Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Book Review: Matar A Lutero by Mario Escobar

A Thomas Nelson Publishing

Nelson Publishing Spanish Book Description:

"Temo más lo que está dentro de mí, que lo que viene de fuera".—Martín Lutero

Un cuento apasionante de Martín Lutero de las mismas páginas de la historia. Era medianoche cuando el grupo de caballeros abandonó la ciudad. Los cascos de los caballos repiquetearon en el empedrado de sus calles hasta atravesar el Rin, la antigua frontera entre el civilizado mundo de Roma y los bárbaros. No habían tenido tiempo para recoger el equipaje, tan grave era la amenaza que se cernía sobre el protegido del príncipe Federico de Sajonia, y no había tiempo que perder. El grupo era reducido, sólo tres escoltas y el propio Lutero que cabalgaba torpemente sobre el caballo, poco acostumbrado a montar. El pobre monje se esforzaba por no retrasar el paso de su escolta. Mientras los fugitivos recorrían los campos próximos a la ciudad, sus habitaciones eran registradas por soldados del emperador Carlos. El capitán Felipe Diego de Mendoza se quejó: "Alguien les ha advertido, ahora tendremos que seguirlos por toda Alemania".

What a pleasure to read a book in my native language. Although, after reading the book and considering writing the review in Spanish, I realize how English has become my first language. The good news is, this book is available in English too. So you can always get a copy and enjoy the story.

I am not familiar with the story of Martin Luther and all that took place in the church during his time. I know little about church history (ironic, isn't is, since I am married to a pastor and Andy loves church history) and I was never a big fan of history. Why is this important? Because knowing little about church history and little about world history, it was hard for me to follow the story and recognize the characters. I was lost when it came to the political and religious figures of the time and I did not feel the story helped me understand who was who, what they did, and what was the significance of Martin Luther's movement at that time. I could not follow who was from France, who was from Spain, who was from Italy, and who was from Germany. I did not follow well who were the religious figures and who were the political ones.

This book narrates the story of Martin Luther's time when political and religious figures wanted to kill him.  He was hidden for a period of time in which he translated the New Testament into German. During his time of "exhile" he developed a close friendship with Juan Mendoza, the man in charge of protecting him, and Elisabeth, a young lady that cared for him. Luther changes their lives, teaches them to read, and teaches them about Christ. Eventually Juan and Elisabeth marry, which is the only happy moment in the story.

What I liked about the book:
-It was in Spanish.
-Mario Escobar is an artist with his words. A few times I re-read a sentence just for the pleasure of the written word.
-I did learn about Martin Luther and the conflict that he created withing the church and the world.
-The chapters were very short and easy to read. The longest chapter was only 4 pages long. It moved the story quickly.
-I was moved by the story.

What I did not like:
-Being a little ignorant on my history, I struggled to follow the other characters. The chapters were so short that for someone like me, it did not do enough to make me understand what was going on. I was not able to "fill in the blank" from my knowledge on history and I felt lost from chapter to chapter.
-Although the story moved quickly, because the chapters are short, I felt the story could have been elaborated better and the characters better developed. I wanted and needed more!

For those history lovers, this is a great novel. Mario Escobar has a way with words and his writing in enjoyable. Personally, I struggled to get into the story, but I believe this is one of those instances where I recognize the brilliance of the book regardless of my personal preferences. I read a book in a genre I typically would not, and I was pleasantly surprised and confronted by the fact that I am quite ignorant when it comes to our world history.

Would I recommend this book? Yes, weather you read it in English or Spanish.

I recieved this book for free by Thomas Nelson Publisher in exchange for my honest review.

1 comment:

  1. Thanks Ellen! I've been thinking about reading some of Luther's writings. Growing up Lutheran I learned somewhat about his role in history but that was many years ago. Now I just have to decide if I should read it in Spanish or English. :)


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