Blog Tour—T. L. Hines, Day 3

Yesterday I enjoyed touring—visiting the various blogs featuring T.L. Hines and his debut novel, Waking Lazarus (Bethany, 2006).

Waking Lazarus

While I learned a lot about Tony, I was struck with the fact that I had a somewhat different impression of this book from most of the other reviewers.

I think I’ve already made it clear that I loved the book, as did they, so I’m not talking about the Big Response—more the “why” behind the Big Response.

Publisher’s Weekly said readers would find the story “satisfactorily chilling.” According to Brandilyn Collins, Library Journal mentions “some disturbing scenes of children in peril.” One endorsement says it is “a dark and engrossing thriller …” Another states it is “one part Stephen King …” You get the drift.

My guess is, readers whose genre of choice is the thriller will love this book on that level. After all, there’s a serial killer, a kidnapping, child abuse, death—lots of page-turner stuff for a thrill lover to enjoy.

I’d have to say, I loved this book in spite of those things and wondered when I finished why it was classified as a thriller at all.

True, the story engaged me and wouldn’t let me go, but not because of its narrow escapes or surprising twists. The story was bigger than all that.

It was, in my opinion, a spiritual coming of age story, a near-fantasy that I’d categorize as a cross between the movie The Sixth Sense and the Biblical account of the recalcitrant prophet Jonah.

Yes, the writing was wonderful—Hines has a fresh, distinct voice—but that’s not why I loved it.

Yes, the story was a page-turner—with introspection interspersing action to create perfect pacing—but that’s not why I loved it.

Yes, the plot was unpredictable and caught me off guard more than once, but that’s not why I loved it.

I loved Waking Lazarus because of Jude Allman, the protagonist. He grew. He developed in so many ways, not the least of which was spiritually.

To elaborate would be to give spoilers, and I don’t want to do that. This book should be experienced as I was able to experience it—as a fresh story that is more, so much more, than a mere thriller.

Five stars. Highly recommend. A must read. Go out and buy it as soon as it is available. thumb's up

– – –

I wish I knew the answer to the question of the day that arose from Tony’s comment yesterday—I would have gladly run a contest. I’m referring, of course, to what the L in T.L. Hines stands for. 🙂 Alas, I don’t know the answer. Sorry, Mir, your suggestions are all viable, but I can shed no light on how close you’ve come.

If you haven’t already, stop by Tony’s blog as well as the other blogs participating in the tour:

  • Bonnie Calhoun
  • Jezreel Cohen
  • Brandilyn Collins
  • Valerie Comer
  • Linda Gilmore
  • Katie Hart
  • Kevin Holtsberry
  • Jason Joyner
  • Tina Kulesa
  • Kevin Lucia
  • David Meigs
  • Chris Mikesell
  • Dineen Miller
  • Mimi Pearson
  • Kathleen Popa
  • Dee Stewart
  • Chris Well
  • Kell-Ann
  • Published in: on June 30, 2006 at 10:14 am  Comments (5)  


    1. Yeah, but that doesn’t have kick in reviews.

      If I read a review that says “the book is a sensitive, well-drawn coming of aga story, spiritually and emotionally, of XYZ”– I’m not gonna buy it. It sounds introspective and dreadfully boring.

      If the reviwe says, “a wild ride of thrills mixed with great characterization,” that gets my attention.

      I am not a fan of the slow pace, except as needed in spots (especially more emotional books, such as romances) where you have to just let people talk a bit. No, I want plot. I want movement. I want things happening. I want people in danger. I want big emotions, anger and passion and greed and big pride and bigger anger and big goodness and big salvation.

      Well, most of the time. 🙂 “Leisurely paced” in a review means I don’t buy it. “Page-turning excitement,” means I look twice.

      I once had more patience with slow books. Now, I want either fast action, even if character is slightly sacrificed, or I’ll take deep and intriguing ideas with good characters in a high conflict situation or I’ll take wacky humor with a good heart and lots of things-going-wrong.

      “Sensitive, gentle, sweet and slow-paced” is probably my number one least tempting review tagline.

      T.L.’s reviewers were probably just trying to catch the eye of folks who would run away from a “comimg of age, finely characterized” tale.



    2. YIKES! Mir, you misunderstood me!. This is so NOT slow-paced. It is not the kind of jittery action that has one gun battle right after the car chase right after the kidnapping right after the barroom brawl. But I would never call it slow-paced

      It is not sweet either. Definitely would not characterize it as sweet! Or gentle. And certainly not slow-paced.

      Properly paced, yes.

      As I said a couple days ago, this is a book that should garner rave reviews even as readers flock to get their hands on it. I think it is a Big Book, the kind that will be around in 50 years and will make TL’s name one that trips off the tongue in many households. The kind that CBA should be putting out.



    3. I think Mirtika has a point: reviews tend to focus on the wham-bam elements of pure plot; that’s what gets attention. But of course, as you’ve ably pointed out, Becky, the plot and the story ain’t necessarily the same thing.

      As for the book being around in 50 years: heck, I just hope I’m still around in 50 years. But it’s very kind of you to say.

      – Tony Lollapalooza Hines


    4. Well, as I told the Bethany publicist, I’m not a reviewer. All I can do is tell what I like and why I like it. Hope I haven’t sullied the WL image too much, Mr. Lollaplooza. 🙂



    5. […] L. Hines, Waking Lazarus (Bethany, 2006). If you’re interested, check out my review of the […]


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