Friday, August 12, 2011



Reviews:

Editorial Reviews

Review

Kirkus Reviews, 5/15/11
“The book shines in sections centered on Edith, a ‘life-embracing free spirit’…A consummate memoirist, Schaeffer fills the narrative with interesting anecdotes…The sage conversation on a New York-bound bus with a distraught Asian girl is warmly resonant and a befitting conclusion to…[a] book of ruminations, memories and frustrated opinion.”

Booklist, 5/15/11
“[A] startlingly honest work, which is part memoir and part religious history…Intriguing fare.”
Church of England Newspaper, 5/13/11
“Part memoir, part exploration of evangelical views.”
PoliticusUSA.com, 5/16/11
“A work that alternates from heartwarming to thought provoking to laugh out loud funny…Schaeffer brilliantly guides the reader through an exploration of the Bible’s strange, intolerant, and sometimes frightening attitudes about sex, and how these Biblical teachings, through the evangelical grassroots of the Republican Party, have come to dominate the GOP stance…Schaeffer’s writing style combines intelligence, warmth, humor, depth and insight…Sex, Mom, and God is hands down one of the best non-fiction books of the year.”
Kirkus Reviews (website), 6/1/11
“The memoir, the third and last in Schaeffer’s God trilogy, unfolds in lucid anecdotal excursions probing the chinks that later became gaping holes in the fundamentalist walls that penned him in.”
Internet Review of Books, 6/8/11
“A fond and sometimes hilarious look back at [Schaeffer’s] mother’s child-rearing methods and the effect they had on him…Schaeffer’s journey demonstrates that the world could be a better place if we were all able to reassess our beliefs and values—to examine them closely and glean only those worth saving.”
Library Journal, 6/15/11
“Well worth reading, highly entertaining, and very informative about the recent history of American evangelicalism. It will appeal to readers interested in the world today, memoir, or religion.”
Huffington Post, 6/13/11
“Intelligent and easy to read; it transitions smoothly back and forth between story-telling and point-making prose…In his portrayal of Edith Schaeffer, Frank is able to call out the nuttiness of the religious right and to humanize conservative and Evangelical Christians in the same narrative. It is the deft work of a talented writer practicing his craft…It is a bit of wisdom our entire nation—hell, the whole world—needs to hear.”
RH Reality Check, 6/16/11
“Part memoir, part revelation about Evangelical pathology, and part prescription for theological sanity, the book has much to recommend it.”
Patheos.com, 6/16/11
“Offers an insider's glimpse into how fundamentalism became the dominant voice in the U.S. political area.”
InfoDad.com, 6/16/11
“Frequently entertaining.”
The Humanist, July/August 2011
“[Schaeffer’s] stories aren’t just interesting, they’re also well told…[He] serves up an intriguing combination that’s part sexual memoir and part exposé of religious right extremism. It’s a strange combination to be sure, but in the hands of a gifted wordsmith like Schaeffer it works.”
State of Formation, 6/20/11
“Part memoir, part theology, and part political commentary…An ambitious undertaking. But Sex, Mom, and God did not disappoint. Alternating between laugh-out-loud episodes and poignant reflections, Schaeffer recounts with candor the influence his mother had on both his beliefs and the beliefs of a generation of Evangelicals…His readers—believers and non-believers alike—will be challenged to reconsider their views about politics, sex, and religion.”
The Daily Beast, 6/24/11
“Intriguing…[Schaeffer’s] privileged view of the Christian right’s sexual weirdness makes his account particularly interesting, and helps explain why the aggressively pious so frequently destroy themselves with sex scandals.”

Milwaukee Shepherd-Express, 7/7/11
“[Schaeffer] has grown into rueful middle age with his sense of sarcasm sharpened… Sex, Mom and God dips into the same well as Crazy for Godand draws irony and venom from its depths.”

WomanAroundTown.com, 6/16/11
“By turns biting, funny, and thought provoking.”

Washington Post, 7/10/11
“[Schaeffer’s] memoirs have a way of winning a reader’s friendship…Schaeffer is a good memoirist, smart and often laugh-out-loud funny…Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics…Frank has been straightforward and entertaining in his campaign to right the political wrongs he regrets committing in the 1970s and ’80s…As someone who has made redemption his work, he has, in fact, shown amazing grace.”
Roanoke Times, 7/10/11
“A thought-provoking analysis of the social and religious struggles that continue to define American consciousness…Schaeffer covers a lot of important territory in his book…He provides an insider’s view on the ways America has become fragmented, polarized by various forms of extremism.”

In These Times, August 2011
“An unusual mix—part memoir, part exegesis on Bible-based belief systems, and part prescription for a more compassionate, human-centered politics for both religious and theologically skeptical people. Humor, at times of the laugh-out-loud variety, is abundant. And while readers will likely bristle at some of Schaeffer’s conclusions, his wit, sass and insights make Sex, Mom, & God a valuable and entertaining look at U.S. fundamentalism.”
San Francisco Book Review, 7/20/11
“This memoir/diatribe on organized religion is so shockingly bold and intimately revealing that it will spin your head around whiplash-quick, and cause you to double check to make sure you read the words correctly…Schaeffer comes to a jarring conclusion for fundamentalists, Roman Catholics, Jews, and Muslims alike, that if we don’t set aside our dogma and start making a serious effort at getting along, we will end up destroying ourselves and everything we thought we believed in.”

