Friday, July 29, 2011

The Six Liter Club by Harry Kraus

There are so many problems with this novel I don't know where to start.

First, the author is a man and the main character is a woman, Camille. Both are M.D.s and perhaps Kraus thinks that's enough. But it is not. At one point a secondary female character says, “A man cannot possibly understand what I'm going through.” (89) Exactly. Kraus may think he understands women and how they act and what they think, but he has missed it by a mile.
As an example, this book is way too sexy to be a “Christian” book and to be seen from the woman's viewpoint. The male's sex drive is much stronger than the woman's (I think) and Kraus must have projected his own desires onto Camille. At one point Camille touches sexual areas of herself, so to speak, in the shower. This scene was not necessary and totally outside what I would call Christian fiction.
Camille is hesitant to have sex with her boyfriend, not because of morality but because of mental issues stemming from her childhood in Africa. Ultimately, Camille does not have sex with her boyfriend, not on moral reasons but because his “two timing” her is found out. Kraus missed a good opportunity to have Camille (at least) think about the moral nature of sex.

And Christianity in the book? The only Christian seen throughout the book is the wife of an alcoholic wife-beater who sticks with him. She is portrayed as having the faith that her son, the patient of Camille's who lost six liters of blood, will live. But again, Kraus missed an opportunity to have her as a stronger Christian influence.
At the end of the book, the last three pages, Camille has a spiritual turn around. It is almost as if Kraus remembered this was supposed to be a Christian book and added those last three pages. Upon finishing the book I had the same sensation as when I hear a testimony where someone spends twenty minutes graphically telling of their sinful life and then ends with, “Oh yeah, then I got saved.” The end.

I'm in a reading group that read this book and to a person, we would not recommend it. You cannot pass it on to a nonbeliever because there is nothing about the gospel in it. You wouldn't want to give it to a fellow Christian.

There is nothing I can recommend about this book to the Christian reader.

Howard Books (a division of Simon & Schuster), 384 pages.

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