More reviews. . .
"A truly riveting, consistently entertaining, and deftly crafted read from beginning to end, Gideon: The Sound and the Glory reveals Joseph Ganci as a master of the biblically-based historical fiction genre. This is one of those rare novels that will linger in mind and memory long after the book itself has been finished and set back upon the shelf. While very highly recommended, especially for community library collections."
"In GIDEON: THE SOUND AND THE GLORY, Joseph Ganci effectively transports the reader back to the Old Testament era, where violence of the most extreme sort by the Israelites was sanctified by God."
"Joseph Ganci's novel takes on the character of the reluctant and self-deprecating warrior Gideon who, as instructed by Yahweh, freed the ungrateful, idol-worshipping Israelites from their seven-year servitude to the Midian Empire. Rejecting their offer to be their king, Gideon instead presided over the Israelites as a judge. Upon his death, however, the Israelites proved themselves unworthy again as they returned to idol worship.
One of the reasons even secularists prefer the New Testament to the Old was the former's gentle, non-violent message (Thomas Jefferson, an atheist, cut out the sections of the Bible dealing with such themes and stuck them on his wall). 'Turn the other cheek' is the phrase that sums up the New Testament best. The phrase that sums up the violent, vengeful, angry, prejudicial (only Israelites are the "chosen of God) tone of the Old Testament would be 'God is on our side, and because of that we can commit horrifying murders.' This tone would be the main reason the Jewish establishment, trapped in Old Testament mode, rejected Jesus as the Son of God because he came as a lamb and not a lion.
"Ganci perfectly captures the era of the Old Testament, where Israelite women hammered tent pegs through the skulls of sleeping enemies and near genocide was visited upon unbelievers by God- directed armies. It is clear he knows his subject, and the inner monologues of his characters ring true. An example of which is the Israelite Heber's thoughts regarding the martial law imposed on him by the Midianites: 'Heber could feel the road to Mount Tabor trembling under the pounding stride of so many soldiers, and he looked to the skies that had filled with dark clouds as the tears of heaven also gathered.'
"But for those who are not devout believers in Yahweh, and thus don't subscribe to the notion present even today in Israel that the Jews are the chosen of God, Ganci has selected a perfect figure that has a universal appeal: that of the reluctant and self-deprecating warrior doubting his destiny. From Spartacus to George Washington to the cinema image of Humphrey Bogart, the theme of a figure denying God or fate choosing him for greatness, and would rather sit destiny out, democratizes them for audiences, who may secretly feel that destiny might very well select them no matter what their station in life.
"The character of Gideon may have pioneered this reluctant figure, and this very reluctance is a nice set-up for what is to follow. Having garnered this appeal, the figure can engage in the most brutal of violence because God or destiny, or in the case of Lenin, History, is on their side. But even more so for Gideon, as it apparent to his foot soldiers that God is directing Gideon when Yahweh reduces Gideon's assembled army to a mere 300 against the much larger numbers of the Midian Empire. Ganci doesn't dilate as much on the famous 'battle by Trumpet' that expels Israel's conquerors. Instead he strikes a tragic note, as upon Gideon's death, after ruling over the Israelites for decades as a judge, the Israelites return immediately to worshipping idols.
"Ganci concludes with the biblical character David taking up the baton to once again free the Israelite's. Ganci is clearly a believer, and knows the Old Testament well, a section of the Bible many religious scholars view as the most complex and opaque. Nevertheless, he has pulled off the feat of making this era understandable to modern readers by using the universal theme of the leader initially feeling himself unworthy when destiny calls."
"Barak's chances of winning the battle of Mount Tabor were slim, very slim. Back in the middle of the 12th century BCE, the Midian Empire with its far larger and stronger army would surely whip the Israelite forces. Then, divine intervention for the worshipers of Adonai, the one God: a mega-storm suddenly appears on the horizon, torrential rain churns up the dusty plain. The idol-worshiping Sisera's horse-drawn chariots are stuck in the mud and vanquished.
"Ganci's retelling of the biblical Book of Judges is a page-turner. Generals and kings highlighted in the book's five sections leap off the pages of the Old Testament, usually acknowledged as a collection of rules and extraordinarily long lists of names.
"While the author's forward suggests the realm of science-fiction, within a handful of pages the saga's origin is revealed. After Barak's demise, his successor, Gideon, the title's namesake, takes on leadership of the Israelites. Gideon is a complex character. Physically almost a head and shoulders higher than the other 'pesky Israelites,' (Joseph Ganci has a wonderful turn of phrase), he is humble and lacks self-confidence,characteristics which enhance his appeal. Hopefully it is not sacrilegious to compare him with Kirk Douglas in his heyday. He falls deeply in love with Drumah, despite being forbidden to consort with a daughter of the Canaanite enemy. After he 'harvest[s] the fruit of her passion' and she spends time hidden in a cave, eventually the rules are bent and she becomes his concubine.
