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Hardcover On the Road with the Archangel Book

ISBN: 0060611251

ISBN13: 9780060611255

On the Road with the Archangel

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Format: Hardcover

Condition: Very Good

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Book Overview

Hailed as one of our most original storytellers ( USA Today ), Pulitzer Prize-nominated author Frederick Buechner has written an extraordinary new novel that shines with the mystery and wonder of the divine. Drawn from the ancient apocryphal Book of Tobit, On the Road with Archangel unravels the tale of a eccentric blind father and his somewhat bumbling song who journeys to seek his family's lost treasure. Narrated by the wry and resourceful archangel...

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


...and Frederick Buechner does the job gracefully and with a gentle humor worthy of some of our most revered writers (Mark Twain comes to mind, for one). Buechner's story is based on the apocryphal Book of Tobit, and tells the tale of two families brought together -- by fate or by subtle miracles, you be the judge.A Presbyterian minister and the author of many works of fiction and non-fiction as well, Beuchner's style flows effortlessly along. Where others -- particularly those of a ministerial vocation -- might be rempted to let their narrative become 'preachy', Beuchner never makes that mistake. After reading just this one book, I get the strong impression that it would not be in his nature to allow that to happen.The story is told from the perspective of the Archangel Raphael, who comes to earth and assumes human form -- not wishing to reveal his true identity -- in order to accompany young Tobias, son of Tobit, on a journey from Niniveh to Media and back again. He is being sent there by his father to retrieve a treasure left in the care of a former associate -- a treasure that will hopefully support Tobias and his mother for the rest of their lives. Tobit is blind and, weary of feeling useless to his family, has prayed to God that he might die soon.In Media lives another family, considerably more well-off than that of Tobit. The one child of the family, a daughter, Sarah, has entered into a regretful contract with a demon to discourage any suitors that may approach her -- she loves her father Raguel dearly, and dreads being parted from him. Unfortunately, the demon falls in love with her, and his 'discouragement' takes the form of killing any man she marries on their wedding night. After seven such deaths, her reputation -- and that of her family -- has begun to suffer a bit, to say the least.Buechner's novel brings these two threads together into a rich tapestry -- his characters are fleshed out perfectly, each with their own strengths, weaknesses and often humorous foibles. The wry observations of Raphael -- along with his kind and loving nature -- add immeasurably to the enjoyment of this book. Also, the author's characterization of the love of God -- voiced through Raphael's comments as well as throughout the meat of the story itself -- is one that should appeal to all but the most rigid fundamentalists in the Judeo-Christian world.This is a book that made me feel good -- and it also caused me to reflect on my own beliefs. It's a beautiful story, well-told -- by no means a piece of fluff. This is an artful creation that speaks to the way we live our lives, the way we interact with and treat our fellow human beings. It's an uplifting and enlightening experience.

Another Buechnerian classic

"On the Road With the Archangel", is in my opinion, one of Frederick Buechners best books. It is based on the Book of Tobit, which in the Catholic Bible is one of the deuterocanonicals and to the Protestants is one of the apocryphal books. Though Buechner is not Catholic, he treats the Book of Tobit with a reverence that is greatly appreciated, and he shows for Protestants that even though they do not recognize these books, that valuable lessons can be learned from them. Frederick Buechner, like he did with the "Son of Laughter", fleshes out the characters like only he can do. After a few minutes one can already begin to relate to the characters, and as with every good book, when it is over, you'll feel as if a good, close friend has moved away. Not only has Buechner transformed the Book of Tobit into an easy to read storyline, he takes us to an ancient time and has us instantly recognize the problems the characters face as problems we encounter as well. Not satisfied with just a simple story, Buechner takes us into a soul-searching journey along with Tobias (the main character) and forces us to analyze our own relationship with God. Do we realize our relationship with God in the proper light, do we recognize His love for us and how He views His creation in a proper light? I think Buechner does an excellent job of shining a light on the answers to these questions.Definitely a great book to sit down with and enjoy. I would recommend it to any Christian.

How do we see God?

"On the Road With the Archangel: A Novel" by Frederick Buechner is a small book; yet it contains a HUGE message...God is bigger, greater, deeper, more incomprehensible and loving than we can ever even begin to imagine. The mortal characters of the story are eloquent representations of misconceptions of God that a lot of us share with them:Some of us are like Sarah and her Father--we have a hard time trusting the God who, though ever present, sometimes seems quite hidden.Some of us are a lot like Tobit--God is, for us, an all-too-ever-present scorekeeper who likes to stick his nose into all our actions and motivations in order to cast judgment upon us. A lot of us are like Tobias--We simply ignore God in the midst of our busyness. The greatness of "On the Road With the Archangel" is that it acknowledges just how prevalent these human misperceptions are; and then moves on to a truer picture of God. The story is told by the Archangel Raphael. Raphael gets involved in the lives of the human characters in order to answer a couple of their prayers. Raphael finds great humor in the humanity's misconceptions of God. A he narrates the story, he contrasts the mortals misperceptions of God with his experience of being in God's presence. In end, "On the Road With the Archangel" teaches us the same lesson that Tobit learns. We must come to the point (as Tobit finally does after his blinding and the events that follow it) where we stop relying on what we think of as our vision in order to truly seeThis retelling of the apocryphal story of Tobit is both humorous and touching. Reading it is like a going to a spiritual optometrist. It helps us to see just how skewed our own vision of God is.I give "On the Road With the Archangel" my full recommendation.

a elegant book on life, god, the forces out of our control

To convey an idea does not require thousands of pages, to tell a story that one remembers does not require the excess of words either. Some what similar at times to stories told in the unabridged version of Arabian Nights and by the Brothers Grim among others - A pleasant story of alls well that ends well. I liked it well enought to tell you to read the book.

Wonderful, as usual

Just because I'm an active Presbyterian I started reading Frederick Buechner, and he is a wonderful writer. Both his novels and his non-fiction are compelling. Reading ARCHANGEL made me go to the Apocrypha to read the Book of Tobit, and I found Buechner's story was very close to the book. It's a charming tale of a boy and his dog, a father made blind by bird droppings, and a beautiful woman who is like a princes in a fairy tale. I'm so glad that Rev. Buechner used his writing talents to point out an ancient story of Hebrew tradition. This is not a book for those who have made angels trivial. but reveals the God behind the angel.
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