~ 13 January 2004 ~

Books That Haunt: Introduction

There are actually some people who think that fiction is a waste of time. Only books that have “real” meaning should be explored, they say, and the wistful realm of the ficticious is merely a chasing after idols. I am not one of those people. I believe that works of fiction—good works, mind you, can indeed convey truth. There are some works that can do it so well that the truth of the work can stay with the reader long after the reading is done.

I’ve read several works of fiction that continue to “haunt” me to this day. I do not mean haunt in the sense of a Stephen King or Anne Rice novel, rather I mean that there are times when I can not stop thinking about the messages and implications of these books—even books I’ve finished years ago.

So, in a veiled attempt to exorcize some of these books that haunt me, I’ll be doing a series in the coming weeks on this blog in which I will share with you some of my hanutings. I intend to give brief reviews of these books, and I’ll be careful to be spoiler-free.

Most of the books that do “haunt” me are novels that have some spiritual or theological dimension to them. They are hardly ever polemical in nature, but they communicate truths by making evident the outworkings of ideas. Though we should never take a work of ficiton as dogma, I believe that fiction is an excellent vehicle for forcing us to grapple with the ultimate questions of life as we see them played out in the lives of the characters.

Stay tuned, because the hauntings will soon begin…

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