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G.P. Taylor: Sin, Salvation and "Shadowmancer" [Hardcover]

Bob Smietana
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 256 pages
  • Publisher: Zondervan Publishing House (1 Oct 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0310267390
  • ISBN-13: 978-0310267393
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 14.2 x 2.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,282,920 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


G. P. Taylor's astonishing life has more plot twists than one of his novels. The bestseller, "Shadowmancer" stormed the literary world, rocketing to top sales on both sides of the Atlantic. Who could have predicted that an English country vicar would have such a hit on his hands? But that's only one chapter in the roller-coaster life of G. P. Taylor. Kicked out of school for trying to set fire to a teacher's desk, Graham Taylor dived head first into London's punk rock scene in the early 1980s. It's unlikely that someone savoring a life of sex, drugs, and rock music would end up on a police force, but it happened. Then Taylor topped that surprise by becoming a vicar. Assigned to a church on the northeast coast of England, Taylor delved into the fascinating history of the region - tales of smugglers, storms at sea, and people lost on the moors. At the same time, he felt a growing concern about an occult presence in contemporary children's fiction. These two interests came crashing together as Taylor created his award-winning novels, "Shadowmancer", and "Wormwood".

Then, with "Shadowmancer" topping the "New York Times" bestseller list and Hollywood beckoning, a near-fatal heart condition almost cost him everything. Filled with unforeseeable twists and turns, G. P. Taylor's life story, like one of his novels, is a tale that you won't want to put down.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars An American biography 14 Jan 2008
This is an engaging but peculiar biography of the author G P Taylor. It is written in the first person but very clearly ghostwritten by a speaker of American English.

It's the story of the life of the best-selling author from a council estate to being a record-plugger in London to a Yorkshire policeman, then a vicar and finally a fantasy author. It moves at a cracking pace and carries the message that with enough application an ordinary person can do just about anything. I read it very quickly, wanting to see how this fascinating life story develops.

It's not just for fans of "Shadowmancer", though it does give an account of how and why that book was written. It will appeal to Christians for its story of Taylor's conversion and faith, and the application of that faith to popular culture.

As a British reader it was clear to me that this was released for the US market and it has very many Americanisms in a tale of life in Britain supposedly told by a Brit, that I found very annoying. I don't think "GP" could have read this before it went to print. For instance in the crucial scene of his conversion standing outside a rural shop the shop is repeatedly called "a store called Spa" (sic). Any British reader knows that this should be "Spar". That's just sloppy.

Overall a good encouraging read with some fine insights into the author's mind.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Inspirational 23 July 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A truely inspirational man , I am not a religious person but people like Graham Taylor are the real heroes of the church community. A remarkable story of the life of a remarkable man (and a fellow Yorkshireman ).His story books aren't bad either.
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Amazon.com: 5.0 out of 5 stars  4 reviews
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Book 15 Nov 2006
By David L. Anderson - Published on Amazon.com
I heard about Shadowmancer and came to Amazon to buy a copy, where I also found this book. I decided to buy it and learn about Taylor's life so I had a little more perspective when I read Shadowmancer.

This is an excellent book - it reads as if written by Taylor himself, and leads the reader on a chronological journey of his life - from a rough start, to finding God, to devoting his life to spreading God's word, and culminating with a worldwide pulpit through Shadowmancer.

It's an easy read - crisply written with riveting details that keep the pages turning quickly. I can't wait to read Shadowmancer and then share it with my children and others.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Highly recommended. 5 Jun 2007
By FaithfulReader.com - Published on Amazon.com
Harry Potter was at the top of his game until a first-time writer, G. P. Taylor, decided to take him on with a wildly delicious novel. In the span of a summer, Taylor's first book, Shadowmancer, became "hotter than Potter," garnering the attention of critics and readers around the world. But Taylor, an unknown to the literary world, was a mystery. His bio simply read, "Graham Taylor has spent the whole of his life searching for the hidden secrets of the universe. He lectures on the paranormal and folklore and lives in a secluded graveyard."

In Sin, Salvation & Shadowmancer, Taylor maintains that every word of his bio is true: "I've searched for the secrets of the universe all my life, and we lived in the middle of a church graveyard. I just wasn't going to shout out `I'm a vicar' and have people not buy the book because of that."

His autobiography takes a vivid look at his unconventional life. Taylor describes his parents as "hardworking, loving people," but all those hours at work took a toll on Taylor. He eventually grew angry and resentful of his father's absence, and began hanging out with the wrong crowd. Drinking, smoking and girls soon followed. His party life and rebellious behavior got him in trouble not only in the classroom but also in the streets. Despite poor grades and expulsions, Taylor was given a break and accepted into college. By the end of the first year, he was kicked out.

Promising himself and everyone he knew that he was going to be famous one day, he packed up and headed to London. He landed a job with CBS Records, where he promoted new releases --- including Bob Dylan and Earth, Wind & Fire --- to radio stations. He ended up partying himself out of the job, but soon landed a position at Virgin Records. Taylor quips, "Employing me was one of Richard Branson's only mistakes." This was particularly true on the evening Taylor crashed Branson's yacht. Needless to say, Taylor didn't work at Virgin Records much longer.

Yet God was constantly working behind the scenes. Wherever Taylor went, he found Christians who persistently shared the love and kindness of God with him. Eventually, he gave in and felt a call to ministry. Taylor continued to work an assortment of jobs usually accompanied by colorful capers (including working as a police officer) before becoming a vicar.

One day, he was challenged to come up with something better than the magical novels kids were devouring. He decided to give it a try. Of writing Shadowmancer, Taylor says:

"From that first morning in March, the story took shape little by little each day. Most days I found ten or fifteen minutes to write. The odd thing was, once I put the characters on the page, they took on lives of their own. They started to act and behave in ways that I did not completely control. As soon as they opened their mouths, their words would change the course of the story. The process was very exciting as the characters started to talk to each other and things started to develop. I never knew from one day to the next where the story was going."

The blockbuster success of Shadowmancer, which was originally self-published, was completely unexpected --- as were the health issues that accompanied Taylor's rise to stardom.

Taylor's life is a portrait of grace, a story of God's pursuit of one man. If you love his books, which also include Wormwood and Tersias, you'll love his story. Highly recommended.

--- Reviewed by Margaret Feinberg
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Heart wrenching and Inspirational 23 Sep 2006
By Strangequark - Published on Amazon.com
Bob Smietana has done an excellent job of piecing together the life of G.P. Taylor. You get a an great sense of how the events of Taylor's life affected his journey to faith and how that journey ultimately ended up with him on the best-seller lists on both sides of the Atlantic. The story of Taylor's life will make you believe in miracles and is a true inspiration. Get two copies so you can pass it on to a friend. Once you start reading you won't want to put it down!
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Book 28 Dec 2013
By Lynn - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I had enjoyed reading several of G.P. Taylor's books, so reading about the man who wrote them was a special experience. GP Taylor is a man who loves Jesus and shares Him daily in his life. I highly recommend the book.
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