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Follies of a Navy Chaplain Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This is especially a good read for people "on-the-go", since it can be read by chapters without missing a beat.
I have highly recommended this book to others.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
He started off well with a very entertaining account of his childhood. Many of the accounts were hilarious. His recounting of coming to America was interesting but right off the start you could see that he was not including a lot of details surrounding the adventure of coming over and how it all came to be. He mentions bits and pieces of things but big gaps are there where, in a basic human interest story, the reader would want to know more about some of these details.
From there, the book was, sadly, a big disappointment. He spoke of very little of his early life in America and nothing of what made him decide to become a priest. He revealed nothing about his years in the seminary and nothing much about how he came to decide to become a Navy Chaplain. Okay, I might excuse that thinking that the meat of his book was about his life as a chaplain. That did not happen.
I FULLY understand that there are parts of a Chaplain's life that he (or she) cannot relate due to the delicacy of keeping a chaplain's confidentiality with their flock. However, he did not really relate anything too monumental so as to write a book about it. In several instances where he DID relate interesting stories he left you hanging about what happened to some of the characters. They appear, he talks about them and interesting things that happened and then he abruptly stops talking about them. Some of them, you would like to know, for example, if they lived or recovered from their episode during war. (Viet Nam) He says nothing on too many occasions. He did relate what tragically happened to some but he said nothing about others and I found myself wondering what became of them.
He also failed to discuss much of what I would call the human philosophy of life. Here was a Navy Chaplain who traveled widely, interacted with loads of people and experienced much in the line of human drama and at the end he said virtually nothing of how this all affected him, how he came away thinking about it all and what his impressions and life lessons were from it. Both in a human and theological way.
IF you are looking for light reading on an interesting subject of the type of conversational subject you might run into at a good dinner, then you may find this book enjoyable. As I said, for light reading only. IF you are expecting a deep, thought provoking narrative about the life of a Navy Chaplain and deeper aspects of the human condition, I sadly believe you will be disappointed with it.
Incidentally, in Mid 2012 I happened to see an obituary in the newspaper. It contained a photo of a man in his Naval Officers uniform so I was drawn to read it. It turned out to be the Obituary for the Chaplain writer of this book. He died in his nineties. The book was published when he was still alive and retired.
What a long bumpy ride since then. At once trying, satisfying, and rewarding. We stayed a Navy family, with tours throughout the world including Vietnam and while raising a son and a daughter. Carol and I retired in 1976 after twenty-one years of active military service. Any medals I earned are as much hers as they are mine.
At age sixty-three I began writing fiction. Eleven years and sixteen novels later my writing partner and I are busy outlining number seventeen.
Stay well, Father Joe. I plan to look for you again in another fifty-three years!
James (Jim) Ide, The Nintoku Incident
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