Dallas Robbins reviewed The Fob Bible in the fall issue of Dialogue last year. Which issue of Dialogue has been hanging around the office waiting for someone not only to appreciate the article, but to actually review the review here. As you can see, we have been a little slow on that point. What with it being fall of this year, now.
Anyway, the review bears certain similarities to another review he wrote for AML though much more in depth and including additional quotations from additional pieces.
The article is “Re-Creating the Bible” (206-211) and, after reminding the reader of the Bible’s central position in Western Literature, begins by admiring The Fob Bible‘s opening pages, including the family tree and title page and the book’s general design. (When a reviewer can even admire the title page, surely we have done something right.)
The book, Robbins claims, has “too many stories to cover in this review, and each one could be discussed in depth” (209). Naturally, that was impossible in the space allotted, but he did find room to compare “How to Get Over It” to The New Yorker‘s “Shouts & Murmers,” thus near-fulfilling a teenage dream for its author. He then moves on to discuss other humorous pieces (“Ezra’s Inbox” by Eric W Jepson and “The Love Song of Eliphaz, Bildad, and Zophar” by Danny Nelson”), before moving into an extended quotation from “Blood-Red Fruit,” co-written by those two.
Which “story is just one of the many beautiful parts of this collection” which “present challenging experiments that remind the reader of what makes the Bible unique. While much religious fiction based on biblical stories tries to water down the inherent strangeness of the Old Testament for the sake of a commercial audience, The Fob Bible foregrounds the strangeness. By juxtaposing the strangeness with various literary forms and contemporary approaches, it creates type of meta-scripture, in which literary truth is exalted over doctrinal correctness” (210-1).
Needless to say, we are honored to have The Fob Bible lauded as having literary merit in any way comparable to that of the single most important literary work in Western history (however! although we agree with his hope that reading our book will send readers back the the Bible Bible, we hope that it will also lead to many copies being purchased for friends and family this coming Christmas).
While Fire in the Pasture and Monsters & Mormons are both about to be released, don’t miss this reminder to remember The Fob Bible, the book without which there would be no Peculiar Pages.
And — also worth remembering! — Plain and Precious Parts of the Fob Bible is still available for free download.
Read Plain and Precious Parts of the Fob Bible online or download an e-book file below.