Product Description

“A penetrating analysis of political extremism, with a moving and at times hilarious account of growing up in one of the Christian right’s most influential families. Few writers command Frank Schaeffer’s intimate understanding of right-wing radicalism, and even fewer are able to share their insight as entertainingly and with as much moral weight as he has in Sex, Mom, and God.”—Max Blumenthal, author of Republican Gomorrah
“Mom was a much nicer person than her God. There are many biblical regulations about everything from beard-trimming to menstruating. Mom worked diligently to recast her personal-hygiene-obsessed God in the best light.”
Alternating between laugh-out-loud scenes from his childhood and acidic ruminations on the present state of an America he and his famous fundamentalist parents helped create, bestselling author Frank Schaeffer asks what the Glenn Becks and the Rush Limbaughs and the paranoid fantasies of the “right-wing echo chamber” are really all about.
Here’s a hint: sex.
The unforgettable central character in Sex, Mom, and God is the author’s far-from-prudish evangelical mother, Edith, who sweetly but bizarrely provides startling juxtapositions of the religious and the sensual thoughout Schaeffer’s childhood. She was, says Frank Schaeffer, “the greatest illustration of the Divine beauty of Paradox I’ve encountered … a fundamentalist living a double life as a lover of beauty who broke all her own judgmental rules in favor of creativity.”

Charlotte Gordon, the award-winning author of Mistress Bradstreet, calls Sex, Mom, and God “a tour de force . . . Sarah Palin, ‘The Family,’ Anne Hutchinson, adultery, abortion, homophobia, Uganda, Ronald Reagan, B. B. King, Billy Graham, Hugh Hefner—it’s all here. This is the kind of book I did not want to end.”


Frank Schaeffer is a survivor of both polio and an evangelical/fundamentalist childhood, an acclaimed writer who overcame severe dyslexia, a home-schooled and self-taught documentary movie director, a feature film director and producer of four low budget Hollywood features Frank has described as “pretty terrible,” and a best selling author of both fiction and nonfiction.

Writing in the Washington Post, Pulitzer Prize winner and novelist Jane Smiley says of Schaeffer’s latest book Sex, Mom, and God: How the Bible's Strange Take on Sex Led to Crazy Politics--and How I Learned to Love Women (and Jesus) Anyway--

Schaeffer is a good memoirist, smart and often laugh-out-loud funny. For those of us not raised in religious homes, he is like a visitor from another planet who marvels at things that we take for granted — like letting children form their own opinions… Frank seems to have been born irreverent, but his memoirs have a serious purpose, and that is to expose the insanity and the corruption of what has become a powerful and frightening force in American politics.”

Frank’s three semi-biographical novels about growing up in a fundamentalist mission: Portofino,Zermatt, Saving Grandma have a worldwide following and have been translated into nine languages.
Frank’s memoir, Crazy for God: How I Grew Up As One of the Elect, Helped Found the Religious Right and Lived to Take All (or Almost All) of It Back has been acclaimed widely. Joel Brown, writes in the Boston Globe (December 18, 2007) “That Crazy for God isn't just another James Frey-style memoir of personal dysfunction becomes clear with the subtitle, it's alternately hilarious and excruciating.”
Jeff Sharlet (a contributing editor of Rolling Stone magazine) reviewed Crazy For God in The New Statesman (Oct 29 2007). He wrote: “Crazy for God is a brilliant book, a portrait of fundamentalism painted in broad strokes with streaks of nuance, the twinned coming-of-age story of Frank and the Christian right.”
Betty Smartt Carter writing in Christianity Today International/Books & Culture magazine (January/February 2008) writes--
So now, this year, comes Crazy for God, an autobiography that's very like Portofino in its tangible beauty and humor, but with more contrition and a little less fiendish lampooning... Schaeffer describes a life that was by turns happy, difficult, idyllic, and completely nuts. Polio and dyslexia seemed like bumps on the road compared to the burden of growing up in a family that set out to save the world one intellectual at a time. If he spares anyone here, it's not himself. And we forgive him for his shortcomings, partly because he's a world-class storyteller... In other words, keep writing books, Frank. You're good at it.”
Frank’s nonfiction also includes the NYT bestseller, Keeping Faith-A Father-Son Story About Love and the United States Marine Corps and AWOL-The Unexcused Absence of America’s Upper Classes From Military Service and How It Hurts Our Country.
Tom Brokaw writes—
AWOL drives home, with hope and respect for our forebears, the need to address the evaporating sense of duty and service to our nation.” Senator John S. McCain writes: “Frank Schaeffer has done our country a great service with the publication of AWOL.”
Frank has written for USA Today, the Washington Post, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Los Angeles Times, the Baltimore Sun and other publications on topics ranging from his critique of American right wing fundamentalism to his experiences as a military parent and novelist and is a regular contributor to the Huffington Post website. He has been a commentator on both NPR’s All Things Considered and for the NEWS HOUR with Jim Lehrer and a frequent guest on C-SPAN Book TV.



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