Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page 49.
- Review Date: 2007-11-26
- Reviewer: Staff
With the Bible in hand, Jacobs sets off to spend a year attempting to follow the innumerous laws of Scripture in order to achieve the supposed claim of fundamentalists who say the Bible should be taken literally. Many obstacles stand in the way of this Jewish Manhattan father with a wife expecting twins by year's end. Through his journey, Jacobs does experience a spiritual awakening of sorts that reminds him of the importance of religion. He also reveals the scriptural selectiveness practiced by even the most zealous fundamentalists. While the abridgment generally works in providing listeners with the highlights of Jacobs's year, there are times when it seems to refer to material not covered in the audio. Sometimes too, the entries are too abrupt or trimmed. Jacobs reads the audiobook with adequate tone, speed and emphasis. While his soft nasal voice isn't particularly compelling, what he has to say about his adventures in living biblically will certainly keep people listening. Simultaneous release with the S&S hardcover (Reviews, June 25). (Oct.)
By the Book
The Year of Living Biblically: One Man's Humble Quest to Follow the Bible as Literally as Possible, written and read by A.J. Jacobs, is a charmer for all seasons, and an offbeat delight. The sheer numbers would put most of us off, big-time365 days, 24/7, following a list of 700 laws from both the New and Old Testaments that go way beyond loving thy neighbor. It leads to hilarity and real introspection, a road trip to communities that take the Bible literally and myriad unexpected encounters and challenges that make Jacobsand, perhaps, his audio audiencerethink everyday life. Go forth and listen!