Thursday, February 16, 2017

The Dog Who Was There by Ron Marasco

The Dog Who was There
by Ron Marasco  
Biblical Fiction
Thomas Nelson

No one expected Barley to have an encounter with the Messiah. He was homeless, hungry, and struggling to survive in first century Jerusalem. Most surprisingly, he was a dog. But through Barley's eyes, the story of a teacher from Galilee comes alive in a way we've never experienced before.
Barley's story begins in the home of a compassionate woodcarver and his wife who find Barley as an abandoned, nearly-drowned pup. Tales of a special teacher from Galilee are reaching their tiny village, but when life suddenly changes again for Barley, he carries the lessons of forgiveness and love out of the woodcarver's home and through the dangerous roads of Roman occupied Judea.
On the outskirts of Jerusalem, Barley meets a homeless man and petty criminal named Samid. Together, Barley and his unlikely new master experience fresh struggles and new revelations. Soon Barley is swept up into the current of history, culminating in an unforgettable encounter with the truest master of all as he bears witness to the greatest story ever told.

 Meet the Author
Ron Marasco is a professor in the College of Communication and Fine Arts at Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles. His first book, Notes to an Actor, was named by the American Library Association an Outstanding Book of 2008. His second book, About Grief, has been translated into multiple languages, and he is currently completing a book on Shakespeare's sonnets. He has acted extensively on TV-from Lost to West Wing to Entourage to originating the role of Mr. Casper on Freaks and Geeks---and appeared opposite screen legend Kirk Douglas in the movie Illusion, for which he also wrote the screenplay.  Most recently, he has played the recurring role of Judge Grove on Major Crimes. He has a BA from Fordham at Lincoln Center and an MA and Ph. D. from UCLA.

Here's my review of this engaging novel:

First, I would like to extend a heartfelt “Thank you” to Ron Marasco and his publisher for sending me a copy of "The Dog Who Was There" to review for them. I am truly grateful for this generosity. I really appreciate the time, effort and expense it takes to make a reviewer copy available to me.

“The Dog Who Was There” by Ron Marasco is a unique historical fiction novel about the ministry of Jesus of Nazareth from the perspective of a dog named Barley.  I was drawn to the story because of the unique perspective and because I am a dog lover.  It was definitely a different kind of story because of that.

I’ve enjoyed books like “A Dog’s Purpose”, so I liked the point of view of the book.  I’ve studied the Biblical gospels for many years and was looking forward to a new angle to view these passages of Scripture from.  I suppose I enjoyed how Marasco built Barley’s character.  I just expected Jesus to show up much sooner in the story than He did.  I know the title indicates that the dog is the main character, so it’s my own fault that the book didn’t live up to my unrealistic expectations.

That said, this is a well written and engaging story.  It’s an enjoyable book with good lessons for our lives with the bonus of Jesus being one of the characters.  I definitely recommend this book.

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