Thinking Out Loud

September 14, 2009

The Shack Publisher Releases Third Fiction Title

Divorce Lawyer

You come home from work and your spouse says something — something possibly containing a minuscule, trace amount of irritation — and you react to it.   Then he/she reacts to your reaction.   Then it gets loud.   Then it crosses the line to where you’re saying things you instinctively know as you are saying them that you are going to have to apologize later. Or worse.

I sometimes have anger issues.   I admit that.  I think a lot of people do, and I think that we live in times that leave us vulnerable to stress factors that manifest themselves in different ways in different people.   Fortunately for me — and my wife — it’s nothing like Steven Kerner, however.   He’s the lead character in the book Bo’s Café, and he is given to what may only be described as serial rage.   Every discussion with his wife escalates into something it shouldn’t.   He can’t help but keep messing up, and then there’s no turning back.

Bo's CaféBo’s Café is the third fiction work from Windblown Media, publishers of The Shack and only the fourth book the upstart company has released.   (A second non-fiction book is due out in November.)   This time around there are three authors, Bill Thrall, Bruce McNicol, John Lynch, and the setting is an area quite familiar to me, the environs of Los Angeles, California.

And yes, there is a Bo and there is a café but there’s also a bar and Steven’s life is greatly impacted by a guy who smokes, so the Shack-bashers who are now predisposed to despise anything from Windblown will have something to work with.  (see: Sarcasm)  The theme this time around however is marriage, family and our need as humans — including Christians — to come to terms with who we are and build in controls against the knee-jerk reactions we have when someone — especially a spouse — pushes our buttons.

Therefore, don’t look for a fictional treatment on the nature of God this time around.  Bo’s is so much about marriage, I suspect it will land on a lot of bookstore shelves next to Fireproof. In a way, the two form a perfect set.

Like Shack, this title uses what might be termed Socratic dialog (Br.: dialogue) named after the didactic writing in The Republic of Plato. Conversation that teaches.    Words that cut to the heart of issues; our issues.   There was one part, early on in reading, that I wondered if they had pushed that agenda too much to the forefront; if the book was too preachy.   But the moment passed, and I settled in to find out what was in store both for the quirkly characters and for Steven, who I truly believe represents you and I.

The book has another similarity to Shack inasmuch as I think it will attract more male readers than one normally expects with Christian fiction.   Steve is helped greatly by Andy, a guy who just turns up in his life, which will also remind readers of Dinner With A Perfect Stranger by David Gregory, The Noticer by Andy Andrews, and Windblown’s other fiction title, So You Don’t Want To Go To Church Anymore by Jake Colsen (the pseudonym of Wayne Jacobsen and Dave Coleman).   Those books all scored high with male readers as well.

The book has several messages, and I’m sure other reviewers will have a different take on this; but my personal revelation in reading was that personal change takes place over time, not overnight.   Like Shack, this book is expected to score some sales in the general market, as well as the Christian market, and very appropriately Steven Kerner’s faith and belief in God is like a soundtrack running softly in the background, not something that’s in your face awkwardly on occasions the writers feel the need to ‘say something religious.’

This is a book that will save lives.   Marriages in particular.   This is a book that couples should read.   (We both finished within days of each other.)   Days later, I found myself on a website where the blogger was lamenting the lack of someone to talk with.   The book inspired me to suggest that a listening ear is not too far away.  You just have to be looking, to be open, or even to ask, “Do you know someone who is known to be a really good listener?”

This book shows the power of a good listening ear. We all need someone like that.

Comments:  This book review has been tagged ‘The Shack,’ but it’s not the forum for Shack-bashing and such comments will be deleted.   On the other hand if there’s something in this post you want to discuss, feel free.


  1. I know someone will ask, so here’s the source of the Divorce Lawyer business card:

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — September 14, 2009 @ 4:26 pm

  2. Me again. Two comments on my own post. That’s a record. Anyway…

    Some of the blogging review programs also require that you place a review on a retail site. For the record, Windblown Media didn’t request this. I can’t bring myself to do it for A*m*z*n, but I don’t mind shilling for CBD (!) if it means some people will read the book.

    But “cut and paste” doesn’t always cut it, so I wrote something a little more concise.

    If you’ve ever been in a discussion with your spouse which, out of nowhere, escalated into a major war, this book will resonate with you. Steven Kerner, the lead character, is given to what can only be described as serial rage.

    A stranger at a bar named Andy slowly earns the right to speak into his life, and it turns out that Andy himself is being mentored in this by someone at another establishment, Bo’s Cafe.

    Like the book The Shack — also published by Windblown — this one uses a fictional story and the inclusion of much dialog as a form of teaching. The encounters with a stranger are reminiscent of books by David Gregory, Andy Andrews and Jake Colsen; but more than anything else the book evokes concepts and themes that are familiar to readers of Fireproof. Personally, I see this and Fireproof as forming a set!

    The book will also connect with non-Christian readers, and unlike most Christian fiction, it is a book that men can relate to. It might even inspire you to reach out to someone you know who needs encouragement and direction.

    Comment by paulthinkingoutloud — September 14, 2009 @ 5:11 pm

  3. First let me compliment you on an extremely well written review! Seriously, it said just enough and said it well.

    I was never a Shack basher and consider the author clever (as in a dove among snakes) He has a ready audience because he has figured out how to write truth in a way that people will feel comfortable with. Looks like a book I should read1

    Comment by Cynthia — September 15, 2009 @ 12:26 pm

  4. […] For Bo’s Café, here’s my recent review from September 14, 2009. […]

    Pingback by The Misunderstood God Revisited « Thinking Out Loud — October 4, 2010 @ 9:58 am

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