|Reading Notes (11/11/09)|
|Written by Peter J. Leithart|
|Wednesday, 11 November 2009 11:04|
Dean Koontz’s Relentless (Bantam, 2009) is refreshingly anti-PC. The protagonist’s in-laws (the Booms) are demolition experts and survivalists with food and guns stored away in an underground shelter, and the villain, Shearman Waxx, is a hoity book reviewer who terrorizes the novelist hero, “Cubby” Greenwich, his wife Penny, their astonishingly precocious son Milo, and the family dog, Lassie. Waxx is as scary as the double “x” of his surname suggests.
As the book progresses, it dawns on you that Relentless doesn’t just happen to be anti-PC. It’s about political correctness, and the danger that bullying intellectual elites pose to civilization and humanity. Alongside their stock of assault rifles, the Boom’s place is lined with shelves full of classics of Western literature. The nuts, the home schoolers, the gun owners, the religious wackos, Koontz tells us, are the ones who are going to save civilization. Like they did last time civilization collapsed, and the time before that.
Koontz’s plot disintegrates in the final chapters, but until then it’s the kind of book that keeps you up and night and wakes you up early in the morning. Mix that with nods to O’Connor and Chesterton, and the product is several cuts about the typical bestseller.
Painter Makoto Fujimura was born in the
In the aftermath of September 11, he and another artist organized their studio – three blocks from Ground Zero – into TriBeCa Temporary, an “oasis of collaboration by Ground Zero artists.” Many of the beautifully written pieces in the collection reflect on the role of artists, and specifically of Christian artists, in times of national crisis: How does a Christian artist provide glimpses of the city of
Filled with reproductions of Fujimura’s own work, as well as that of fellow artists, refractions is lovely to look at. It’s a book to read slowly, to savor.
Pacifists and just warriors have been going at it for centuries, and whatever the balance of the debate, it seems that the pacifists have scored an important PR victory: They look more like Jesus.
That’s partly the fault of just war theorists, argues Daniel M. Bell, Jr., in Just War and Christian Discipleship (
Drawing on Augustine and medieval theologians,
|Last Updated on Friday, 13 November 2009 11:00|