Monday, October 20, 2008

Book Review

The Prodigal Comes Home, by Michael English with Lynn Vincent.

First, let me say that I never liked his music -- I doubt that I have ever heard a single song of his all the way through. That being said, I was interested in reading his book -- I am a sucker for redemption stories.

In the introduction, he states that this is not an "I'm sorry I had an affair; now please buy my records" book. True enough. But it does at times read like an "I'm sorry I was addicted to prescription painkillers much of my life; now please buy my records" book. He actually covers the affair only briefly. I actually wanted to know more. He spent much more time on his family upbringing, drug addictions, rehabs, arrests, etc ...

I found the book maddening at points. Two specifc times, he uses a one-sentence explanation where I was wanting much more detail. But other parts were terrific, giving insight as to how the christian music industry could make a superstar out of someone whose faith was (by his admission) so shallow.

I don't know what to make of English himself, either. I appreciate the candor he put into parts of the book, but didn't find it candid straight through. And he spends as much time whining about being cut out of the gospel music world as he does admtting to not living right while trying to make various comebacks in that world. Hypocrite? Naive? Maybe just the addictions and insecurities talking? Hard to tell.

The book was frustrating, and the story itself was frustrating. Then again, living the story was more frustrating for English than reading it was for me.

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