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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a real pager turner, even for the non-Christian
Left Behind and the 11 sequels are really just one long novel. It is possible, though not satisfying to read only the first one. I really enjoyed the first novel, Left Behind (well enough to read the next 11), although I actually stopped reading it for a while because the focus on the disbelievers was maddening. Millions of people all over the world disappear at once...
Published on July 18 2004 by Adam Missner

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fast read---Bad message
It's easy to hack the Bible for the sake of fiction and money, but to do it so amateurishly and to so artificially construct upon the book of Revelations is a sacrilege that might impress only the slowest of folk. This is all made up, people, with the most cringingly obvious stock characters, the cheapest of sentimentalism to substitute for faith, no real character...
Published on Oct. 29 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Definitely a real pager turner, even for the non-Christian, July 18 2004
By 
Adam Missner (Roswell, GA United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
Left Behind and the 11 sequels are really just one long novel. It is possible, though not satisfying to read only the first one. I really enjoyed the first novel, Left Behind (well enough to read the next 11), although I actually stopped reading it for a while because the focus on the disbelievers was maddening. Millions of people all over the world disappear at once (coicidentally the die-hard Christians), and there is some question about what has happened? I suppose LeHaye and Jenkins were trying to convey just how ridiculous the non-Christians must seem to the Christians, but it was a bit overboard and actually a little boring. Anyway, our heroes finally accept Christ and the rest of the novels were action packed page turners. Of course, the Antichrist takes over rule of the world using the UN and the promise of world peace. I actually laughed out loud when the Antichrist was promising peace and extolling the exact sentiments you hear in the average Hillary Clinton speech (coincidence?). The novels read just an epic disaster novel and were just as fun. I would warn people who are anti-religion that the preaching is a little thick, but I enjoyed it and it was necessary to set the proper tone.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Fast read---Bad message, Oct. 29 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
It's easy to hack the Bible for the sake of fiction and money, but to do it so amateurishly and to so artificially construct upon the book of Revelations is a sacrilege that might impress only the slowest of folk. This is all made up, people, with the most cringingly obvious stock characters, the cheapest of sentimentalism to substitute for faith, no real character development, completely ridiculous situations. On the plus side, it IS a fast read, mostly because there is no actual substance in to engage the mind or the soul. Now, the Bible states clearly right at the end of Revelations that for anyone to add to the things said in that book, change them, construct on them, substract from them in any way is a big no no. Read your Bible again, please. And don't substitute true faith for cheap crass commercialism.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Theologically poor and very shallow, Sept. 10 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
I read the first two books in this series, and was appalled at the story: if it was JUST fiction (and not "based" on the Bible), I would leave well enough alone. But this is supposedly based on the Word of God. Reader beware! It scares me to think that people think this is a good read, or inspiring. Let me say this, the easy-believism in this story should be enough to drive any sincere believer away! But the church today seems to like this sort of fluffy nonsense. And let's not discuss eschatology here. To say that it is almost non-existent would be an understatement. And I think that the antichrist is absolutely not believable. I'm sure that Mr. LaHaye is a nice man, but the content of this book is dangerously lacking in substance and faith. Sorry.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly exciting, Oct. 7 2006
By 
Kona (Emerald City) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
The story opens over the Atlantic, on a 747 enroute to London. The pilot, Rayford Steele, is daydreaming about pretty flight attendant Hattie, and rationalizing the end of his marriage. In first class sits Buck Williams, a respected journalist on the way to his next big story. Suddenly, chaos erupts on the plane: Dozens of people are missing! And millions more are missing from every country on earth. Over the next few days, Ray, Hattie, and Buck will meet again and deal with these disappearances, as well as mind-boggling changes in the world of international politics.

