Caught in the Winds:
A new student
at an evangelical college
comes of age
by encountering his deepest aspirations
by L. D. WENZEL
Oct 2010, 330 pages – self-published
Received for free by the author
MY THOUGHTS ABOUT THIS BOOK
My thoughts are really divided about this book.
I think the concept was good, as the author pictures a young student trying to sort it all: he is at a crossroad in his life, with his new student life; with his relationships with new girls he meets on campus; his family background was rather confusing as for religious choices, and he has to face that and make his own choice; and he has to make a stand as for his philosophical positions, which will translate in the life he will eventually choose.
It was interesting to get Wenzel’s version of parabolic figures of bad and evil, though to be honest CS Lewis and Tolkien do a much better job.
I enjoyed some religious and philosophical debates in there, while finding Descartes’s character presented too much as a demonic caricature, but what can I tell you, I’m French, and we can’t but like some of his systematic turn of thought.
If you are a reader starting at college, in the US, I’m sure this book will resonate a lot with you, and it may even help you to think deeper about your own personal choices, and what stands behind them: will you follow your “good angels” or easily follow the suggestions of some evil force that promise you to succeed in life, whatever may be the price?
Well, my first college year is way way back, and my student life was in France, so no College life actually; I didn’t even attend university per se, as I prepared this tough top school. So there was room for nothing but books and studies. Morrie’s studies seem to be something totally marginal in this book, and that troubled me: is this really how a typical American student live his/her college years?
Also, is there really that type of political/power struggle on a regular American campus?
I listened recently to an interview of the author of The Girl Who Fell From The Sky. It was enlightening to hear her explain the process of book birth giving, how her editor helped her amend her texts over and over again, and even delete over 100 pages of her first original draft. I believe that Wenzel’s book would have benefited much by going through such a process: it is definitely too long (though you know 400-500 page long books don’t scare me), some conversations could be much tighter, more to the point.
But again, if you are yourself at the beginning of your college life, struggling with figuring where you fit in, and what to do with your religious belief and unbelief, you may very well enjoy this book.
WHAT IS IT ABOUT
Morrie Schiller is a new philosophy student at an evangelical college in the Midwest. Try though he may, he just doesn’t fit into the Christian campus scene. The girl he loves sees him only as a ‘brother’, and he’s in the crossfire as religious extremists rage against the school. Add to the mix, he’s haunted by an obsession to become a Roman Catholic. Enter Jack Joplin, a mysterious stranger, offering a “new” philosophy, promising to ‘transcend’ religious conventionality. Morrie accepts and is catapulted into adventures that go beyond his wildest dreams. Time was when Morrie only wanted to meet a nice Christian girl and settle down as an ordinary evangelical. However, the Socratic dictum: ‘Know Thyself’ seems to be his sacred calling. Spiritual maturity comes only by passing through the refiner’s fire. [Goodreads]
You can watch the book trailer here.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Here is L.D. Wenzel’s self-presentation:
I am a writer with an evangelical background who writes literary fiction about people in religious settings. My passions are philosophical and I love expressing my own religious experience in post modern settings.
This novel has been several decades in the making and is a labor of love. Among my literary heroes are John Updike, Dostoyevsky, Flannery O’Connor, and Herman Hesse.
I am an American presently living in Norway. I grew up in the Mid-west and attended Wheaton College where I majored in philosophy. I am also interested in painting. [Amazon]
REVIEWS BY OTHERS
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WITH THE SAME TYPE OF SETTING?
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