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Bonhoeffer Paperback – 20 Apr 2010
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|Paperback, 20 Apr 2010||
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About the Author
Eric Metaxas is the author of the New York Times bestseller Amazing Grace, Everything You Always Wanted to Know About God (But Were Afraid to Ask), Everything Else You Always Wanted to Know About God, and thirty children's books. He is founder and host of Socrates in the City in New York City, where he lives with his wife and daughter. His writing has appeared in the New York Times, the Atlantic, Washington Post, Books & Culture, Christianity Today, Marks Hill Review, and First Things. He has written for VeggieTales and Rabbit Ears Productions, earning three Grammy nominations for Best Children's Recording. --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.
Top customer reviews
The book is an easy read, not least because the chapters are divided into digestible sections, but the writing is spoiled throughout by the writer’s penchant for informal expressions – some of which, such as the reference to Luther as “an equal opportunity insulter, the Don Rickles of Wittenberg” (93) – are unintelligible to a well-read Briton. The informality is compounded by frequent adjectival interpolations and heavy-handed metaphors and similes. To give examples from a single page (230): Hitler “sniffed the political winds with typically canine sensitivity” and acted “with typical lupine ruthlessness”; when an old colleague threatened his future, “that was another bag of peanuts”, for Hitler “had not built the Third Reich only to have that bull-necked pervert Röhm spoil everything!” Years earlier, we read, the Nazis had become the second largest political party in the land “in a single bounding alley-oop” (100). In relation to Bonhoeffer, one of his sermons “seemed like a nasty sucker punch followed by a wheeling roundhouse kick to the chops” (122), his confirmation class comprised “a veritable gang of sawed-off hoodlums” (131), when abroad he followed the “hemorrhoidal isometrics” of Hitler’s details with the church in Gemany (208), and, in one sermon, “delivered an unrelenting homiletic bummer” (209). We read of “the lanky goofball Hanfstaengl” (146), of “that waxworks annoyance Hindenburg” (231) and how Hitler “lickety-split” announced his successor (232), of “the waxy lamprey Reinhard Heydrich” (370) who was a “piscine ghoul” (382).
The list could go on and on. A good editor should have baulked at the many contractions and infelicities, and at some basic factual errors: it cannot be true, for instance, that Germany’s “fastest and largest” ship displaced only thirty-three tons (96)! It is also a weakness that, at least in the paperback edition, there is no added graphical material: no facsimile documents, no maps, no photographs.
A fascinating life of a fascinating man but an account let down by some poor writing and poor editing.
Bonhoeffer was a rare person - he combined spirituality with a brilliant mind but above all, he had the courage to obey God. Highly recommended.
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