, ‘what if Jesus were to be born for the first time in our generation.’ Sad to say the same things would happen to Jesus, maybe just happen a little sooner in this generation because of instant communication.
Do you live by these rules? a character asks, “What I believe, sir, are two simple rules: Plan for the worst and hope for the best. Better safe than sorry. Those two rules have kept me alive for a long time, and they’ll keep me alive when everyone else is running around like chickens with their heads cut off.” Do these rules sound familiar?
Rob got me thinking about some questions he brought up in, The End is Now. How would we know the end was here? What would it look like? Why has Goodland, Kansas felt that they were the test market for the rapture? This author says stuff out loud-and in print, that we would never dare verbalize to our friends (or anyone else for that matter).
As you read and start smiling then laughing, you’ll be caught off guard by some definite things to ponder- things you hadn’t thought of before about the end. For example, “God didn’t need the test market for the rapture. After all, He is God. He already knows everything. He was, is, and forever will be omnipotent…. Maybe the testing was more for all of us. This is the age of skepticism. This is the age where the answers to any of life’s questions are just a Google search away. So, perhaps humankind will need a sneak preview of what the rapture looks like so they can know how to respond.” And ready their hearts (I added the last comment).
When the rubber meets the road and The End is Now, what do you really believe? This story will make you laugh out loud and then hit a cord in your heart when you read something a character said or thought. Something that you hadn’t considered or felt you believed until you read it. I really loved that about this story. It’s funny, honest, and makes you think.
I can now see why God will NOT tell us exactly when the END will happen – we just could not take it. It is way more information than the human race can handle. Thanks Rob, for taking me away into a scenario I haven’t thought much about--until now. It just goes to show me that my Father in Heaven loves me so much, wants the best for me; which means He’s keeping his mouth shut about the exact moment the END will happen. Rob, I appreciate you making me laugh, look at life, relationships and what’s really important. We’re here to do more than sleep walk through life. Each chapter in this book is from a different characters point of view on their take as to what is really happening in Goodland Kansas. It’s a hoot!! You just have to read this book. So, grab a copy and read about The End! It just might give you the nudge you need to really start living your life. You won’t be sorry you did.
Reviewed by: Nora St. Laurent Book Club Servant Leader