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Flabbergasted: A Novel [Paperback]

Ray Blackston
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
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Book Description

May 1 2004
Stockbroker Jay Jarvis just moved east. His dating life's gone south. What else is a guy to do but go fishing? "This is one book you don't want to miss!"--Crossings Book Club "Blackston's light and breezy style makes Flabbergasted an ideal reading choice for a lazy summer night."--Bookpage "Blackston's first novel is refreshingly honest . . . Good writing and an ample dose of humor make this as charming as Bridget Jones' Diary from the male point of view. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "A fun, lighthearted and thoroughly enjoyable 'relational gumbo' of a novel . . . quirky and very satisfying, this novel is an excellent debut."--CCM Magazine "[A] superb first novel."--Christian Retailing "Blackston takes an amusing look at the Christian singles scene, The story proceeds at a leisurely, episodic pace, focusing on dialogue and characterization to provide the plot."--Romantic Times "This book made me laugh out loud."--Liz Curtis Higgs

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Product Description

From the Back Cover

Stockbroker Jay Jarvis just moved East. His dating life's gone South. What else is a guy to do but go fishing? "Refreshingly honest . . . as charming as Bridget Jones' Diary from the male point of view. Highly recommended."--Library Journal "A fun, lighthearted, and thoroughly enjoyable 'relational gumbo' of a novel."--CCM magazine "This is one book you don't want to miss!"--Crossings Book Club "Blackston's light and breezy style makes ideal reading for a lazy summer night."--Bookpage "An amusing look at the Christian singles scene."--Romantic Times "Amazing. A novel with no illicit sex, bad words, racial slurs, or crime that is simultaneously serious, hilarious, and impossible to put down."--The Dallas Morning News Armed with the knowledge that his second grade teacher always liked his stories and poems, Ray Blackston walked away from the corporate cubicle, bought a laptop, said a prayer, and began typing the first words of Flabbergasted. He does not recommend this method for the faint of heart.

About the Author

Ray Blackston of Greenville, South Carolina, worked as a buyer and a broker for eleven years before cashing in his modest 401k and leaving his corporate cubicle to write full time. He serves on the missions committee of Grace Church, has traveled to rural Ecuador on a summer missions program, and coaches his six-year-old nephew Action Jackson in T-ball.

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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Beware - very preachy March 15 2004
By A Customer
This harmless piece of fluff is "Christian fiction" disguised as a comedy. It fooled me and I bought it. As a non-church goer, this book had way too much preaching and spiritual discussion. If that's your thing, give it a shot, otherwise steer clear.
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4.0 out of 5 stars I enjoyed this book July 7 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I enjoyed this book, particularly the main character who made an enormous life change because of his interest in the young lady in the book. He gave up the possession of "things" and climbing the corporate ladder, and embraced the idea of helping people in the rain forest. Kind of disappointed he didn't really romantically win the young lady in the end, but satisfied that he made a special long term friend, and a real feeling of contentment.
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5.0 out of 5 stars So Fun and Refreshing! May 26 2010
By Shirley Rempel TOP 500 REVIEWER
This was such a fun book to read! The first thing that caught my attention was the vibrant cover! Just looking at the cover makes you want to read this book!

It is a romance of sorts, but from a man's view, which is very uncommon. I love that the main character Jay thought church would be a great place to meet girls (LOL,) and in the process God worked some major changes in him! Through reading this book one thing is evident (both to the characters, eventually, and to the reader) our ways are not His ways and His timing is not ours....we need to be open to whatever He brings us to!

Mr. Blackston did a remarkable job portraying all the wonderful characters and I felt that I was right in the scenes throughout reading this novel. If you are looking for some fun summer reading, with a strong Christian/Gospel message, then Flabbergasted is the book for you! I love that Blackston delves into the topic that Christianity is not about religion but about relationship! Awesome job at bringing that through the medium of a novel, Mr. Blackston! You will laugh and cry while reading this easy to read, well-written debut book! I look forward to seeing if a sequel will be in the future!

I highly recommend it and give it a huge thumbs up!
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4.0 out of 5 stars Great fun :) May 26 2010
Flabbergasted is a curious mix, a story that is at once light and humorous but also manages to speak on a deeper level. In fact, if the word chick-lit wasn't out of favor, and if the story's one-and-only main character wasn't male, I'd be willing to suggest it fit into that category as the tone is similar. However, the story is narrated by Jay Jarvis, a twenty-something ladder-climbing stock broker newly arrived in Greenville, South Carolina, and recently dumped by his girlfriend. Now that he's settling into his new digs, he's looking for love.

You know the song talks about looking for love in all the wrong places. Jay has no idea where singles hang out in his new town, so he asks the advice of his real estate agent. The realtor says the singles in town rotate between the churches. Thus, Jay finds himself in a Sunday school classroom with a young woman who says, "No ring? Then you're in the right place."

Ray Blackston's characters are not cookie-cutter. Where Jay Jarvis longs for a relationship while juggling eccentric clients, going to beach parties, and trying to fit into church life after an absence of four or five years, Allie Kyle is a missionary temporarily back in Greenville from Ecuador, and the relationship she longs for is one closer to God. This never comes across in a pious way. Instead, she's a veteran food-thrower and a poet who spontaneously carves words into sandbars and dirt roads.

Flabbergasted is not a novel of easy answers. Sandwiched between hilarious scenes are deep thoughts, presented with a light touch.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Fun Aug. 20 2007
By K. Wray
Never read a guy's version of 'chick lit' before, but totally enjoyed it. Look forward to reading more of Blackston's work.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great Cast of Characters July 2 2004
Being from the area the novel is set in, I found the story especially amusing. The cast of characters could not be more fun to follow as our narrator takes on one misadventure after another-at least until he finally understands what he was doing wrong all along. If you are single or Southern you will find this book just plain fun to read.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Loved It! March 22 2004
By A Customer
Read this book as a fun summer roadtrip story, or open the treasure chest of clever prose, lush imagery, and valuable life lessons. Either way, you can't lose.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A wild, imaginative, lime green ride! March 13 2004
"Flabbergasted" is one of the most quirky, interesting stories I have ever read. I cannot recall having laughed so much or so hard while reading a book since the last time I read one of Erma Bombeck's books.
Jay Jarvis is a single, eligible, stock-broker bachelor who has just recently moved to Greenville, South Carolina. Not interested in church other than to meet eligible bachelorettes, Jay meets the girl of his dreams, Allie, on his first visit to North Hills Presbyterian Church.
Unfortunately for Jay, Allie is not easy to get to know. Jay will embark on a strange journey domniated by the color lime green, a row of numericals, a less-than-punctual preacher, a pirouette of the gospel, and a multi-hour ride into the Ecudorian jungle. As Jay learns more about Allie and who she is, he will learn about who He is.
"Flabbergasted" is a Christian, coming-to-the-Lord novel. However, this is not your normal salvation tale. Ray Blackston, in his first book, has created a wild and imaginative story that will have you laughing, keep you guessing, and make it difficult for you to put down.
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