Tyler Harrison has lived his whole life waiting for that big break, that big project, that big something that will make him feel that he has achieved his life's purpose. But it seems that no matter what he does, no matter what big artist he produces and records, he just can't seem to arrive to that feeling of satisfaction. His entire life has been one big disappointment, and no matter what he achieves, it is never enough.
Months before his 40th birthday, he is approached by a man that claims he is an angel named Matthew. Matthew tells Tyler he is going to die on his 40th birthday, and gives him some evidence to prove that what he is saying is true. Confused, Tyler doesn't know what to do with the information he's been given. He doesn't doubt the angel for a second, but he does wonder what he's supposed to do with the knowledge. As the days draw closer to his birthday, he sees his life as it truly is, not as what he has supposed it to be. Will Tyler learn the purpose of the day of his death being revealed? And will he be able to redeem a life wasted in time?
You know a book is well written when you feel you are going losing your mind right alongside the main character. Oddly enough, this book gave me a picture of how my own life can be. I didn't get all the music references, probably because I'm too young for all that. But I felt like I was Tyler. And as I saw how his life was, and how it could have been; it really gave me a wake-up slap and made me realize that the choices we make really do affect those around us as well as ourselves. This has made it to the top of my list as a definite favorite from Thrasher. A work well done and an absolutely amazing read.
Sorry, but although this book met with pretty good reviews by many people, I couldn't "get into" it at all, so stopped reading after about 10 chapters. I kept thinking to myself, "What's the point, here?" and felt that the dark character of the book was not something that was inspiring or that I wanted to continue with. Part of it could be that it's a totally different generation. . . .and all the references to popular music groups meant nothing. Also, I don't think it's necessary to use curse words in a so-called "Christian" novel. Put the book in the Goodwill sack.
Music producer Tyler Harrison has made a life for himself far away from the home of his youth, the home of his emotionally distant and judgmental father. After a visit to his dad, who was struck speechless after a heart attack ravaged his body, Tyler starts to experience hallucinations. Nine months before his fortieth birthday he's visited by someone claiming to be an angel named Matthew, delivering a message that Tyler will die on his birthday. As Tyler becomes consumed with anger and fear and confusion in the wake of this message, trying to avoid his past and his present, he finally makes the decision to try to make his peace before his death, a decision that leads to unexpected outcomes.
Travis Thrasher continues to surprise me with the variety of the stories he has penned. 40 was again different than his previous works, an emotional and suspenseful journey with a satisfying conclusion. I must admit that at first I did not enjoy this book as much as I did some of his previous works (Isolation continues to be one of my favorites) as I thought the book was a bit slow to get started. However, as I became immersed in it's pages, as the suspense revealed itself, the story grew on me and soon I was flying through the pages in the second half. Thrasher is an accomplished writer who can entertain while inspiring personal reflection.
Ultimately, I was left deep in thought as I thought about the decisions I make in my own life. I would like to assume that I make much different decisions than a man like Tyler, and in some ways I do. But Jesus also reminds us that our actions start in our heart, and my heart is not so different than Tyler's. Tyler is a complex character, deftly developed in his history and motivations. Thrasher reminds us that our choices can lead to dark outcomes, but that God's always there alongside us, waiting to lead us home, waiting to free us.
I give this book a solid recommendation rating of 4 out 5 stars. I must warn readers that there is some foul language that the author includes, likely to add to the believability of the character, but this may offend some.
Book received courtesy of the publisher for the purposes of this unbiased review.
40 A NOVEL by Travis Thrasher is a christian suspense.Music producer Tyler,starts to experience horrific hallucinations just shy of his fortieth birthday. He will be approached by Matthew,a man who claims to be an angel.Not knowing what to do with this information Matthew gives him,his begins to spiral out of control. He is afraid and confused.What would you do if you where told that would you die on your fortieth birthday,I wonder.Would you be like Tyler,and be afraid,angry,confused,turn from God,turn to destructive behavior or would you accept your fate without question and kept your faith.This is not only a suspense but also a story of faith.Finally,Tyler meets Will,a pastor who will help him find his way,restore his faith,find peace before his fortieth birthday. While "40 A Novel" has many questions it also has many of the answers to those seem questions about life and death. This story is written in first person,while I do not normally enjoy reading first person stories this one was interesting.If you enjoy a different sort of christian suspense than this is the one for you.You will find "40 A Novel" interesting and complex while it also has suspense.This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher and details can be found at Faith Words,a division of Hachette Book Group,Inc.and My Book Addiction Reviews. Visit the author at www.travisthrasher.com
This is not your grandma's Christian fiction. The protagonist, Tyler Harrison, uses profanity and drinks to excess. In addition, he makes some foolish choices. The plot, set in Chicago and written in a disjointed fashion, demonstrate the confusion of Tyler, a thirty-nine year-old man who is told by an angel that he will die within the following year. He sets out to find out more about this prophecy. That's where confusion reigns.
There are many references to music and today's world that I did not understand. I think that a thirty-something person would get these references much better than I. I must admit, I found myself totally confused, but then, I am a grandma.
I've been following Travis Thrasher on Facebook and Twitter ever since reading his book, Solitary (can't wait for the sequel, by the way!). He frequently has quick contests for book giveaways and I was happy to win an ARC for his latest book, 40. The premise of the book sounded interesting and the fact that I am 40 made it slightly creepy. Once the book arrived, I grabbed the first free afternoon I had available and sat down to devour it.
I soon discovered that this is not that kind of book. While I enjoyed it, I found it to be quite introspective and I read it more as I would a non-fiction book; in sections. Lucky for me, the book is already divided into ten parts and I chose to read them as such. For me, the story had the same flavor as the book of Ecclesiastes. There was a sense of hopelessness throughout and I could identify with the main character's struggles, despite his own life being so far removed from my own. It's one of those books that "speak to the human condition" and he does it rather well. While there are fantastical elements in the story, it feels real. By the time you reach the end and everything is tied together, it packs the same punch that I feel when I reach the end of Ecclesiastes. Well worth reading, generates a lot of thought and gives perspective, but not always a "fun read".
If you're a music fan, nearing 40, questioning life and its purpose, or simply looking for a good read that'll take you through your week (or next ten days), you may want to check this one out. Although I prefer my stories move a bit more quickly, I still find myself thinking of this storyline and that's a pretty good recommendation right there.