25 May 2011

Churched by Matthew Paul Turner

He spent his childhood trapped within the confines of countless bizarre, strict rules. And lived to tell about it.

In this first-hand account, author Matthew Paul Turner shares amusing–sometimes cringe-worthy–and poignant stories about growing up in a fundamentalist household, where even well-intentioned contemporary Christian music was proclaimed to be “of the devil.”
Churched is a collection of stories that detail an American boy’s experiences growing up in a culture where men weren’t allowed let their hair grow to touch their ears (“an abomination!”), women wouldn’t have been caught dead in a pair of pants (unless swimming), and the pastor couldn’t preach a sermon without a healthy dose of hellfire and brimstone. Matthew grapples with the absurdity of a Sunday School Barbie burning, the passionate annual boxing match between the pastor and Satan, and the holiness of being baptized a fifth time–while growing into a young man who, amidst the chaotic mess of religion, falls in love with Jesus. 
I wanted to like this book.  I couldn't wait for it to come.  I dived right into it the minute I received it and...well.  Let me start off by saying that it's a funny book to a lot of people. I know because I've read their reviews.  Other reviewers loved this book. It's been tagged as poignant, hilarious, truthful and refreshing.  Really?  Am I reading the same book?  Because I didn't get any of that out of this book. I got bored.  Maybe because I am a lifelong Californian.  Maybe you need to be from the bible belt to get this book.  I didn't find the author compelling or even engaged in the story he is telling.  AND  it's his story.  His memoir. If he isn't engaged in it then how can a reader get engaged? I may give this book a second chance as I was also reading the superb "Skin Map" simultaneously so maybe one outshone the other.  I don't know.  It's a great premise and has great promise but in this reviewers humble opinion it fell way short of the mark.
“I received this book for free from WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for this review”.


Post a Comment