3 out of 4 stars
Share This Review
Abner Kincaid is a priest – or at least he used to be. That’s not stopping him from seeking out female companionship and get-rich-quick opportunities, though. In fact, his status as a masquerading priest gives him the idea to open up a phony Christian-themed body-building course on his father’s dilapidated old farm. However, the farm – and his life – quickly spiral out of control and Kincaid is forced to confront the demons he’s been harboring since the Vietnam War.
Build Six-pack Abdominals Jesus’s Way by Scott Mendelson is a unique take on a coming-of-age novel (if 59 years old can be considered “of age”). I was interested in reviewing this book because I thought it sounded humorous; the title alone promises irreverence. I found that this book is not quite a comedy, though. The characters think up some crazy schemes and have some sarcastic banter, but this serves the unveiling of the characters personalities more than to garner laughs from the readers. Rather, the primary focus of the book is Kincaid’s growth and maturity as he faces his inner struggles. To be honest, I found certain chapters to be more depressing than anything else.
My favorite part of the book is the close friendship Kincaid has with his war-time friend George Granger. Even though both men suffered emotional turmoil in the years after the war, they now have a dependent and intimate relationship with each other. It’s refreshing to see a sweet relationship between two straight men in our hyper-macho culture.
One complaint I have about Build Six-pack Abdominals Jesus’s Way is an inconsistency in the narration style. The narration is limited third-person point-of-view following Kincaid for the majority of the book. There are a few instances where the perspective shifts and follows Granger or other characters, though, and these deviations seem odd and are a little jarring.
I also noticed that the story is not very realistic, particularly in regards to how most of the side characters interact with Kincaid. The medical staff does not act at all professional; in fact, most of the side characters seem to be antagonistic to Kincaid, even when they have no reason to be. I think this unrealistic quality holds the book back from being considered higher level literature. However, this quality might also make the book more appealing to a wider range of readers. Ridiculous interactions with other characters can allow the story to explore Kincaid's emotional challenges and victories while still retaining its entertainment value.
I give Build Six-pack Abdominals Jesus’s Way 3 out of 4 stars. I liked the story from beginning to end overall, but I found several typos. These typos snagged my attention and pulled me out of the story each time they appeared. I thought that an additional editorial comb-through would be beneficial. I recommend Build Six-pack Abdominals Jesus’s Way to readers interested in stories featuring antiheroes or those who appreciate sarcasm and irreverence.
Build Six-pack Abdominals Jesus’s Way
View: on Bookshelves | on Amazon
Like gaporter's review? Post a comment saying so!