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Ambition The [Paperback]

3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Paperback: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan (20 May 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310334225
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310334224
  • Product Dimensions: 22.6 x 15.2 x 2.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,525,816 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

The Ambition A corrupt judge in a mob murder case. A disillusioned pastor, hungry for power. A cynical reporter, sniffing for a scandal. A gambling addict whose secret tape threatens the lives of everyone who hears it.New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel weaves these edgy characters into an intricate thriller set in a gleaming, suburban megachurch, a big-city newspaper struggling for survival, and the... Full description

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and involving 10 Sep 2012
Strong characters, interesting settings, pacy plot ... what's not to like, really.

The toughest reporter in Chicago, Garry Strider, goes looking for scandal at a suburban megachurch. His paper's about to be sold and a good story would really help him keep his job, or find another one. He also hopes to put his girlfriend, Gina, off attending. Meanwhile, the dynamic leader of the church, Eric Snow, sees a chance to move into politics and become a US Senator. But should he? The judge who is his rival for the post seems to have something dark to hide. Who will win the appointment? Strider discovers two apparent miracles of healing at the church. Are they for real? Plenty of conflict and questions.

I especially liked this novel as I was already interested in Lee Strobel and in Willow Creek, the church he draws on for one of his settings, Diamond Point Church. But I think most crime fiction fans would enjoy it.

I enjoyed getting a glimpse of American life - the politics, the media, the courts, the cafes.

Lee Strobel has left several loose ends, so I hope he will be writing a sequel. If he does, I'll be reading it.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A light mystery 21 Mar 2012
I find it a bit hard to categorize this book. It's not a police procedural or courtroom drama and it's not a traditional mystery either. There are three threads here : we have a lawyer who is a gambler and in trouble, a former very successful businessman who is now a pastor/evangelist with political ambitions, and a journalist casually searching for some scandal within the pastor's Church.

This is a light, short and clean read with little complexity. Yes, there is a murder, but no real "wow" factor develops. Perhaps the words "Christian fiction" would describe the story best. There is nothing too inspirational in the writing and the characterizations are just OK. But it was the absence of any depth in the tale which probably disappointed me most.

I also think the editing could have been better - too many verb tenses were incorrect and there were a few mis-used words as well. These don't kill the experience, but they can be a tad annoying.

As I say, this is a light read without too many challenges. To balance my views out a bit, I must say that the novel is very highly rated on the site so I may have missed something. 7/10
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.2 out of 5 stars  153 reviews
39 of 41 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars WOW, WOW, WOW -- what an exciting read!! 18 May 2011
By Vonno - Published on
I've benefited from Lee Strobel's books for years; they're some of my absolute favorites. Up until now his writings have been aimed at making things crystal clear. But in THE AMBITION, Strobel's first novel (hopefully not his last), he does the opposite -- he keeps you breathlessly guessing! More than that, this book makes you feel like you're right there, living in and through the characters, experiencing what they do -- whether in the tensions of the legal chambers, the tastes of the local eateries, or the tragedies of Chicago's back alleys. Clearly Strobel has called up his years of experience as the legal editor of the Chicago Tribune and put them to good use, because this fiction breathes of gritty realism mixed with flashes of hope and optimism. What else can I say? You've just got to read THE AMBITION for yourself!
26 of 26 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Great Story by a Gifted Writer - Truly Enjoyed It!!! 18 May 2011
By William Dahl - Published on
Lee Strobel is a truly gifted writer --- we already knew that. This is his first attempt at a novel. Frankly, I hope it's not his last.

The evangelical Christian publishing industry in the U.S. is mired within the miasma of telling their story in new and refreshing ways. Clearly, Strobel has leveraged his remarkable literary talent to produce an honest-to-God "page turner." His character development, dialog, story-line and the richness of the context he creates for The Ambition are well, spellbinding. It's also easy to read. Frankly, the way the book ends CLEARLY positions The Ambition as the first in a series of novels from Strobel. I honestly hope so. Strobel is a talented story-teller who deserves the opportunity to provide readers with a sequel/series...leveraging the same context and characters for future literary enjoyment.

Strobel goes to great lengths at the end of the book to reaffirm that this is a work of fiction, and has absolutely nothing to do with his term as a pastor (and former atheist) at two of the largest mega-churches in the U.S. (Rick Warren's Saddleback Church in So. Cal. and Bill Hybel's Willow Creek Community Church outside Chicago --- I believe - forgive me if I've made a mistake).

