Reality and Other Stories

Stories have a way of catching your attention, drawing you in and helping you explore another world. Not only that but stories have the ability to shape the way you think, the way you understand and see the world around you. Stories are a powerful way to share the gospel, but also, as this book does, to help you understand the gospel better.

In this little book (135 pages) Dray and Lillicrap take Christopher Booker’s seven basic plots and help you think about Jesus’ life as told in Luke’s Gospel and how that relates to you and the stories that you love. The seven plots and seven chapters are;

  1. Overcoming the monster
  2. Rags to riches
  3. The quest
  4. Voyage and return
  5. Tragedy
  6. Comedy
  7. Rebirth

I must confess that I was skeptical when I received this book. I’m not someone who enjoys reading fictional stories, or who can escape in a different world of stories like some can. Nevertheless, I was pleasantly surprised. Dray and Lillicrap do a good job of interweaving illustrations and other stories through this little book to help the reader see that ultimately the gospel is the thing that fulfils each of the plots lines and story types.

Each chapter is a story itself as you’re taken from a well-known story, to the principle (or type of story), then to the Gospel of Luke and the life of Jesus and then it’s applied to the reader. Each chapter is a bit of a journey, and a good one!

Who is this book for? I would say it’s a good giveaway to someone who loves to read stories and maybe wants to investigate the Christian faith in a different way, through the lens of their love of stories. It would also be helpful for Christians who want to think more about how they can intentionally share Jesus by interacting with well-known, and less well-known, stories. This book will introduce you to Jesus, wether for the first time, or the millionth time.

2 small criticisms, that aren’t actually the fault of the authors;

  1. The book is a little flimsy
    It appears that the book has been produced quite cheap, maybe to sell it at a cheaper rate and get it out to more people (which I’m a fan of). But I’ve had it in my jacket pocket for a week and it’s a bit tattered.
  2. The cover isn’t inviting
    With the content of stories, adventures and our lives today, I was hoping for a more thrilling cover that would invite the reader to pick it up. I don’t find the cover particularly thrilling. But you’ve heard it said “don’t judge a book by its cover”.

Get your copy here for just £6.99* and let me know what you think. It could be a helpful wee Christmas gift if you’re looking for one.

*** I received a copy of this book from the authors in exchange for honest reviews. This does not change the way I rate the book. My views are my own. ***

*This was the price when this blog post was first published in November 2022

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