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|Tribulation Force: The Continuing Drama of Those Left Behind
by Tim F. LaHaye & Jerry B. Jenkins
Published by Tyndale House Publishers, 1996
Amazon.com: hardcover, paperback, large print, audio cassette, audio CD
Amazon.ca: hardcover, paperback, audio CD, audio cassette
Amazon.co.uk: hardcover, paperback, large print
Christianbook.com: hardcover, paperback, large print, audio cassette, audio CD
Recommended by: Ronald B. Oakes
The second book in the series begun with Left Behind. This continues the story through the next few months as the Tribulation begins.
There is also a radio dramatisation available. Check the Audio page for details.
I didn't exactly like Left Behind, but I could see past its various shortcomings and see, to a certain extent, why some people find it so compelling. Unfortunately, Tribulation Force is so determinedly silly that I lost all patience with it. In fact, the authors lost me completely when one character is face-to-face with the man he knows is the antichrist, and they write, "But Chloe was the object of his attention, and he realised that God had planted these thoughts to help him resist the hypnotic, persuasive power of Nicolae Carpathia." (p. 129) (I should probably explain that the reason they lost me at this point is that men tend to have opposite illusions about women. Some men see women as temptresses and the cause of temptation and sin. Other men tend to see women as the source of all good. The first kind are likely to believe the view lampooned by Mike Warnke when he said, "It was a chick that got us into all this trouble!" The second kind are likely to believe that, after "sowing their wild oats" for a while, all they need to do is marry the right girl and their lives will be all straightened out. The first kind refuse to take responsibility for their own vice, and the second kind refuse to take responsibility for their own virtue. But more seriously, the way to deal with a time of extreme temptation isn't to focus on somebody who isn't quite as bad as you are, but to focus on Christ Himself. It takes God extraordinary measures to get us to turn from distractions, however good in and of themselves, which keep us from Him, so I simply cannot accept God using just such a distraction, instead of His own presence, to preserve somebody in a time of trial.) After this point, every time I was asked to believe something ludicrous like seeing a Boeing 757 as a step up from a 747, or to accept a character acting completely out of character for the sake of moving the plot along, or dragging out a single (not especially important) day for several chapters, while jumping over 18 months in a chapter break, I simply wasn't willing to go along any more. It got just plain tedious as the antichrist goes through piddling little manipulations in the lives of people he has no reason to have an interest in, when what was really going on was the authors wanting to put a viewpoint character into a particular situation. Greg Slade (April, 2000)
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