Why do we expect more than one terrific book from a writer? Isn’t one superb book enough? Razzing Frank McCourt for making cheerful, thin books that aren’t Angela’s Ashes and ragging Ken Kesey for all the later muck that wasn’t One Flew over the Cuckoo’s Nest—isn’t that unfair?
Humans are, at heart, creatures of denial. We crave stability and strive to hold on to the familiar. When our established notions are threatened, it is far easier to deny the challenge than to rearrange the way we conceive of the world.
Walter Wangerin has written many beloved books, but perhaps none more affecting than this one. It’s a very personal story, wracked with love and regret for his son Matthew. He has shared some of the writing with Matthew himself.
Recently I browsed the front end of the religion section in my neighborhood bookstore, and I found dozens of Bibles: teen Bibles, “practical” Bibles, a travel Bible, a “businessman’s” Bible, Bibles narrated by great actors and captured on CD.