Saturday, January 17, 2015

The Book of Told by K. A. Gunn

About the book:
Brew discovers he is a single word in The Book of Told, written by an author he cannot see. This is the catalyst for a series of curious secrets, which draw him unwillingly into the greatest battle literarily fought – the Battle of Words. Sabotaged by a rival understudy within his own story, the author – Leonard Told – must use what Words he can to create the most powerful statement ever declared! Brew's character must stand up to the rival's genius and salvage Told's reputation by garnering him all-time bestselling status.

My review:
This is an allegory representing the entire history of mankind. It took me a while to get into the book. When I was about a quarter of the way in, the story clicked with me and caught my interest. The rest of the book is cleverly done with lots of word play. For example, a tower was built by a farmer to see over a wall – he called it his eyeful tower. As the story progressed, I identified various eras in history, including those in the history of the church.

Readers who like allegories will really appreciate this novel. Those who like to play with words will like it too. I tend to be a little allegorically challenged so I am sure I did not understand all of the representations in the novel. This is a good novel to think about as you read.

One thing missing is a discussion guide. A series of directed questions would help a great deal in understanding more of what Gunn hoped to communicate in the novel. Since some of the characters in the novel are in their later teens, this would make a good book for a teen reading group. I would suggest a leader writing discussion questions ahead of time.

More about the book:
Gunn was inspired to write this allegory because of the amazing nature of God's plan, His story. As the idea developed, she decided to condense the whole of history, as we know it, into the location of a valley and in the time of a few years. She gives us a view of history structured, like a good book, with people the words.

As Gunn notes on her website, the main theme of the book is God's genius penmanship. Another theme is that we are mere words within his preplanned plot. He has given people clues to the plot as well. Topics covered in the book include evolution vs. intelligent design, predestination vs. freewill, the purpose of sacrifices, and many more.

As she was writing the book, she felt she was to give the royalties away and chose the A21 Campaign, fighting human trafficking.

You can find out more about the book at http://www.leonardtold.com/, including a synopsis of the book, and how Gunn came to write it.

K. A. Gunn is an artist and a lover of history and the Word of God. She enjoys running, nursing, and lots of family time with her doctor husband and their six children. They live in New Zealand.

WestBow Press, 416 pages.

I received a complimentary digital copy of the book by the author for the purpose of an independent and honest review.
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