Overview "We live in a squat. We don't know squat. We don't have squat. We don't do squat. We don't give a squat. People say we're not worth squat." In the shadow of Wall Street's wealth, homeless people with names like Squid, Saw, and Bonehead live in abandoned buildings known as "squats" where life is hand to mouth, where fear and violence fester. The light in Squid's obsessive-compulsive mind's eye is Rachel, a loving soup kitchen missionary who tells him about faith and unfaith, hypocrisy and justice, the character of God and finding identity in Him. And in the wild twenty-four-hour passage of literary time that is Squat, Squid begins to believe that his life may actually amount to something
Awards and Recognitions Squat by Taylor Field has received the following awards and recognitions -
ForeWord Book of the Year Award - 2006 Honorable Mention - Religious Fiction category
Citations And Professional Reviews Squat by Taylor Field has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
Publishers Weekly - 07/31/2006 page 53
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Studio: B&H Publishing Group
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 8.06" Width: 5.04" Height: 0.64" Weight: 0.55 lbs.
Release Date Sep 1, 2006
Publisher Broadman And Holman
ISBN 0805432922 ISBN13 9780805432923
Availability 0 units.
More About Taylor Field
Taylor Field is anything but ordinary. For the last 25 years he has served as the pastor-director of Graffiti Community Ministries in New York City where he has been recognized for his church and community ministry. Working with more than 10,000 people a year, Graffiti Community Ministries serves and empowers children, youth, and adults on the Lower East Side of Manhattan. He works together with his wife, Susan Field. Taylor has a PhD from Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary and an MDiv from Princeton Seminary. Taylor has written five books, including Squat. He has two married children who are both working in ministry in New York City.
Taylor Field currently resides in New York City, in the state of New York. Taylor Field was born in 1954.
I am not typically a big fan of Christian fiction. Too many insanely perfect people, implausible situations, and impossibly happy endings. I like fiction that rings true, not trite. That's why I am impressed with Squat. First, Field writes from his experience-- one who has lived and ministered among the homeless for a long time. The book reflects the reality of homeless life lived up close. Second, Field knows the pain of the street and is not afraid to share it with the reader. It is that pain which makes us hurt and empathize. Finally, it rings true. It tells a gritty story in a way that is plausible and engaging. It's a great read.
Good Characters, a Good Read Nov 11, 2006
"We live in a squat. We don't know squat. We don't have squat. We don't do squat. We don't give a squat. People say we're not worth squat." In the shadow of Wall Street's wealth, homeless people with names like Squid, Saw, and Bonehead live in abandoned buildings known as "squats" where life is hand to mouth, where fear and violence fester. One of these people is Squid, an obsessive compulsive young man who has escaped normal society to live among the homeless. Squat follows a 24 hour period of his life in which he deals with the boredom and terror of living on the streets, wanders, begs, fights for his life and learns who are his true friends and who are not.
Squat is Taylor Field's first novel. Field was worked since the mid 80's in New York's inner city where he pastors East Seventh Baptist Church and Graffiti Community Ministries. Working in that environment, he is clearly familiar with the people he writes about. The book has an authenticity that surely cannot be duplicated by those who have never experienced such poverty, such disillusionment. It presents a world that is worlds apart from mine.
I find that a lot of Christian novels are really not a whole lot different from other novels, just that relationships are consummated not by sex but by a Christian conversion. Many novels read like any other novel but with a thin veneer of religion forced into it. Squat does not read like this but is, in many ways, a statement about people who are driven to live on the streets, the conditions that put them there, and the conditions that keep them there. Field presents both people who are there by circumstances outside their control and people who are there by consequence of their own poor decisions. There is much for Christians to think about.
Fields crafts interesting characters and characters you'll find that you care about. While the characters are a far cry from ones I'd be likely to bump into in my life circumstances, they are intriguing and interesting. Squat was an enjoyable read and one I'd be happy to recommend to others.
An Edgy Story! Oct 11, 2006
An edgy story which I personally love! A quick read, this book is wonderful . . . a story where the hopeless find hope! The author knows insides of the world. HIs characters are so well developed that you feel like they're people you'll know and they haunt you long after you've put down the book. I felt myself falling apart like Squid. Buy at least ten copies to give all your friends because this author is donating his proceeds to the homeless.
Squat, by Taylor Field Sep 22, 2006
His name is Squid, and for most of his life he's known nothing but poverty and hardship. After fleeing abuse at the hands of his mother's boyfriend, a young boy with undiagnosed obsessive compulsiveness ekes a life out on the streets, finding scraps of joy when and were he can.
Living just blocks away from the wealthy, Squid's life revolves around a goodwill soup kitchen and a wonderful, caring volunteer named Rachel, who constantly harps on him about faith, love, and a God who might actually care about someone like him.
Squid isn't completely alone; though his friends aren't exactly the cream of the crop. Bonehead has just enough marbles to play half a crap-shoot, and Unc specializes in reading classic literature, getting drunk, and taking devious delight in attacking the faith of those who help him.
In many real ways, Squid is alone - bereft true friends or true hope for a better life.
Sadly, Squid is also his own worst enemy. When he angers Saw, a ruthless homeless person prone to Satanism, drug trafficking, and coercing "rent" out of fellow squatters, even what little he has is in jeopardy. As he races frantically from day to day, he's pushed to the edges of desperation - wondering if there was a God, why would he allow such bad things to happen?
Squat is a wonderful entry into the world of Christian fiction - edgy, literary, and striking in a way few faith novels are these days. Taylor Fields has clearly spent time ministering and working with the homeless; his narrative and references are authentic, and his characterizations of Squid, Bonehead, and Unc have depth.
Most importantly, there is no "agenda" in this novel. Fields has set out to raise consciousness about the homeless, and the novel is told from the perspective of a homeless person who's never had any reason to trust Christ as his personal savior. There's no quick fix here; no pot of gold at the end of the salvation rainbow; this is life as it is on the streets: gritty, uncompromising, and harsh.
Of particular note is the way Field handles the issue of realistic language and writing a novel of faith. Many Christian novels these days try to depict rough, harsh characters in an effort to be more relevant and realistic, but they are faced with the usual conundrum: how to do this without swearing and using profanity, which even the most liberal Christian wishes to avoid?
Usually what happens is the insertion of the infamous "substitute words" - dang, heck, shucks, goldarn - which are considered safe, of course, but still ring untrue in the ears of some readers, because quite honestly: these are the words of Opie or Richie Cunningham, not hardened crack users living on the streets.
What Fields does is something other Christian writers should try more often: concentrate on writing as people really speak, keep the profane words out, without using substitute words at all. There is no profanity in Squat, very few - if any - substitute words, and the dialogue of the characters still rings true to ear.
Also impressive - Field has `put his money where his mouth is', so to speak: all the proceeds of this book will be going to Graffiti Community Ministries, Inc, a street-ministering organization in Manhattan, NY.
I loved this book. Mostly for it's ability to make me examine myself, and identify parts of myself that are a bit of Squid, Bonehead, Unc, Jason and Rachel. I hope that can make me kinder to my neighbor, slower to judge, and quicker to love.