Thursday, January 22, 2009

Ray Spengler; "Not a Good Time to Die"

What is the worst thing about this book? The fact that the synopsis does no justice to the tale contained within. After reading the back of this book I thought to myself - "dear Lord I really don't want to read this" but once I opened it up and started reading, the book was wonderful. Sure the idea is very similar to the movie "The Butterfly Effect", but the story is different enough that there is very little comparison.

A more accurate summary: Douglas has just lost his wife; Jane, to Cancer... in his grief he considers taking his own life, and suddenly discovers that time has stopped... only its two hours before his wife's death. Now he has the ability to go back in time to different scenes in his life and relive them, can he find a way to save her? Or is there a deeper meaning to this sudden gift of time?

So as a reviewer I'm going to tell you, ignore the cover art which makes this look like a gothic horror - there's no horror here. Ignore the title, which sounds like a James Bond film - there's not much action here. And most of all, Ignore that little blurb on the back of the book that makes this sound like a bad sci-fi channel movie. What you DO have here is a story of a man who is very much in love, trying to go back and right the wrongs of his past, to save life of the woman he loves. As we go back in time with him (he's an old man now) there are 35 years of marriage, ups and downs, joy and pain. The readers relive all of this with him, hoping that this time he'll say the right thing, or make the right choice to change the course... or if nothing else to be a better husband. He never doubted his love for her... but when traveling through your life in high speed... your negatives glare out at you. And maybe this time he can to it? His time is running out, and his options are running thin... why would God give him this gift to relive if it wasn't to save her?

Douglas is a very human character... at times we love him, at times we want to slap the bejeezus out of him. Many times we'll wonder why Jane stayed with him at all. The story is very human... something that perhaps we all wish we could do after the loss of a loved one. For a first time author, this is a very good book. As far as an age rating - this one is not for the kiddies, minor instances of foul language, infidelity, a couple of lives lost, some bad behavior, alcohol abuse, basically think of bad things in your life that you wish you could change, and determine if you want your child reading about it. This book is NOT graphic, but the subject material might offend some parents. Also there are religious themes in this book that may upset non-Christians.
Either way, I recommend reading this book.

4.5 of 5 medallions

Not a Good Time to Die
Ray Spengler
Paperback: 305 pages
Publisher: Infinity Publishing (November 17, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0741449641