Review of The Call by Derald Hamilton
The author does a decent job of weaving an interesting tale. Most of the characters are fairly well developed, though there are so many of them I found myself pausing to remember just who was being referred to. The story reminds one that priests and pastors are people too .. human and imperfect, though we hold them to such higher standards.
I found the early storyline confusing and not entirely plausible.
The first section deals with the main character, Ishmael’s childhood. He was a stout nonbeliever in God. His mother was religious enough to give her sons biblical names though she never went to church or taught them about God. Periodically Ishmael would ask his mother about certain religious aspects and attended a youth group because of a girl that he had the hots for. His senior thesis in college had a religious aspect to it as well. The reader is lead to believe that Ishmael has no religious aspirations at all until suddenly he receives The Call and heads off to seminary school. If this was a biography I would assume that there probably was more to the story that just didn’t make it into the book, but it is a work of fiction.
Seminary school is where the idea of fallibility in the clergy is really brought home. From the faculty to the students, most have issues of one form or another, and there aren’t many likeable characters at all.
There are some proofreading issues, places where words are missing or extra words left in, and a few times where subject and verb tense (s) do not match. However, if you are looking for a quick read and aren’t afraid of facing religion from time to time, this is a good book to pick up.