I'd heard about this book, of course, but had never been interested in reading it, until I picked up a used copy on a whim. After just a few pages, I was hooked. It's full of action and drama, told in an easy-reading style that makes the pages fly by. I expected it to be preachy, but it wasn't; it was thought-provoking and intense and left me almost breathless at the end, ready to get the next book in the series. It's a great story, entertaining and down-to-earth, about the end days predicted in the Bible. Highly recommended.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Familiary breeds contempt?, July 9 2004
By 
Brian Hulett "okierazorbacker2" (Oinklahoma) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
This now-famous set of novels has doubtless affected many thousands of lives for the better. Because of that I thank God that Lahaye & Jenkins fleshed out their idea and forged ahead with this series. People needed to hear this message.
For me, however, because I am a voracious reader of fiction and having also studied the Scriptures for years in relation to our Lord's return, I must admit this opening installment left me absolutely cold. Part of that is surely because I know the whole general plot before it all begins, because I'm familiar with the premillenialist point of view on Bible prophecy. Some of the suspense is lost if one knows the outline before the book is even purchased.
But I have more serious problems with "Left Behind" than my own familiarity. For instance, while I believe the premillenial perspective is largely closer to our future reality than other interpretations of the vastly vague prophecies of our coming end times, I don't buy into it completely. The concept that God will really cause The Rapture in such a way as to kill so many unregenerated humans by removing Christians who are driving their cars, operating air traffic control centers, flying airplanes, etc., seems problematic. This isn't a case of the Israelites coming into Canaan and cleansing the land of the corrupted cultures there; this is a case of Christians mingled among those who may be saved, and I can't accept the extrapolation of prophetic exegesis that results in this belief. Ultimately I think those of us who reach heaven will look back and laugh at some of the stuff we believed, and fall down in worship at God's feet for the wisdom He displays, as shown by the way He'll pull all this off. Never doubt that His way will be far better than anything we've yet figured out.
Having said all that, a more basic problem here is that the writing is so, so basic. Sure, that was done to reach as many people as possible, but the writing is dumbed down SO MUCH that it's painful to try to slow down my mind enough that it doesn't wander. A book on this subject should be so gripping that it at least holds one's attention, don't you think?
This leaves me with the feeling that the "Left Behind Kids" books are superfluous. This book is as easily accessible to grade school kids as anything I've seen, which is a good and bad thing. Think of it as "Premillenialism 101: A Grade School Primer," and you'll have an appropriate outlook on the character of this novel. That's not an entirely bad thing, obviously, but this reader prefers something on a more grownup level and won't be cracking open any of the sequels to this megahit.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A very good (a maybe informative?) read, July 7 2004
By 
A. Stender (Hartford, VT United States) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
I knew the premise of this story (Millions of people on Earth disappear when they're taken by God up to heaven) and it sounded a little too much like Stephen King's "The Stand" for me. In the end, I was pleasantly surprised with this book because it was so thoroughly realized. The story is taken directly from the Bible, describing what the Rapture would be like and Trials and Tribulations afterward. The Antichrist is rapidly coming into power. It's all very exciting. This book mostly deals with the disappearances and the week afterward. My sister saw me reading this book and asked, "Isn't that book, like, pseudo-religious or something?" Not pseudo. It IS religious and that might put some people off from reading it, but it shouldn't. Granted, the story does come off as preachy at times but the book (and series) is basically a novelized version of Revelations. It's still an exciting and interesting read. Now I've got to finish the whole series and, for fun, read "Right Behind" and "Kiss My - - Left Behind".
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4.0 out of 5 stars Gripping & important, but sometimes tedious, July 2 2004
By 
Steven Tursi (Suffern, NY) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
The interesting thing about this book is that a christian can get as much out of it as a non-believer. I agree with the person who pointed out the frequent reviews of the storyline, however I wouldn't classify this book as mediocre as a result. If you read this book, don't be surprised if you find yourself buying the next book in the series - they all have cliff-hanger style endings. I ended up reading the entire series in about 10 days. Needless to say, with all of its faults, its a page-turner.
This book, like most religious fiction, is probably not appropriate for the type of christian who is a hardcore student of theology - such a person's experience of Left Behind would be of their differences in interepretation or even the biblical errors of the book. On the other hand, for a casual christian, such as myself, these errors don't seem significant when compared to the book's message. Likewise, atheists probably would be downright offended by a book like this as it portrays them as eager followers of Antichrist in spite of overwhelming evidence of his identity.
