Official Review: The Last Man at the Inn

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kdstrack
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Official Review: The Last Man at the Inn

Post by kdstrack » 09 Dec 2019, 23:34

[Following is an official OnlineBookClub.org review of "The Last Man at the Inn" by R. William Bennett.]
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4 out of 4 stars
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The Last Man At The Inn: One Man’s Quest to Believe by R. William Bennett takes place in Bethlehem, the city of David. It tells the story of Simon, a merchant who acquired the last room available in town during the time of the Roman census. Simon followed the life of Jesus from his birth to his resurrection. As he learned more about this man who was changing everything, Simon realized his need to confront his confusion, sadness, anger and hurt.

Simon had just secured lodging in Bethlehem when a young couple arrived at the door right behind him. The woman was pregnant. Simon debated giving up his comfortable room but convinced himself that he deserved it. Later that night, he went out for a walk. He came to a cave where shepherds had gathered around a newborn baby. It was the same woman who had been at the door of the inn. People began saying that this baby was a king. As time went by, people started following this teacher and repeating his teachings. Even Simon’s family became followers of this Jesus!

Simon struggled with the things he heard about this new teacher. He watched the members of his family grow in faith. He had many questions about the Holy Ghost. Could all this talk about miracles, healings, and people being brought back to life be true? Could Simon receive this same joy after the way he had treated the child’s parents?

I enjoyed this unique presentation of the well-known birth of Jesus in Bethlehem and appreciated the author’s faithful recounting of biblical facts. This original narrative of the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem would appeal to those who are familiar with and believe what the Bible teaches about Jesus as the Savior of the world. Many readers will be able to empathize with Simon’s spiritual struggle as he asks: Is there truly forgiveness for all my sins? Why don’t I feel joy? Simon’s spiritual journey helps us understand that not all people grow and mature spiritually at the same pace. People who are not believers could also enjoy this story, as it would help them gain a deeper understanding of the believer’s hope and source of faith. Readers who are opposed to any type of embellishment of biblical stories would, most likely, be opposed to this type of narrative.

The story is told from Simon’s perspective. Readers are aware that this is the traditional Christmas narrative, but the unique point of view brings new life to the story. It was interesting to observe this Jewish man questioning the facts and trying to overcome his guilt and doubts. Simon re-examined his own lack of faith while he puzzled over the changes he observed in his family and acquaintances. Numerous secondary characters contributed to Simon’s search for the truth as tension grew between Simon and the family members who had becomes followers of the rabbi.

The only dislike I have is that the author did not include any biblical references. There are several quotations from Isaiah and one relating to the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal. I would have preferred to have the Biblical references to these stories. These specific references could be inserted as footnotes. This would enable readers to verify and study these additional stories that the author has incorporated into the account.

I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. The author took an old story and made it new. The character development, dialogues, and descriptions of the setting added to the enjoyment of the story. It is a relatively short book of only 197 pages. The text is well edited, as I only found three errors. This is a captivating way to enjoy the Christmas story in a new light.

******
The Last Man at the Inn
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Post by Ambivani » 10 Dec 2019, 18:25

I empathize a lot with this book, simon reminds me of my niece, which had similar feelings through her faith. I Rate this book *4 out of 4*

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Post by Cecilia_L » 10 Dec 2019, 21:48

The story is told from Simon’s perspective. Readers are aware that this is the traditional Christmas narrative, but the unique point of view brings new life to the story. It was interesting to observe this Jewish man questioning the facts and trying to overcome his guilt and doubts. Simon re-examined his own lack of faith while he puzzled over the changes he observed in his family and acquaintances.
I love the sound of this--thanks for the recommendation and another excellent review!

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Post by ButterscotchCherrie » 11 Dec 2019, 04:20

I love imaginative takes on well-known stories! Someone must have got that last room! Thanks for an enlightening review.

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Post by Tomah » 11 Dec 2019, 09:53

It's an interesting premise, but the subject matter doesn't interest me that much. Still, thanks for the review!

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Post by kdstrack » 12 Dec 2019, 21:49

Ambivani wrote: ↑
10 Dec 2019, 18:25
I empathize a lot with this book, simon reminds me of my niece, which had similar feelings through her faith. I Rate this book *4 out of 4*
I think many people will be able to empathize with Simon. Thanks for commenting!

