Reviews - What do customers think about Danny Gospel?
Seeking the Kingdom in the Midst of Great Sorrow Dec 13, 2009
Danny Gospel is heroic and foolish and struggling to do God's will while being normal and happy. The story he tells is full of all the elements that his grandmother calls up in her history of the Gospel family, especially in having their full share of suffering.
Athey has created a character, Danny Gospel, who lives in a world that most call dreamlike. In fact, some say that he is crazy. His life seems to be a patchwork of one parable after another as he seeks God despite many tragedies that have befallen his family and him personally. At times it can be somewhat difficult to discern when Danny has fallen into a daydream and when he is reporting reality, however, if the reader is prepared to drift along in Danny's world there is a great deal of insight to be found. For instance, one might begin by remembering that "Gospel" means "Good News." Or perhaps one would begin by remembering that Daniel was a prophet who spoke to angels and this character is named Danny. Even if one cares to look no further than the surface there is a great deal to be gleaned about seeking God in our lives from this novel.
One could also look at this as a cautionary tale of those who spend so much time looking for clues to God's plan that they forget the best way to do his will is by living in God's plan. In other words, life is what happens while we are living it ... and most of the time no amount of head scratching can see God's plan as clearly as Danny strives to. I am not criticizing the book or character here but that element spoke quite strongly to me as I have seen several friends put themselves through a considerable amount of mental anguish while trying to "discern." Most of the time it is in the little quirks of life and "happenstance" that God's will for us unfolds and this is something that we can also take from this book.
I must admit that I was so surprised by the ending that I read it three times to make sure I had all the details. I then pondered this book for several days. It is an unusual book that can make me do such a thing. What I concluded was that the author is conveying a story of salvation and redemption, of God's refusal to give up on us, and of the power of love.
I must also mention that in looking around the internet at other reviews I found a certain subset of readers who were baffled and dismayed by Athey's free-flowing style. Perhaps it is the great amount of science fiction that I have read, but being plunged into the midst of a story like this is a familiar experience. I am used to having to float and pick up contextual information while getting one's bearings. It is not that the author does not give us a framework, but that the protagonist is rather free-form in his own life and mind. In any event, if you give it some time then it becomes simple to adjust to it.
Good (as in "okay") Jun 14, 2009
I enjoy Christian fiction, but I felt David Athey left much to be desired with Danny Gospel. There was nothing glaringly terrible about the book, and to its credit, I was mildly entertained and it kept my interest through to the end. The problems I have with the book are that the character development was disappointingly slacking, the writing style was not particularly inventive, and the plot was a little murky in spots. Some of the plot (especially nearing the end) was creative, but a bit awkward in its telling. I think David Athey had a good idea, but I have a hard time believing with all the contemporary writers of today, that this is as outstanding as some of the reviewers have made it out to be. Maybe we've been exposed to different literature, but this one gets 3 and a half stars in my book, worth reading, but certainly nothing outstanding.
With a title like "Danny Gospel," it's hard not to pre-judge this novel. I expected something tame, maybe preachy, but at the insistence of a friend decided to give it a shot. The first ten to fifteen pages moved from flashbacks to dream sequences to modern life, and I wondered how much more I could take.
And then something happened: little "Danny Gospel" took on full-fledged life through the hands of this talented author.
Danny, I came to find out, is the younger surviving brother of a gospel-singing family turned upside down by tragedy. He's a mailman. A jilted boyfriend. A boy trying to become a man, while also trying to find his place in a mixed-up world. Ill-prepared for life outside the church circles, he nonetheless manages to survive on a heart of gold and an understanding of God's love.
The story is one of road trips, salvation, suffering, and the longing for something more, something deeper. With glimpses of pathos and understated wisdom, this narrative sparkles and moves along quickly. Soon, you can't help but cheer for odd but likable Danny, as he finds himself on the run toward new horizons and the home that seems lost forever.
If you sing your life.... Apr 18, 2009
A wondrous tale of the life and times of a young man searching for the tempting and ever elusive `normal, happy life'. C. S. Lewis once said "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." Danny Gospel is a book worth reading again and again. I imagine many Christians yearn to view life as Danny Gospel did.
Danny Gospel is the name given to the main character by those who had heard him sing with his family in years ago. He is a mail carrier in a small Iowa town with strong faith, believing the unbelievable and quick to notice the miracles (signs and wonders) that occur every day in the lives of each of us.
He begins his journey after receiving a kiss in a vision prompting him to seek out the "normal, happy life'. He encounters many colorful characters which hearken thoughts and recollections of his life from blissful childhood to the rude awakening of the loss of all his family members, save one - his brother Jonathan.
So refreshing were the colorful characters, the vivid landscape descriptions, and the spirited dialogue that I found myself still thinking of this story long after I finished the book. Extremely well written, the author touches on relationship nuances that you do not find in many novels. These nuances, expressed at times in lyrics hymns and poems, stir the reader to nostalgia and wonder.
As you read through Danny Gospel's memories, you will encounter love, romance, yearning, sadness, grief, loss, and tragedy and find yourself in the end reading of redemption and reconciliation.
This book goes in my `secret stash` of books where I can return to it time and again.
Gina Hendrix Vessel Project Book Reviewer http://vesselproject.blogspot.com
Compelling and Beautiful Story of Love Dec 19, 2008
Danny Gospel is a beautiful and wild love story. Told through the eyes of 25 year old Danny, who has suffered tragic losses and is dealing with grief and death all around him, this story draws the reader in and compels the reader to keep reading.
Danny himself reminded me a bit of St. Francis of Assisi. Danny's a sort of fool for God, singing and fasting, loving and trying to do God's will. The religious part of the story, I thought, was really well done, not preachy, not pushy, just there as a natural element in the work. But just as many were and are drawn to the simplicity and wonder of St. Francis, so many will be drawn to Danny Gospel.
Danny Gospel deals with death and loss in a real way. Danny Gospel's entire story is of real encounters with people: friends, brother, neighbors and strangers who help Danny become the loving person he is, and safely see him beyond his tragedies into new life, friendships, forgiveness, and love.
Danny Gospel is an emotional story. Danny feels deeply, loves strongly, prays quietly and acts firmly on the promptings of the spirit. His seemingly simple manner will engage your heart, and you'll find yourself in Danny Gospel.