2.0 out of 5 stars
Guess I don't quite get all the fuss either..., April 30 2004
Oh, sure, it's mostly a well-written book. It's a gripping story that keeps you reading. But a story of Christ's love?
The main plot revolves around two men who are both obsessed with possessing the same woman, a beautifully captivating drug addict. Frankly, I saw little difference between the supposed "love" shown by either of these characters for Helen. Yes, one was evil and abused Helen and used drugs to keep her coming back to him. The other man, Jan, was just as obsessive and selfish---but not as evil---in his desire to possess Helen as his own.
The supposed "love" Jan had for Helen, at least the way it was described in the book, was little more than extreme lust. Within days of meeting Helen and feeling all weak in the knees (the descriptions of the physical effects of his lust, thankfully, stopped short of the lurid) Jan quickly dumps his fiancee of only two weeks, has Helen move in with him, and throws all common sense to the wind. Then he quickly manipulates Helen into a frantically short engagement and speedy marriage, taking advantage of her addiction to drugs, her desperation to flee her abusive boyfriend (even as she continually returns to him), and her confused state.
The worst part of the book is that we are supposed to believe that God is somehow behind Jan's bizarre obsession and that this overwhelming passion is somehow a mirror of God's love for us.
Frankly, I don't think God is so selfish.
Even when Jan gives up his fancy American life to flee the country, it's quite clear that he's saving his own skin and also taking his "prize" with him.
The final showdown, as Jan fights his rival for Helen, was supposed to be, I think, some grand act of self-sacrifice on Jan's part, but it really did not come off that way.
Well written, an exciting story, but hardly the glorious parable it claims to be.