I loved this book. Couldn't put it down. Lee Strobel keeps you involved in the story from beginnng to end. Many different aspects involved. Pastors, politics, reporters, corruption. The story line was great and I loved how he pulled all his characters together. Hope to see more novels written by Strobel.
Twists, turns and surprises that make The Ambition a serious page turner! It is raw and gritty in portraying the Chicago mob. Best of all, its believable! From the dynamics of the media to the subtle spiritual slipping away of a pastor, you are left wanting more of the story! I can't wait for the sequel!
For his very first fiction book, this is very good. Easy to see how his journalism background plus the fact he lived in the Chicago area enabled him to put this intriguing story together. We purchased two copies, one for us and one for a family member, who lives out of state, but went to Northwestern Univ. and still loves to come back to Chicago when possible. I read it in 3 days, as it was hard to put down, even though for a gramma I have a fairly busy schedule!
Some days it is just fun to relax and read a good thriller. The Ambition is one such book. It has multiple storylines, a great plot, and plenty of shock value. Pastor Eric Snow has the opportunity of a lifetime to become a voice for the people, but is it really what God wants? As the possibilities open up, it seems that there may be many forces at work in Illinois politics, and while the Pastor tries to determine God’s will for his life, others have ambitions, too.
I love the fact that Strobel doesn’t hesitate to play on the potential for corruption in any political system, regardless of who is in power. That it can be a slippery slope for the most idealistic of individuals is made clear; even the most ‘righteous’ person among us can be blinded by power and adulation of the masses. It is never easy to balance the need for politicians to curry public favor against the need for Christians to work for the King.
I enjoyed the book; it had good pacing, strong characters, and a really engaging story. With its action taking place in church boardrooms, Chicago eateries of various stripe, a judge’s chambers, with reporters, church elders, mobsters, politicians, and gamblers, it definitely carries a broad picture of what happens when the compromising worldview of non-believers is intersected with the uncompromising worldview of believers, and how the power of a sovereign God is uninhibited by either.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255
What are my thoughts? This book is AMAZING! It is fast paced and keeps you riveted until the last page. It is one of those legal thrillers that brings you in close to see the heart of deception. You combine danger, deceit and death and you have yourself one roller coaster ride. I read this book deep into the night. The characters blew me away. They were deep and their lives were filled with ambition. Ambition that sets them on a road to pride and danger. A life they were not looking for, but found none the less. What I love is the fact that we see humility come. We see the characters face the very thing that brought them to be where they were. They get mixed up in such deceit they soon lose who they are. But God has a way of bringing them back and bringing the truth to light. You are going to enjoy this book. Hold on to your seat, cause it's a crazy ride!
This book was a gift from Zondervan for it's review.
The Ambition by Lee Strobel is the best-selling journalist's first novel. Several stories of high-powered men in Chicago come together in a climactic way. The Bugatti brothers are known for their control of the Chicago mafia and their business as cut-throat loan sharks. Tommy O'Sullivan has coasted through much of his life on his last name until a gambling addiction puts him deep in debt to the Bugattis and he participates in a bribe that will change the city forever. Eric Snow is a respected pastor of a megachurch in Chicago who is thinking about switching careers to politics, but his best friend questions his motives. Garry Strider's life is going pretty well, with a successful career as an investigative journalist and live-in girlfriend, Gina. But when Gina gets some religion, she moves out and starts pushing him to consider finding faith himself so they can be married. Instead Garry starts investigating the pastor at Gina's church, Eric Snow. Strobel takes these disconnected stories and weaves them with suspense until they come together with a crash. Where Strobel really shines is in his portrayal of Snow and his church. The church tries so hard to fit in with pop culture, that they try to play it down when miracles begin occurring there. They refuse to call them miracles or anything supernatural in order to keep from being attacked by scientists and atheists. Strobel really doesn't have time to develop the characters too deeply but the story is entertaining and thought-provoking. Strobel wrote the premier apologetic work of the late twentieth century in The Case for Christ. This doesn't live up to that level of writing, but it's a good read that will keep readers turning the pages. I hope that Strobel gives fiction another shot soon.
The Ambition is written by Lee Strobel author of the Case for Christ series. This book is Mr. Strobel’s first fiction book and it is well-written and fast paced. This book draws on Strobel’s experience as a reporter for the Chicago Tribune and reveals an insider’s tale of power, politics and payoffs that is as current as today’s headlines. The characters in this book are well developed and the plot is rich. This is an enjoyable book with an important message about hypocrisy and knowing and living out God’s will. I enjoyed this book a great deal, and I believe you will also.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Zondervan as part of their Blogger Review Program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Everyone (well, almost) is familiar with Lee Strobel’s best-selling non-fiction works of Christian apologetics, but his latest release is something quite different – and exciting. The Ambition is Strobel’s first major work of fiction, and though it is written in a genre that I don’t normally read, I was very interested in reading the results of his latest writing efforts. I wasn’t disappointed.
