Tuesday, May 10, 2011

40: A Novel by Travis Thrasher

Nine months shy of his 40th birthday, freelance music producer Tyler Harrison has started to experience horrific hallucinations. At first, he thinks it's just the stress of his job, but the hallucinations continue until they culminate at the three-day concert in Chicago, Lollapalloza, which he is covering for work. There he is approached by an older man who tells him that he's going to die on his fortieth birthday.

The man claims to be an angel named Matthew, and even though he gives Tyler enough evidence to convince him he's telling the truth, he doesn't know what to do with the information.

Tyler's underlying doubt and confusion about Matthew's prediction turn to anger, both at God and those around him. As he begins to exhibit destructive behavior, he befriends Ellis, an internationally known DJ. Tyler is scared that he really is about to die. He's scared for his sanity. He's scared that if he does die, he's not going to Heaven. He also soon becomes scared of Ellis, who is wild and opens up a door of temptation to Tyler.

As Tyler begins falling in a downward spiral of fear and confusion, he reaches out to a pastor he met, Will, and tries to right his wrongs with some of the important people in his life in a desperate attempt to find peace before his 40th birthday.

My Review:
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, demonstrates 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.

Note: contains profanity. Discussion questions included.

Thank you to Sarah Reck at Hachette Book Group for my copy.

1 comment:

bermudaonion said...

I've read one of Thrasher's books and wondered why it was classified as Christian fiction. Sure, some of the characters identified themselves as Christians, but it wasn't a theme of the book.