August 7, 2011

40 by Travis Thrasher

40 is a Christian spiritual fiction.

Tyler Harrison is a music producer who has just been told that he will die on his 40th birthday.  He was raised as a Christian in a religiously stern house, however, he no longer practices nor believes in God.

Tyler has issues with his father, who believes his son is a failure.  He has issues with work, his musicians never wish to show up for their sessions and his love life is void of life.

After seeing some terrifying hallucinations, Tyler thinks he is going crazy.  He tries to explain things to his friends and co-workers, but they don't get it and make light of the events that are occurring.  When Tyler agrees to go to the Lollapalooza concert, as part of his work assignment, it is there that he meets Matthew.

Matthew tells Tyler that in less than nine months he will be dead.  It is now time to listen to the messages being shared and to learn from them.  However, Tyler doesn't understand anything that is occurring and sends Matthew away.  Before he leaves, he shows Tyler many ways in which he would have already been dead, if it wasn't for Matthew's interventions over the years.

Tyler goes into denial over the message that he has been shared.  He ignores the attempts at putting his life in order and teams up with a DJ named Ellis who takes Tyler on a whirlwind of temptations and immoral conducts.  For a while Tyler is caught up in this wild freak ride until he meets Pastor Will, who helps Tyler come to terms with his fears, his confusion and his life.

I thought this was a rather dull book.  It started out great, caught my attention but then it pilfered out around the time that Tyler meets Matthew.  Up to that point, there seemed to be meaning in the story and then the rest of the book drags on with mostly thoughts and ramblings of Tyler.  I was hoping for more from this aspect of the book and expected a decent ending, but the ending was flat.

I didn't like the fact that there were expletives involved with this book, for a Christian read, I'm sure another way could have been used for the characters to express themselves.  It just didn't work for me.  I was also unimpressed with the disjointed thoughts shared with Tyler and the reader.  Some of them didn't make any sense nor did they ever tie in with the rest of the story.

I didn't mind that it was written in first person, I kind of enjoy that and was impressed that it stayed in first person throughout the story, sometimes authors switch from first to third, but this wasn't the case.  I found Travis likeable but I couldn't feel his plight, he didn't endear himself to me.  As well, the editing was sufficient and didn't detract from the story.

I did like the references to bands, musicians and such that Travis quite often discussed.  I liked his music list and the reasons why the songs were there and the underlying message was okay, but not enough for this reader to say this was a great read.

I had heard much on Travis Thrasher and was expecting a bit more from this.

Nine months shy of his 40th birthday, freelance music producer Tyler Harrison has started to experience horrific hallucinations. At first, he thinks it's just the stress of his job, but the hallucinations continue until they culminate at the three-day concert in Chicago, Lollapalloza, which he is covering for work. There he is approached by an older man who tells him that he's going to die on his fortieth birthday.

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