Survival Publication of the Week: “Founders”
A little bit of cheese.
To be specific, a little bit of Christian cheese.
Don’t get me wrong–I consider myself to be a Christian–not just culturally, not just “I go to church on Christmas and Easter” (that’s a ‘Chreaster,’ by the way), but an I-read-the-Bible-and-believe-it kind of Christian.
So, when I say ‘cheese,’ I don’t intend to be insulting, nor to be derogatory toward Christianity and/or James Wesley, Rawles.
I’m just calling it as I see it.
You want to know what my definition of cheese is?
In JWR’s book, Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse, the characters are a little wooden and one dimensional.
That’s not cheese, it’s just a lack of literary skill.
For instance, Ken and Terry, a husband and wife team, manage to sneak out of Chicago without too much difficulty. That’s believable–they trained for just such a scenario.
What is difficult for me (the “Cheese Factor“) is that Ken and Terry, Ben and Rebecca, Joshua and Kelly, are all “good people.” What I mean is that they are Christians (with varying degrees of commitment) that make decisions based on their faith, and do the right thing in challenging situations–every time.
I’m not that kind of Christian.
I’m more of an imperfect, ‘warty’ soul, that knows that I should ‘do the right thing,’ yet there are many times that I DO NOT DO THE RIGHT THING!
I think it’s the same for everyone.
At least I hope so.
I don’t want to be alone in my confession–I’m about 50/50 (if I’m lucky) when it comes to practicing what I preach.
“Consistently inconsistent” is probably the best way to describe myself and my actions.
I think I’m in good company:
“I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway…”
If the Apostle Paul can’t quite get it right, neither can I (and neither can the characters in Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse)!
I’m not making excuses for myself; what I’m saying in a long, round about way, is that Rawles needs to humanize the players a little more. This will enhance their believability and connect more with his audience.
All of this literary criticism, but did I mention…
…that this book is a real eye opener?
…that this book isn’t written as a theological treatise?
Rawles, James, Wesley is writing this series of books (Patriots, Liberators, Expatriates) not as a classic saga nor as epic fiction–it isn’t Beowulf, and isn’t intended to be–no, Rawles is seeking to inform his audience that a doomsday of unimaginable proportions is fast approaching.
This is very sobering.
Jim (can I call you Jim, Jim?) has already written a non-fiction work about this subject (How to Survive the End of the World as We Know It: Tactics, Techniques, and Technologies for Uncertain Times), which is so unsettling that it should not be read all at one time, because it is so overwhelming.
When I read TEOTWAWKI the first time through I had to read a few pages at a time; then I would stop, check my pulse, look out the window to see if the sky was falling (okay, slight exaggeration), and think.
I would think about how woefully unprepared that I was (and I’m a prepper!), and how woefully unprepared my friends, my family, my neighbors, and THE REST OF THE WORLD are in the event of a serious emergency as portrayed by JWR.
It inspired me to action–I repacked my B.O.B., I reread several basic survival manuals, and recommitted myself to more physical conditioning.
Then it hit me.
Rawles had to start over.
His non-fiction survival manual is so intense, so matter-of-fact, so what-you-see-is-what-you-get, that at least half of his potential audience WILL NEVER READ IT!
Enter “Founders” and the rest of his fictional series.
Fiction softens the edges of reality, it allows the reader to enter into, but also to keep a safe distance from, the author’s created world.
Rawles figured out a useful method to reach that other half of his audience–give ’em fiction (even if it’s sappy fiction) to get his message out to the mass market–prepare or DIE! Of course, it’s easier to peddle the message using the correct genre.
In short, would I recommend this fictional novel about societal collapse?
No, I don’t recommend this novel for those that critical of the Christian faith (the book will just get on your nerves); no, I don’t recommend it for someone that is looking for depth and poetry (“Farewell we call to hearth and hall!“); no, I don’t recommend this book for those of you that scoff at the notion that we are indeterminably headed for a collapse.
YES, I recommend this book for those with an open mind; yes, I recommend it for those that enjoy light fiction (with a heavy topic); yes, I recommend it for those that are prepping and feel overwhelmed.
Founders is a quick read, a quick reminder, and a quick ‘pass it on’ kind of book.
Founders: A Novel of the Coming Collapse is available at all the usual suspects: Amazon, etc. See our link below:
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