Of course, the book includes fundamental evangelical issues of prayer, miracles, healing, relationships, formal membership at a church etc. Yet, don't misinterpret what I'm saying here. This is a superb novel. It is distinctly NOT proselytizing submerged within evasive evangelical rhetoric.

It's about life, lives, intrigue, living, learning, power, authority, deception, wounds, mystery, faith, mistakes, power, authority, control, shame, miscalculation, living with tension, relationships - it is a great story told by a wonderfully gifted storyteller - with a few murders thrown in to boot.

I really enjoyed it and look forward to Lee Strobel's sequel. You will too!
16 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping! 18 May 2011
By Lisa M. Hendey - Published on
Before you dive into The Ambition, the new thriller by noted author Lee Strobel, make sure you've got some time set aside -- you're not going to be able to put it down! This is actually the first of his book's I've had the pleasure of reading. I found it to be a fascinating novel, filled with intrigue, unforeseen plot twists and characters that get under your skin quickly. Although written from a faith-based perspective and with many characters whose beliefs define them, Strobel's evangelical voice is never heavy handed. He gives us characters who, like ourselves and the people in the pews next to us, make mistakes, go through periods of spiritual dryness, and sometimes question their beliefs.

The story that unfolds in The Ambition is relevant in today's world of political ambition and megachurches. You'll quickly be caught up in the action, but you'll also be inspired and entertained along the way. I hope that Lee Strobel will soon follow up with another novel - I loved this one and can't wait to share it with friends.
15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good Message But Slow Predictable Story 11 April 2012
By Steve Taylor - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a fan of Lee Strobel's non-fiction books so when I heard he was releasing a fiction book I knew I had to read it. The book started off strong and therefore I was hopeful this was going to be good. Unfortunately it ended up being slow and predictable. The writing was okay but in the storyline there were way too many wasted pages that had little or nothing to do with the plot - slowing the book up to a crawl. Rarely do I speed-read a book but this one slowed to the point that I just wanted to get through it. Although the story was decent there were no twists in the plot or anything that made me say "I never saw that coming". The overall storyline was completely predictable and so were the minor plot lines. The characters were two-dimensional and many were almost identical except that they had different names. Sad. It seemed like the book was rushed to make it to the printer on time. Did anyone proof-read this story?

However, the message of the book was very good. A strong Biblical worldview was given without white-washing the church to make it look perfect. Strobel represented Christians as humans with faults but also showed them overcoming their sin and running to God for help. It's obvious Strobel has been inside the church and has a good grasp on the things that go on behind the scene. I've read true stories of churches that had bonafied miracles occur even though they did not believe miracles still happen today and seeing this in a novel was very interesting. The debate on whether Christian's should be involved in politics was tackled from a Pastor's perspective but not from a non-minister one. Still well-done and interesting.

If you are the type of reader that likes books that have a casual pace then this may be right up your alley. But if you like thrillers and suspense then skip it and read someone else.

1 Star = Pathetic
2 Stars = Fair
3 Stars = Good
4 Stars = Excellent
5 Stars = Life changing

For those who give me a negative vote on my review please comment and let me know why. I'd like to improve my reviews so they can be helpful to those who read them. Please understand I choose not to give a synopsis of the book because it's already given at the top of the home page. I find in doing so too many reviewers give away too much of the plot. Thank you.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Pleasantly surprised! 21 Sep 2011
By Language Nut - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
When I purchased this book, I did not realize I was purchasing a Christian novel. That said, I was pleasantly surprised! The plot was good, the characters interesting and there was not a lot of proselytizing . The book works from several angles, a pastor aspiring to be a US Senator, a down on his luck attorney with a gambling addiction, an agnostic investigative reporter, and his recently new to Christianity girlfriend and an array of "bad" guys. The story has some surprising twists, and thankfully, did not end in a trite or predictable way. I really wasn't sure where he was going to end up. Very enjoyable and it made me want to explore this genre further. I enjoyed the discussions about faith as there was no push, just a gentle prod which left me thoughtful and speculative. While I do not agree with the Evangelical tradition espoused, the characters were able to move past that to work in an interfaith way, much to my pleasant surprise.
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