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“The Final Summit”—Book review

The_Final_Summit_by_Andy_AndrewsHere’s what I count on from Andy Andrew novels:

  • inspirational message
  • good morals
  • clean language
  • historical facts
  • a touch of southern flavor

The Final Summit meets all these requirements. Andrews begins by picking up where he left off in The Traveler’s Gift (you don’t have to read it first, but it’ll help you understand the Seven Decisions). The main character David Ponder is now aged and perplexed about his purpose.

So Gabriel (yes, the archangel) whisks away David—representative of “common man”—into a spiritual realm to solve “the world’s most pressing need,” with help from an eclectic group of resurrected historical figures, including Winston Churchill, King David, Eric Erickson, Abraham Lincoln, George Washington Carver, and a tip of the houndstooth hat to Bear Bryant (Andrews must be a University of Alabama fan). 

When the old football coach held up four fingers and smiled, David laughed out loud and returned the thumbs-up. David knew the coach was telling him to stay strong—that the fourth quarter was his!

These gather at the summit to collaborate on an answer to Gabriel’s question. They share interesting dialogue, reflecting their respective eras and contributions to society. The novel centers on their ideas/words more than straight action (which keeps my attention just as well).

[Lincoln] answered slowly. “It is astonishing with how little wisdom mankind allows itself to be governed.”
   “That is because it requires wisdom to recognize wisdom,” Winston said sharply. “The music means nothing if the audience is deaf.”

…Lincoln said, casting his eyes upward as if searching his memory. “When there are those who disagree with us, it takes courage, certainly, to stand up and speak. But it also takes courage to sit down and listen.”

Overall, The Final Summit is a worthwhile fiction read, not for its literary value or presentation of anything particularly new or its implied theology (I disagree in several spots) or because I got it free from Thomas Nelson!, but because it delivers a moral message in an interesting, entertaining, and educational story.

Classic Andy Andrews.

“Success begins,” [Wilma Rudolph] said, “the moment we understand that success in anything is about beginning! Do something now!”

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Nikole Hahn said...

I enjoyed it. What did you disagree with out of curiosity?

Lisa notes... said...

Two things in particular bothered me a little:

1. I felt he placed too much emphasis on man's ability to save the world when Jesus has already done that. God’s sovereignty didn’t come into play. And the "final answer" wasn't particularly the one I would have chosen. ;-)

2. This passage made me uncomfortable, as if we may barely squeeze into heaven instead of resting in the full assurance we’ve been given:

While she was out of earshot, David whispered irritably to Franklin, “What in the hell are they arguing about?” The statesman peered over the top of his eyeglasses. “First of all,” Franklin said, “don’t curse. And especially not with that word. Not here.” He smiled. “Many of us made it in by the skin of our teeth—a decision at the last moment—and would rather not be reminded of how close we came to the alternate destination.”

However, I do realize it's just a work of fiction, and he wasn’t writing overtly from a Christian perspective (although other religions might disagree). So I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from reading the book because of that.

Overall I still say it is a good book and far better than many other works of fiction that are out there! :-)


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