"Gideon's strength and reputation swell until, when he dies, he is mourned by his seventy sons. Abimelech takes the reins. He is emphatically not a chip off the old block, a thoroughly nasty bit of work who kills all but his youngest brother (who escapes) and tries to unite in one kingdom both the idol-worshipers and the Israelites, an absolute travesty.
"This is ancient history from a twenty-first century perspective. And it works! Once Abimelech is decapitated, the story accelerates. Further intrigue culminates with the leadership of Eli, the young high priest, who takes the reader from the final pages of the Book of Judges to the first Book of Samuel."
"Warriors and violent battles are present throughout Biblical times and beyond. Fueled by hatred of other tribes, the struggles for land, treasure, and resources permeate the landscape. The warrior Barak wages a vicious battle to take the village of Ophrah. With a little help from a female warrior named Jael, the tide of the battle turns. He is successful, but casualties are many. The casualties include the brothers of Gideon, a smart, unassuming woodcutter. Nothing much is expected of him; he is married to a woman who his father picked out. He is enamored of a young woman he encounters in his village named Drumah. She is set to be sacrificed to the God Baal. Gideon is visited by an Angel with a message from God. Gideon destroys the altar and saves Drumah from certain death. Gideon is chosen to fight for the Israelites. Gideon assumes command of his fellow people in battles against the people from the East such as the Midianites, who have fought for land in many pitched battles. Gideon is motivated by his brothers' brutal deaths. He fights despite hunger and refuses help from cowering tribes. Gideon and his rag-tag group emerge victorious in their skirmishes. He takes vengeance on those who refused to help, emerging as a hero in his village. He takes Drumah as his concubine, along with many women he saved as well as widowed. He also sires many offspring, but his victory comes at a price that will echo throughout the coming years and decades with the Ephod of Gold. The worship of a new idol curses the family of Gideon, where one son engages in tyrannical rule. The son's reign is typified by fear and power plays which include the wholesale slaughter of many brothers. By the time of the emergence of the underdog David, will the curse of this idol be broken?
"Gideon: The Sound and the Glory is a vivid and violent take on the religious strife that spanned the BC era. Greed, paranoia, jealousy, and lust are the overwhelming characteristics running through the veins of the men who highlight this book. Violence is seen as a necessary means to an end, whether in war or in power-grabs. The false idol that is worshiped only brings about doom and destruction to the worshiper. An interesting historical fiction read that will make a companion read to the Bible. A-!"
"I have just finished reading your book minutes ago, and my first impression was to pick it back up and read it again. It read like a Harry Potter novel."
"Get transported into the very midst of ancient concert an unsung heroes of the Old Testament."
"A Biblical texts made vividly alive."
"This is a very interesting elaboration of sections of the Bible."
"Looking for an action packed story? Look no more and download Gideon the Sound and the Glory."
"Just the review and this book sounds amazing already I look forward to reading it."
"Great book regarding biblical historical fiction for those who are fans or are just curious about the story of Gideon."
"This book was glorious - congratulations on book of the day."
"Such wonderful Bible stories told in a great, great way."
"I knew by the title that I would enjoy this one. The review was well-written and made me want to read it. I enjoy historical fiction and especially Biblical themes. I look forward to reading this one."
"I think it's the best thing bringing to life the Bible characters and stories. I liked how the writer makes it so easy to read and understand. The book was edited well."
"This story is crafted to give the readers a better understanding of the book of Judges in the Bible because there is some information in this book which is not found in the bible. The readers will find the characters lovable especially Gideon. The narration is easy to follow that even the young adults will love to read."
"The cover and title of this book are enticing. I was attracted towards it, because I like reading such books which use tales and stories from scriptures and formulate them in a new way. I haven't heard of Gideon before, so it is a bit intriguing for me. After reading the official review, I was pretty sure about checking it out. After the sample, I am ready to see where this book leads."
"I love the cover and the sample. It's well written, strong and professionally edited. Historical fiction always works and the added biblical factor makes it even more interesting. I will be reading this book."
"I saw the name 'Gideon ' and just 'can't help falling in love' with the book. Yes, it's a must-read with or without the sample. As a lover of both historical fiction and the Bible, it feels like a double package. No errors jumped out of the pages at me. The positivity of the OBC review was more fuel to this raging inferno within me."
"Historical and biblical books are always inspirational and a great way to learn from old times I must read."
"I cannot miss reading this historical fiction and biblical story about Gideon."
"The fact that most characters and stories in the book are so much more expounded than the ones in the Bible just excites me. I'm in for this."
"A book that I will recommend to all my Bookworm friends fascinating story of Gideon that warmed the hearts of all Bible readers, perfect!"
"AWSOME BOOK! This story the must-read! I hope to see this story made into a movie."
"The story of Bible Gideon made for an insightful and exciting historical fiction novel a well-deserved 4 out of 4 on online book club."
"Gideon is an expressively written story on an epic subject matter that will capture your heart deeply."
"Ganci has drafted an intriguing Gideon with a compelling story and lovable characters."
"You had me at; unsung heroes and murderous villains!"
"A captivating book about a notable character (Gideon) in the Bible this book tells more than what's obtainable in the Bible awesome!"