Takeaway: If you want a recovered fundamentalist version of David Sedaris this is a good attempt.
I am a regular reader of Matthew Paul Turner’s blog. I am not a fan of everything there, but I think his is a voice that needs to be listened to. He is not afraid to poke fun at the church or himself or others. But there are times when his humor and sarcasm can be a bit mean. This is not all that frequent, but it is fairly regular. In spite of that, I continue to be a regular reader, because there is a community there that would not happen in other places on the web.
I have had this book on my ‘To read someday list’ for a while. I read his more recent Hear No Evil about a year ago. It is a similar book but focused on how Turner related to music in spite of his fundamentalist upbringing. I thought it was decent, especially the later chapters after he was an adult.
Churched has a different feel. I am listening to this on audio (still free right now) and maybe that is the difference. This feels much more like a David Sedaris book. I like David Sedaris in very small doses. But too much and I just get bored. I haven’t finished either of the last two books of his that I have started. The stories have a bit too much detail and feel a little too forced.
Some of them are funny, but Churched seems a bit less kind to his parents, family and community than Hear No Evil was. It is a book that probably needs written because there are church worlds like this that still exist. But I am more saddened by the reality of the distortion of Christianity than I am humored by ‘those silly fundamentalists.”
I want to like it more than I do. I don’t hate it. And some will like it a lot. But much like Hear No Evil, I like the end the best. The afterward was the best chapter.
Short rant on pricing. I am sure that Turner does not control the pricing of his book. And I do appreciate that he is offering Churched free on audio. But it is still odd to me that publishers think that the Kindle Edition is worth more than the paperback and the paperback should be priced higher than the hardcover.