Sunday, December 3, 2017

Review: Long Road Out of Ur

32302200 Long Road Out of Ur by Joel Thimell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Something is rotten in Mesopotamia. A troublesome priest has been murdered; the pagan New Year's rites defiled; a royal tomb is robbed; and a would-be grifter, Lot, is in the wrong place at the wrong time. His father, grandfather and cousin are each likely suspects and Lot doesn't know who he can trust. Everyone thinks Lot knows where the loot is hidden and someone wants it all--even if it's over Lot's dead body.

"Long Road Out of Ur" retells the familiar story of the calling of Abraham and Sarah to the Promised Land through the voice of Lot. Yes, that Lot--the one who barely escaped the destruction of Sodom with his daughters--his wife wasn't so fortunate.This is not a Sunday school version of their lives, and they are not alabaster saints. Instead, it's a lively coming-of-age adventure tale crossed with a murder mystery and a heaping helping of social satire. Think of it as something like "Huckleberry Finn" combined with "North by Northwest" but set in the Bronze Age.

Lot's comical attempts to con his way out of danger only entangle him deeper and deeper in a web of greed, betrayal and murder. From the fashionable society of Susa through the murky waters of the Great Swamp to the stone huts of Elam, Lot tries to run but he can't hide. Searching for any way out, he battles evil giants, fake princesses and blood-thirsty pirates but his greatest struggle is finding himself.

Can a two-bit con man change his spots? Or will his past destroy him?

Can a prodigal son and his prodigal father ever forgive one another? Or are some wounds just too deep to heal?

*I received an ecopy from the author for review. This does not affect my review.*

What an interesting story! Reading this as both a historical fiction and a retelling of the biblical Lot, I was surprised at how well this was written! We are told in the bible that Lot was a righteous man...but what does that really mean? In truth, he was human, just like me, and that means that he might have wanted to be good, most of the time, but he was far from perfect. This book tells a somewhat darker side to Lot's story, in fact, this telling calls him a scoundrel. But again, what does that mean? In this story, we meet a very human Lot, as well as other characters from the Bible that are often overlooked.

I do wish that all the people (characters) mentioned were in the glossary/index as even as someone who has read the Bible a few times, I still had to look up some of the names. This might make it easier for everyone reading, especially those without any biblical knowledge going into this story.

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