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Post by kdstrack » 12 Dec 2019, 21:50

Cecilia_L wrote: ↑
10 Dec 2019, 21:48
The story is told from Simon’s perspective. Readers are aware that this is the traditional Christmas narrative, but the unique point of view brings new life to the story. It was interesting to observe this Jewish man questioning the facts and trying to overcome his guilt and doubts. Simon re-examined his own lack of faith while he puzzled over the changes he observed in his family and acquaintances.
I love the sound of this--thanks for the recommendation and another excellent review!
Thanks so much for the encouraging words! This was a wonderful book to read - the perfect book for getting ready for the Christmas season:)

kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 12 Dec 2019, 21:57

ButterscotchCherrie wrote: ↑
11 Dec 2019, 04:20
I love imaginative takes on well-known stories! Someone must have got that last room! Thanks for an enlightening review.
Did you ever think of that before seeing this title? I love being able to see something old through new eyes. This author did a great job of making the reader consider the Christmas story in a new way. I appreciate your comments. Thanks!

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Post by kdstrack » 12 Dec 2019, 21:58

Tomah wrote: ↑
11 Dec 2019, 09:53
It's an interesting premise, but the subject matter doesn't interest me that much. Still, thanks for the review!
Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I appreciate your time and efforts! Thanks.

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Post by Cecilia_L » 13 Dec 2019, 17:48

kdstrack wrote: ↑
12 Dec 2019, 21:50
Cecilia_L wrote: ↑
10 Dec 2019, 21:48
The story is told from Simon’s perspective. Readers are aware that this is the traditional Christmas narrative, but the unique point of view brings new life to the story. It was interesting to observe this Jewish man questioning the facts and trying to overcome his guilt and doubts. Simon re-examined his own lack of faith while he puzzled over the changes he observed in his family and acquaintances.
I love the sound of this--thanks for the recommendation and another excellent review!
Thanks so much for the encouraging words! This was a wonderful book to read - the perfect book for getting ready for the Christmas season:)
I just responded to your comment on my review BEFORE reading your response here. When I saw that we wrote the same response word-for-word, I just had to stop back by. :lol2:

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Post by kdstrack » 13 Dec 2019, 18:30

Cecilia_L wrote: ↑
13 Dec 2019, 17:48
kdstrack wrote: ↑
12 Dec 2019, 21:50
Cecilia_L wrote: ↑
10 Dec 2019, 21:48


I love the sound of this--thanks for the recommendation and another excellent review!
Thanks so much for the encouraging words! This was a wonderful book to read - the perfect book for getting ready for the Christmas season:)
I just responded to your comment on my review BEFORE reading your response here. When I saw that we wrote the same response word-for-word, I just had to stop back by. :lol2:
You know what they say about great minds!!

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Post by Cotwani » 14 Dec 2019, 17:07

Imagine how boring christmas carols would have been had Simon given the couple his room! I mean, nothing to sing about the manger!

It sounds interesting to follow Simon's journey of faith. Thanks for your thorough review.
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Post by kandscreeley » 14 Dec 2019, 18:46

I love stories like this that are kind of one off. It still tells a Bible story but from a unique perspective. This is going on my list! Thanks for a great review.
Good books, like good friends, are few and chosen; the more select, the more enjoyable.
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kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 14 Dec 2019, 19:00

Cotwani wrote: ↑
14 Dec 2019, 17:07
Imagine how boring christmas carols would have been had Simon given the couple his room! I mean, nothing to sing about the manger!

It sounds interesting to follow Simon's journey of faith. Thanks for your thorough review.
Isn't it great how slight change of perspective can make us think of the story in a different way? If Simon had given up his room - you're right - all our Christmas carols would be different!! I appreciate your insightful comment!

kdstrack
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Post by kdstrack » 14 Dec 2019, 22:50

kandscreeley wrote: ↑
14 Dec 2019, 18:46
I love stories like this that are kind of one off. It still tells a Bible story but from a unique perspective. This is going on my list! Thanks for a great review.
This is what I liked about this book. The author was also faithful to the facts but makes you look at the story with new eyes. It makes you hear, "There was no room in the inn" in a whole different way! Hope you enjoy the book. Thanks so much for your encouraging comments!

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