Official Review: Satan and Me and OBE by Bob Dowell

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MsTri
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Official Review: Satan and Me and OBE by Bob Dowell

Post by MsTri » 21 Apr 2018, 15:13

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "Satan and Me and OBE" by Bob Dowell.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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Sometimes when I'm strolling through my Facebook stream, I come across a post that asks, "If you could sit down and have a conversation with anyone, dead or alive, who would you pick?" I have my faves (Michael Jackson and Albert Einstein, for instance), but funnily enough, I have never picked the devil. In his book, Satan and Me and OBE; An Out-of-Body Experience, author Bob Dowell tells of his real-life conversation with the Big Bad, and I don't mean the wolf!

At the age of twelve, shortly after foregoing an opportunity to go to the altar and give his life over to Christ, Mr. Dowell had his first out-out-body experience. This occasion led to his initial, harrowing experience with the devil. Satan told Bob that his soul was his and that it always would be. Shortly after awakening, Mr. Dowell became saved and never turned away from his walk. Still, his experience nagged him for the next 58 years, and he wished to speak with the devil again, this time as a knowledgeable Christian. At the age of seventy, he got his wish and, following another OBE, he had a prolonged discourse with Satan. It is this discussion that comprises most of the tome.

As a staunch Christian, I rely on the Holy Bible as my human instruction manual. Still, I have to admit that I do sometimes find the reading a little dry, so I love spiritually-based books that elaborate on things in the Word. It was with much excitement, therefore, that I selected this tome to review. In this book, we get to read Satan's take on such things as the war in Heaven, why he tempted Eve, and why he actually thinks he's winning the current war (for souls). So as to keep things in an orderly fashion, the tome is split into sections paralleling the Bible, focusing on events before the Bible begins, the Old Testament, the New Testament, and Revelations.

I was fascinated from the first sentence and spent much of my reading time on the edge of my seat. Even though I know the Word pretty well, I couldn't wait to see what Satan would say about certain things. I was especially interested in his filling in the blanks in some Biblical stories. In this embodiment, he was funnier and much more interesting than I thought he would be. In fact, I daresay that this version of Satan could also be called "Satin" because he was so smooth. I therefore questioned the validity of the author's story. Then it occurred to me that since the the devil comes to us as attractive and desirable, thereby making sin seem fun, his characterization made sense. Even so, I had to laugh at some of the things that he said and some of the ways in which he justified his behavior (he liked to use the word "spin" a lot). Also, since he is the father of lying, I took much of what Satan had to say with a giant spoon of salt. For his part, the author did a great job explaining the Christian side of things without sounding preachy, even though Satan would often accuse him of "sermonizing". I really liked the author's casual writing style and felt more like I was eavesdropping than reading a book, which is just what one wants in this type of tale.

As much as I loved this book, there were a few things that irritated me. For one, I would liked to have had some kind of description of Satan's physical form. While I'm guessing that he wasn't red with horns, a forked tail, and a pitchfork, I also really wanted to know if he still looked like an angel or just a human or even something else. I figure that Mr. Dowell left such details out because the book is more about the devil's words than his looks, but I still wanted to know.

The other things that irritated me were found in the technical aspects. Even though there were a few grammatical errors, mostly in punctuation, with the occasional missed word, I was so into the reading that I had to go back and look for them. One thing that bothered me more was a negative result of writing primarily in conversation style. I sometimes got lost as to who was speaking and had to go back a paragraph or two to figure it out. The parts in question were mostly just sentences that recapped what happened in the Bible, but it still would have been nice to know right off who was talking. At the same time, though, I do realize that too many "he said" and "I said" precursors would have been laborious. Another personal pet peeve was the author's failure to capitalize "Heaven" and "He/Him/His" when it pertained to God. While not technically wrong, it really messed with my sensibilities.

If we could give half stars, I would give Satan and Me and OBE three-and-one-half but since I cannot, I'll round up and go with 4 out of 4 stars; the quibbles I had were more about my personal preferences than real errors, so there's no need to penalize the author by downgrading my score. I wholeheartedly recommend this tome for Christian readers as well as readers who like witty repartee with some debate thrown in. Readers of other faiths may also find it an interesting read, but since it's based on the Holy Bible, those of other faiths may not agree with some ideas that are put forth. Finally, if you've ever been troubled by a little devil on one shoulder and an angel on the other, this tale may be for you.

******
Satan and Me and OBE
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Post by stacie k » 23 Apr 2018, 00:29

Great review! I like your comment about feeling like you were eavesdropping rather than reading a book. I wasn’t sure how to feel about a book about conversations with Satan, but your review eases some of my hesitation. Thank you for sharing your thoughts!
“The tongue of the wise makes knowledge acceptable.” Proverbs 15:2a

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Post by kandscreeley » 23 Apr 2018, 07:26

I'm still unsure about this book. I guess it could be likened to C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters which I have read. So, I guess there's nothing really wrong with it. It just gives me this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I do appreciate your review, though. It sounds like a very interesting and enlightening book, so I think I'm going to have to reconsider it.
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Post by Sahani Nimandra » 23 Apr 2018, 09:52

Thanks for the detailed review. I honestly have this book when it became the BOTD once. I was so fascinated with the idea of Satan's conversation. I really like to know what he said. Too bad the style is dry though. I have the book but I did not read it yet. Thanks Ms.Tri!
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Post by teacherjh » 23 Apr 2018, 11:30

I read the first few pages of this book when it was on the Daily Giveaway. I was also reminded of The Screwtape Letters and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I may put it on my 'want to read' list.

