Friday, October 26, 2018
Book Review: 'Love God F Religion: A Novel, Part 1' by S.R. Sailors
Author SR Sailors has courage or chutzpa or is simply a daring writer who is unafraid to walk in those areas of confusion most all of us have journeyed - pondering the existence of a superior being while being disturbed by the machinations of organized religion (reference the current Catholic investigation, the media televangelism, exclusive white color non-inclusive congregations, etc).
Sailors shares his drive to write this book in an author’s note o significance – ‘The book is very personal and loosely based off my last years in high school and early college. It talks about sex, love, friends, family and growing up with and struggling with religion. The book will likely offend some folks, I might even lose some support or even friends over it, and that's OK. It's certainly not my preference, but I do understand…’ Sam R Sailors began his life journey in the blistering heat of Tucson, Arizona. His reservations, questions, actions and wit of his early life have contributed to his revealing, naked, and in-your-face approach to writing. Coupled with real life experiences that have inspired blockbuster movies and life long friends, Sam has created a potent brew of fictional character development and keen eye for detail with the ability to reach through the fog of society, religious upbringing, and crust of people's lives to root out the deeper issues that consume them and tie them to their hurdles. His ability to add charm and humor to the darkest circumstances elevate and expand people's greatness, making the kind of life-altering impact that is so rare in literature. Sam's hyper-awareness and years of suppressed feelings and insights have all made their way onto the pages; with micro precision, he cuts straight to the heart of what is going to make a difference and relates to the parts of people that they themselves have buried in their darkest corners.
Sailors opens his book with the following Introduction – ‘This is not a classic story about a pastor’s son. This is a story about how one comes to understand the difference between God and Religion. From sex, disgrace, and falling from grace to failed mission trips, drugs, and an actual belief in a higher power. From fake family to true friends and a return to a God. “Religion is a phase a species goes through when it evolves enough intelligence to ask profound questions but not enough to answer them” - Bill Flavell I can only speak to what I know and prefer speaking from experience versus education. I speak the truth as I have come to know it and crave experience to share more with the world. It’s strange to live in a time where you can only be truly honest, years after, while writing it all down. The grace of fiction is that it can be used to conceal intentions and confessions.’
What follows is a very well written memoir of the author’s struggle with a coming of age far more eventful than any we’ve read, one that follows Sailors though this coming of age story as he fearlessly and relentlessly questions religion, family, fatherhood, and our very existence. From fake family to true friends and a return to a God.
Well worth reading – for many different reasons. Grady Harp, October 18
I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book.
Editor's note: This review has been published with the permission of Grady Harp. Like what you read? Subscribe to the SFRB's free daily email notice so you can be up-to-date on our latest articles. Scroll up this page to the sign-up field on your right.