09. December 2008 · Comments Off on The End of the Straight and Narrow – David McGlynn · Categories: Book Reviews, Fiction, Short Stories · Tags: ,

Like most avid readers, I tend to seek out books with a unique voice.  When you read several books a month, it’s easy to find commonalities in books that others might not see.  For instance, there are certain themes that tend to crop up in short story collections again and again.  But I’m happy to tell you The End Of The Straight And Narrow dispensed with all those similarities that can have many active readers yawning in their shirtsleeves.  

The End of the Straight and Narrow manages to be unique without being outlandish or unrelatable.  The subject matter of author David McGlynn’s stories often focuses on the lives and difficulties of people who happen to be Christians.  I say “happen to be” because it’s nether in-your-face proselytizing, nor is it an exercise in faith-bashing, but a true-to-life look at how people really are, flaws and all.  Most of the stories link together having the same characters emerge; new plots, different viewpoints, a different slot of time.  But each story can easily stand on its own two feet.

At first I even hesitated to mention the Christian aspect because I didn’t want anyone to view this book as Christian fiction.  But I can’t imagine skipping over it.  Depth of faith has such a hold on these stories, and in such a fresh way, that any reviewer would be remiss to brush past it.  I’ve often wondered why authors incorporating faith into their stories wouldn’t take an approach such as McGlynn did.  Too often writers either glamorize or tear apart their faith-filled characters, trying to make either a sainted or an ugly example of them whether they be Christian, Jew, Muslim or other.  Personally I find it refreshing to see believing people be believable.  So thanks to David McGlynn.  My brain, as well as my soul, enjoyed the ride to The End Of The Straight And Narrow.

Published by Southern Methodist University Press.

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