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Post by cpru68 » 23 Apr 2018, 15:21

I have this one downloaded on my Kindle ready to be read at some point when I can. When I brought up my concerns on Twitter the day that the book was book of the day, the author told me to read it and all of my questions would be answered. Like you, I don't believe that satan would be able to speak one sentence of truth, so how would we know whether it was fiction or fact. However, I am still interested in reading it. I laughed so hard when you said 'satin'. That is a very good description of the evil one. I love that the author was told he was 'too preachy." Ha! Now, that would be something satan would say. Thank you for this fun review. Kind of a crazy sounding book, but why not? Right? I probably have read worse things.
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Post by Kat Berg » 23 Apr 2018, 15:27

kandscreeley wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 07:26
I'm still unsure about this book. I guess it could be likened to C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters which I have read. So, I guess there's nothing really wrong with it. It just gives me this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I do appreciate your review, though. It sounds like a very interesting and enlightening book, so I think I'm going to have to reconsider it.

I'm with kandscreely here, I am unsure about this book. I read another review on this, and I am more likely to read it based on your review, but still...But I really appreciate your review :)

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Post by kandscreeley » 23 Apr 2018, 15:41

Kat Berg wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 15:27
kandscreeley wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 07:26
I'm still unsure about this book. I guess it could be likened to C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters which I have read. So, I guess there's nothing really wrong with it. It just gives me this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I do appreciate your review, though. It sounds like a very interesting and enlightening book, so I think I'm going to have to reconsider it.

I'm with kandscreely here, I am unsure about this book. I read another review on this, and I am more likely to read it based on your review, but still...But I really appreciate your review :)
I agree with that. I'm more likely to read it based on your review. But... still unsure. Hey Kat, if you decide to read it, let me know what you think! :)
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Post by MsTri » 23 Apr 2018, 18:03

@stacie k, @kandscreeley, @Sahani Nimandra, @teacherjh, Thanks so much for your comments; I know this kind of book is not everybody's cup of tea.

Kat Berg wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 15:27
kandscreeley wrote:
23 Apr 2018, 07:26
I'm still unsure about this book. I guess it could be likened to C.S. Lewis's Screwtape Letters which I have read. So, I guess there's nothing really wrong with it. It just gives me this weird feeling in the pit of my stomach. I do appreciate your review, though. It sounds like a very interesting and enlightening book, so I think I'm going to have to reconsider it.
I'm with kandscreely here, I am unsure about this book. I read another review on this, and I am more likely to read it based on your review, but still...But I really appreciate your review :)

That is SO funny because I also remember reading a previous review on this book, so I kept it in mind; when I saw the book on the list, I reread the review and couldn't okay it quick enough, so that one was pretty convincing for me! I'm glad to know that my review had a similar effect on you. :-)

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Post by cristinaro » 24 Apr 2018, 07:18

I remember when this book was BOTD and I read a sample. Back then, I have reached the conclusion the book was actually more of a subtle irony targeting what the author calls "the scripture-imagination based Satan". I dare say he goes as far as considering Satan merely a product of people's imagination as he compares Satan in the Bible with Satan in Milton's Paradise Lost or Dante's Divine Comedy. What Bob Dowell actually does is practically rewriting Christopher Marlowe's Dr. Faustus and pretending he did not allow himself be lured by the devil. Anyway, you definitely enjoyed the book. I appreciate your honesty about having so many unanswered questions about the Holy Bible and being eager to discover more. Thank you for a very detailed and entertaining review!
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Post by Mildred Tabitha » 24 Apr 2018, 11:10

I appreciate your review for this book. To be honest, I saw it as BOTD last week and I was happy about it but I had to put it aside instead of actually wanting to read it. I have nothing against the author or the book but I can't seem to find any interest in reading conversations with Saturn. Maybe one day I will change my mind and I am glad your review has made me know what to expect.
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Post by Oduntayo » 25 Apr 2018, 04:21

What a great fantastic true about the author but I find the book interesting reading.

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Post by Lavidainlife » 25 Apr 2018, 14:50

Sounds intriguing. As another person commented, it sounds similar to The Screwtape Letters, which gave me an interesting perspective. I'm always hesitant about these kinds of books, though. Sometimes I think it's better to ignore Satan altogether to avoid stroking his ego. Thanks for a great review!

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Post by crediblereading2 » 26 Apr 2018, 16:07

I am always fascinated by spiritual and supernatural matters. Having a personal interview with the devil who gives his account of the warfare in heaven story, should really be an engrossing experience. Love your review.

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Post by SABRADLEY » 30 Apr 2018, 16:30

Thank you for a thorough review. You made several great observations about how Big Bad comes across to humans, so he probably was incredibly smooth. I'm glad you were able to read this book so subjectively, given your relationship with the Bible. I, too, would be itching for a description of Satan's physical appearance!

Btw-I've seen those "who would you have a conversation with..." polls, too. I always think Jesus and Mother Teresa :)

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