I’ve been reading a lot this year and it’s been mainly pretty heady stuff. Theology books, commentaries and more. It’s been great but I am the kind of person who also needs a release at times, so I used my Amazon Prime membership to get a free book. It was described as a dark comedy about the end of the world. Well since I had just finished reading a commentary on the book of Revelation, I decided to give it a go.
Now to start off, I just want to say, I was under no illusions that this would be a Christian book or deal with anything having to do with eschatology. I was just looking for a little escapism. I have to say the book was not bad. It had a real Monty Python feel humor-wise with a lot of action and such intermingled in the silliness. All in all it was a fun read, but…
In the midst of what could have been an excellent book I would recommend to my readers was a bit too much profanity for my tastes. I’m not a prude, and the swearing did give insight into the character’s well character, but the writers is good enough not to have had to lean on that crutch. All I could think of was, “Why did you have to do that?”
Secondly, there were several scenes where the writer crossed the line in my opinion. I was fully aware of how evil this one particular villain was. The writer had done a great job setting up who this character was and the comments and actions this character took were totally unnecessary. Not only did they not advance the story, they detracted from it in big ways. All I could think of was “Why did you have to do that?”
Now listen, I know I am sensitive to these things and I never want to be unnecessarily critical, but the fact of the matter is our creative choices impact our creations. You notice that I did not post the title of this book or a link to it? That was deliberate. The truth of the matter is this book was a well written piece of satire with a pretty touching ending and a fair amount of good action. That being said I can’t recommend it to my audience because of a few bad choices on the part of the author. That’s a shame.
As we create, we need to try to make good choices. This is not just avoiding gratuitous sex and violence though that is important, especially for us as followers of Christ. It could also be making matters of faith too simplistic or portraying people negatively needlessly. We can do better and we must.
Let’s not make our audiences say, “Why did you have to do that?”