Book Talk: The Bible Salesman by Clyde Edgerton

by Kelsey Norwood

in Making Good

the bible salesman clyde edgertonThe Bible Salesman is an interesting story about Henry Dampier, a young Bible salesman who accepts a job as an FBI agent, only he’s really working as a car thief. The story is about Henry and his boss, Preston Clearwater, and their adventures in the car thief business.

Here’s what I didn’t care for: The author jumps back and forth, telling the story of Henry’s life at different periods in time, which I don’t particularly like because as soon as I get really interested in what’s going on, the story changes and I have to start all over again with the characters and sub plots – it’s distracting and kills the build up. Reading about Henry’s past was interesting, but I didn’t think it was particularly relevant to the story. Knowing about his childhood didn’t help me better understand the main plot.

Also, I am not a fan of smut in my books, so the short but mildly erotic love scene between Henry and his fruit stand lover, Marleen, was disappointing.  The majority of modern/contemporary novels include somewhat graphic descriptions of scenes like this one, and I appreciate an author who can write a compelling and enjoyable story without including the smut. A reader can know what’s happening without having to read the details, and I wish more authors, if they absolutely have to include the bedroom scene, would just let people read between the lines.

Other than that, I did enjoy the story and getting to know the characters. Preston Clearwater was sly, smooth, and convincing, but also a demon. I loved Henry Dampier’s innocence, desire to do the right things (sort of), and I enjoyed the parts describing Henry’s dealings in the Bible selling business. The author captured the time period beautifully – I believed the setting and the characters in it.Overall an interesting story with a few bothersome elements. I would give this book 2.5 / 5 stars. If you’ve read it, let me know what you thought!

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

1 Lorie September 29, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I have not read it, but it sounds interesting. I will have to add that to the list of books to read when I am out of books to read!!

I can never think of anything when I go to the library! So it is good to have a list for when I am not looking for a specific book. And even at only 2.5 stars it is better than nothing!

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