Make no mistake, this is a controversial book which is very powerful to the right reader. I hope this helps.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Weak writing, informative message. Add 1/2 star., June 9 2004
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
The first book of the Left Behind series is the introduction of the characters who are "left behind" after Christ's church is raptured. Many of these people have had loved ones or friends introduce them to the concept that Jesus is the Christ, the Messiah, the Son of God, and that the rapture is coming. Some understand what happened when the night sky, for a few moments, was brighter than noon in the Sahara Desert; some do not; many people have no clue.
Rayford Steel, pilot, planned to have his first extramarital affair with his flight attendant Hattie Durham. However, half the passengers and some of his flight crew disappear, leaving their clothing and belongings behind, and he knows what happened. His wife and son are gone, and he feels guilty and afraid. Newscasts televise the plethora of accidents and crashes that occur because the drivers suddenly disappeared. The world is in chaos.
One of the passengers on the plane is Buck Williams, who also plays a key role in developing a Tribulation Force to stand against the anti-Christ. Buck is a feature writer for a magazine and has access that many do not, including to the man who rises from the ashes as the most powerful man on earth.
Why was it the best selling Christian fiction and New York Times' number one for so long?
The writing is not strong but, like others, I was engrossed in the story and possible answers. There are many books about John's Book of Revelations, the last book in the New Testament, but none encompasses the depth of this series. This also coincides with my own personal beliefs about the End Times therefore providing validity to my thoughts. I read the entire series within a few weeks, and then passed the books on to a friend.
This book may not capture your interest, the style may irritate you, but I enjoyed it.

Victoria Tarrani
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4.0 out of 5 stars A COMPELING CHRISTIAN HORROR STORY, June 9 2004
By 
Jeff Howard (South Dakota) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Left Behind #1 (Paperback)
I came to this book looking for something completely different, but expecting it to be complete trash. Surprisingly, I found it very compelling. Basically, LEFT BEHIND is a horror story, packaged as Christian fiction. Though many have complained that it is written for a sixth grade level, it's important to note that it was written in an in-offensive manner for everyone. I'd say it is appropriate for middle schoolers through elderly.
Predictably, the Christian message is sprinkled throughout the novel. But that is to be expected. Having read a lot of horror in the past I was surprised that the LEFT BEHIND story could be chilling at times. Though many would say that it is Christian trash, I don't see much difference in suspending disbelief reading this as reading say a more popular author like Stephen King.
The book deals with the Rapture as described in the Bible. The main characters, Rayford Steele and Buck Williams are left behind on a 747 piloted by Steele. As a result of the Rapture and the disappearance of millions, Steele becomes born again, convinced all has occurred as prophesied in the Bible. The Anti-Christ emerges as a Rumanian named Nicholae Carpathia.
I picked the book up aware that there were 12 novels in the series. I figured LEFT BEHIND would be the only one I would try. It was the obligatory intro to the series. I plan to read the next one and see how it goes.
Overall, it was not as bad as I expected and I recommend it to anyone looking for a complete change of pace.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A must-read for any Christian, June 5 2004
By 
Kathryn (Baton Rouge, LA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Left Behind (Paperback)
I found this book to be a fairly realistic interpretation of what could happen when the Rapture occurs. This is a fictionalized account of what the authors believe could happen, so it shouldn't be taken literally (that is, except for what has come directly from the Bible). The book predicts that once the Rapture occurs, those left behind will come up with every excuse possible to create some sort of an explanation, not wanting to believe that it was actually Jesus coming back for His people. It's not at all preachy, and it helps you to look at yourself and your faith and contemplate whether or not you yourself will be left behind. I believe that those who criticize the book and write it off as "garbage" are those who the book is about. If you are a Christian and you believe in the prophecy of the Rapture, you should definitely read this book. If you are not Christian and you don't believe in Jesus, then you probably shouldn't even bother - this book was not meant for you.
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Left Behind by Jerry Jenkins (Paperback - April 15 1996)
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