Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Book Review for Courageous by Randy Alcorn

Courageous: A Novel

 Courageous by Randy Alcorn is a novelization of the movie coming out by the makers of the films, Facing the Giants and Fireproof. In fact this book is written as a sequence to Fireproof.

Courageous takes place in Albany, Georgia not coincidentally the town of Sherwood Baptist, the makers of the movie. Alex and Stephen Kendrick have created stories centered around a high school football team and the local fire department. This time the Kendrick brothers have developed a movie about Albany's police department. Meet the characters:

Deputy Nathan Hayes has moved to the small town of Albany, Georgia to get his family out of Atlanta. He especially wants to direct his daughter, Jade, from the sort of friends she was attracted to. He soon finds that even small towns have their gangs and drugs because they suffer from the same epidemic that is afflicting every corner of America.

Deputy Adam Mitchell loves his daughter Emily because she's “low maintenance” as he puts it. She's young and eager to love her daddy and idolize him. He isn't as close to his teenage son Dylan who's sullen and defiant. His wife insists he needs to spend less time at the station and more time with his family and especially his son. When tragedy strikes his home he finds himself woefully unprepared to cope.

Sgt. Brad Bronson, “six and a half feet tall, over three hundred pounds” believes in pounding the “perps” (perpetrators) first and asking questions later. He hates Diane Koos, the woman who's been hired as the PR, the go between for the public and the department. He believes she's been hired to make the police look bad and he can't be prissy about following all the rules.

Rookie David Thompson is still unsure of himself, still making mistakes. As he struggles against his own insecurities Adam Mitchell calls all the men on the police to rise up and take the lead as Godly men and fathers in their own homes. Does this apply to David as well?

Courageous takes us inside the lives of each of these men and how they balance their personal lives with work. It shows the danger and stress policemen have to deal with every day and how their work impacts their families.

The book also examines the problem of gangs, why young men join gangs, how they get involved in drugs and how they end up either in jail or dead on the streets.

Years ago Gloria Steinem said that a woman needs a man like a fish needs a bicycle. People have bought into this absurd assertion for the last forty years and fatherlessness has scourged this country producing a pandemic of children growing up with no male role modeling or the love children desperately need from a dad.

 One byproduct of this is street gangs. If a boy can't get a family at home he will turn to the streets to get one. The primary business of gangs is to buy and distribute drugs which produces gang wars over trafficking competition.

I don't think it is a coincidence that I read this book right after reading September's Autumn (to see this review go here). That book showed the biggest threat to African Americans in the first half of the twentieth century. This book shows the biggest threat that affects African Americans today.

Randy Alcorn has done a good job converting this movie into book form. I recommend it as a suspenseful and enjoyable read.

As I finished this review I got into my car and turned on the radio to find the DJ's were discussing the movie, Courageous. Apparently it is just coming out. One DJ said it was a movie that made you think, “Yeah, I can do that and change my life!” I can't wait to see it.  

I received a copy of this book for free by Tyndale Publishing in exchange for my honest review.
If you buy a copy please do so through the link below.  Thanks!

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