Monday, December 16, 2013

Bookshelf: Matthew Paul Turner's Hear No Evil

Matthew Paul Turner has released books that do revolutionize  a way that many people have perceived Christianity, and others who have felt a bit of an outcast from the world because they've not fallen into the American idea of it. While there are some things I agree with him on, and other things I don't, this book can at least get me on the same page with him. I grew up through some of my middle school years, and high school years with a passion for the Christian music scene, but somewhere in college began listening to music outside of that label. I'm glad that I did as well before reading this book because many parts of this book is a dark look of the world of Christian music.

Summary: Turner grew up in a household where anything that involved percussion or electric instruments was banned. Over time though as he grew up, and got out he discovered a lot more music, and the impacts it can all have on people. Turner shares his experience with the Christian music industry while working at CCM, his years at a Christian music oriented college in Tennessee, and his current stance with music and worship.

Characters: Matthew Paul Turner usually comes off pretty likable in his book to me. He's a guy who has experienced much the same things I did growing up in a Christian home, but thankfully most are more nostalgic than something has scarred me. It seems that Turner still gets along with his parents despite the fact their views shifted apart. Turner really is the main person in the novel, with other people that he encountered in life that impacted his view on music. He begins the story with a guy he meets a coffee shop who seems to remind him of his days working in CCM because the guy seems completely oblivious of what it will be like to work in the Christian music industry, which as any other industry still revolves around the want to make money.

Writing: Turner is one of the few writers to get me to really laughing out loud when I'm reading. He weaves in moments that are pretty funny, but I think people will have had to experience some of what he is saying to laugh. Also, some moments are more touching than others as well. He gets really serious in this book, and balances it well with the more funny writing that he is capable of as well. Thankfully, Turner also keeps the book brief as you can only expand this topic so much.

Plot: It's a little bit difficult to write a summary for this book as the stories vary chapter from chapter, but they all involve the consistent theme of music. With each chapter you see how some genre of music has had an impact on him, and even inspired him to try to become the next Michael Jackson of Christian music. I think what makes Turner story as interesting as it is, is because he is honest about where he's been, the music he's been into (even if considered embarrassing), and some sad results of faith trying to be forced into music for the sake of money. I'm just glad I still wasn't listening to Christian music hard core when I read this because I think some of the things that Turner reveals about the industry would be devastating to a hardcore fan.

Hear No Evil isn't going to appeal to though who are really conservative about their their music. He never really takes up any beef against any particular music in general, but the tone he has is very sarcastic sometimes, so how he writes can come off pretentious. Otherwise, I found him to have moments to relate to and that were insightful.

Rating 9 of 10.

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