Sitting on a plane, one of the authors of the series Left Behind
asked himself what would happen to the planes in the air when the Rapture occurs.
The Rapture is when some Christians believe Jesus will take all of his
faithful followers from the earth straight to heaven. It also marks the beginning of the
end of the world.
Tim Lahaye and Jerry B. Jenkins took this idea and
spawned a series of twelve books, which begin at the time of the Rapture and end at
The first book, also called Left Behind, is a
fascinating interpretation of the Bible's account of the Rapture.
novel focuses on two people in a plane flying to London. Rayford, the pilot, is
considering cheating on his wife with a flight attendant, Hattie. Buck, a reporter, is a
passenger on the plane. Suddenly a third of the passengers disappear, leaving behind
everything that isn't organic tissue: glasses, clothes, pace-makers, fillings. In fact,
people have disappeared all over the globe. Some people disappear from their beds and
couches, some are driving cars, and some are cooking. Can you imagine the results?
After this catastrophic event, the book continues following the two main
characters. Rayford immediately believes that the Rapture has occurred and that his wife
and son were taken to heaven. His conversion to a devout Christian is immediate. He
finds God, finds a pastor to guide him in his religious growth, and then tries to
convince his daughter then Hattie and finally Buck that the disappearance is indeed the
On the other hand, Buck does not know what has happened and is
assigned to write a story about the theories behind the disappearances. He also
discovers that the man he was flying to London to see was murdered. So Buck begins to
track down the man's killers while researching his news story.
religious slant of this novel made me hesitate to pick it up. At times, when reading
about Rayford, I got bored or annoyed by the preachy tone of the novel. However, the
character relationships and Buck's story kept me engaged. It is a fast read, thought
provoking and enjoyable. The end of the book is not the end of the series, and the
authors have written the books to be read together. I was very interested in what would
happen next and picked up book two, but I can't tell if I am going to make it all the
way through to book twelve.