Monday, October 31, 2011

The Final Summit-Andy Andrews

I had trouble categorizing The Final Summit.  It's not non-fiction, because the events contained in the book are obviously not true.  However, it contains many figures from history who were real and true.  It has a small and incomplex plot, but no real conflict.  It has a protagonist, but it doesn't focus much on him.  Some of these may sound like critiques, and they in some ways are-however, they are mostly just my attempts to categorize it.  Which I've decided you can't.  At least, not an any of my usual reading categories.

They story, I said, was simple.  Rather than giving a plot description found on the back cover or online somewhere, I'll just summarize-as you'll find much more about the actual plot from a summary than you will from a description.

To paraphrase the main question the book puts to you, "Find the one principle that will save humanity from the doom it is headed towards and put it back on the path to success."  Vaguely, that is the question that it presented at this 'Summit' of past historical, meaningful, characters that have come together to discuss and decide on said principle.  All these figures have died, except for one.  The leader of the summit who is actually still alive at the present time-David Ponder.  They have an hourglass set to them and they must find this principle in the contained time or suffer the doom of mankind.

I had many problems with the book.  None of which hindered me from enjoying the book, however.  On the purely techincal side of the spectrum, the author made frequent use of italics.  I'm not a fan of italics.  They serve their purpose on rare occasion, but typically it just shows the authors inability to convey emphasis properly and so they resort to a cheaper route.  That was true here, the author using italics nearly every page when it should hardly be once each chapter. But the author one-uped his strange fondess of italics.  Mr. Andrews would place the italics opposite where the italics should be placed.  I found it quite peculair.

Also, the historical characters were all hinted at to be in heaven.  No problem, right?  The problem came when the characters were revealed to be figures that were leaders of historically non-Christian society.  Then, tell me, Mr. Andrews, how is it that Cleopatra was a Christian or a Jew or any kind of follower of the True God?  I'm baffled too.  Nothing wrong with Cleopatra-she was a great leader of her people, but Egypt was a secular society and I don't believe that to be historically or biblically accurate at all.

Now to leave that there, I would be inclined to give this book a two, but as I said earlier, these aren't problems which hinder the reader from actually enjoying the book-however, some, it may hinder them from gaining anything beneficial from the book.

On the front of the book there is a quote from Dave Ramsey that says "Andy Andrews is a life whisperer."  While I'm not completely certain what Mr. Ramsey intends to mean by 'life whisperer' I can honestly say that there are some definite themes in this book.  The Summit goes through several tries to obtain the principle to save humanity, each resulting in great other principles that taken alone, and taken seriously, could make a huge difference in someones life.

It's apparent that the author has done his research on the many characters in this Summit, and there is even a character involved heavily in World War II whose importance in the war was stressed thoroghly.  However, I've never heard of him, and I would venture to guess most others would not recognize him either-however, if you look at the authors note in the back, the author is very clear in that this character does exist.  Phenomenal research went on to bring this character to life from the ashes of history that hardly tells his tale.

Overall, it's personal preference.  If the first things I've mentioned are things that will keep you from enjoying the book, then by no means do not buy the book.  However, if you can get past those issues then you're in for a lovely book.  I give it 4 stars.

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