When Tom O’Sullivan, a struggling lawyer with a gambling problem, accepts the task of slipping a bribe to a judge, he didn’t know the trouble he was in for. When this same judge turns out to be a forerunner as a replacement for a corrupt senator, things are looking bad. Eric Snow, the pastor of a suburban mega church throws his hat into the ring as a contender, attempting to downplay his spiritual affiliations and essentially denying God’s hand at work. Thrown into the mix are also a strident investigative journalist, struggling through difficult financial times for his paper and trying to dredge up a story to save his job.
Written with all the earmarks of a legal/political thriller, Strobel deftly mixes the strands of political ambition, organized crime, legal corruption, and faith into a fast-moving blend that keeps the pages flipping. There are quite a few characters (mostly male) to keep up with, the storylines are thoroughly interwoven, and this testosterone-driven tale is punchy and intense. Drawing upon his own experiences as a journalist and pastor, The Ambition comes across as very realistic – this is the turf Strobel learned to write on after all.
Better than solidly written, Strobel shows real potential as a fiction author, and based on the cover style (it reminds me of the Left Behind series packaging) it seems that Zondervan agrees. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see future installments in this same vein from Strobel. More than a passing curiosity (hey, let’s see what Lee Strobel has gotten himself into now), this debut novel is both enjoyable, realistic, and points the way to very real political/faith collisions while asking meaningful questions about priorities.
This novel of Lee Strobel was so very interesting that I completed it in four days. His experience as a journalist and legal editor of the Chicago Tribune is certainly playing a major part in his outstanding book. Weaving all the people, places and activities together was amazing and just so very intriguing. Betrayal and corruption in the legal system and government proves the statement, "power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely." I followed the story with anticipation and delighted to see good triumph over evil. I received this book free for writing a review for Zondervan Publishing. Zondervan only requires I write a personal review.
I was curious on whether Lee Strobel would make for a good novelist. He is fantastic! The story is fast paced and exciting with a bunch of key characters in different stances with God, each one in some way interwoven with the others. I highly recommend this book to any Christian. Your skeptic friends may be annoyed with it though!
I've been a fan of Lee Strobel for a while now and when I heard he wrote his first fiction book, I was excited to read it. I was not disappointed and I'm looking forward to more! Making the transition from non-fiction writer to fiction is not easy and he did it well!!
Good story that develops well and characters are easy to like or not like. I'm looking forward to the sequel.
Popular Atheist turned Christian nonfiction author Lee Strobel, noted for his widely read "Case For" series of books on the intellectual support for the Christian faith, has made his fiction debut with a legal thriller novel. The action is based in Chicago and focuses on Eric Snow, pastor of a suburban megachurch.
The engaging mystery weaves intriguing characters into a fast paced story line. A corrupt judge, a cynical reporter and his girl friend, a gambling addict in possession of a secret tape, Snow's best friend and fellow pastor, an Elder in his church, his wife, and a mob king-pin all converge in a tale where the Governor's appointment to a vacant Senate seat is a stake - along with the lives of everyone who hears the secretly made tape recording.
New York Times bestselling author Lee Strobel takes his readers inside a suburban megachurch, a big-city newspaper struggling for survival, a court system tainted by corruption, and the local and national political scenes.
The action takes place in Chicago and includes the familiar sights, sounds, history, traditions and tastes of the Windy City. Having lived in Chicago, Strobel treats the local color perfectly. Only someone who truly knows that city could pen an entire page describing the nuances of a Chicago-style hot dog, for example.
An unexpected climax avoids any cliché ending (with all the good guys living happily ever after.) In fact, readers are left looking forward to another installment in the form of a sequel.
Strobel, who has been prolific in nonfiction, writes with a confident and crisp style as he jumps over to fiction writing. He successfully avoids turning an excellent thriller into something less, with his measured injection of Christian themes. The story isn't interrupted by preaching, but the Christian worldview vs. opposing ideas is definitely included. Strobel's personal background includes involvement in a magachurch which leads to some very real feeling portrayals in that area. His background as an award winning legal journalist makes for a realistic portrayal of the legal and journalism themes in the plot as well. One character clearly mirrors Strobel's background in legal journalism. However, the author commendably holds back from resolving that character's skepticism, before the book ends, in parallel with the author's own journey to faith.
With a growing interest in faith-based films, I would expect this story might well make it to the big screen one day.
This one definitely belongs on your summer reading list if you haven't already devoured it like a tasty slice of Chicago-style deep dish pizza by then.