Wednesday, 13 August 2008

Big Love - washingtonpost.com

Here is a good review of a very interesting work of fiction that looks at Mormonism, its beginnings and today's spiritual descendants among fundamentalist Mormons. What is interesting is that a work like this, perhaps better described as "faction", is that it also works as well as factual works, perhaps sometimes better, to show up the errors and problems of cults and of religious movements in general. The last paragraph of the review, I think, illustrates this well:

"There's no use pretending that reading The 19th Wife isn't a lot of work, but its rewards are correspondingly vast. Admittedly, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints will have reason to react unenthusiastically to this portrayal of their early leaders, and members of pedophilic cults should definitely choose something else for book club. But the voices Ebershoff has brought to life here dramatize one of the most remarkable periods of America's religious history, and he's just as discerning about the bizarre descendants that can sprout like toxic weeds from a founder's revelation. The greatest triumph is the way all this material, though it's focused on the peculiarities of Mormonism -- devout and heretical, ancient and modern -- illuminates the larger landscape of faith."

If anyone reads it and wants to offer a short and intelligent review we would be glad to consider publishing it.

Big Love - washingtonpost.com

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