Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle within All of Us  -     By: Josh James Riebock
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Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle within All of Us

Baker Books / 2012 / Paperback

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Product Description

There are moments in life that define you, and they can be either joyful or heartbreaking. Author and speaker Josh James Riebock has experienced both. From his dreams of being a writer, and the decision to pursue a writing career full-time, to the loss of both his parents within three months of each other, Josh shares the defining moments of his story in Heroes and Monsters: An Honest Look at the Struggle Within All of Us.
With an uncommon sensitivity and self-reflection worthy of an old soul, Josh's journey explores the issues that make us human--family, love, dreams, grief and purpose. His memoir is a testament to the heart truth that God's creation, and life in all its splendor, are inextricably revealed through both pain and beauty.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 304
Vendor: Baker Books
Publication Date: 2012
Dimensions: 8.50 X 5.50 (inches)
ISBN: 0801013984
ISBN-13: 9780801013980
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

Every one of us is both a hero and a monster, and the world we inhabit is both beautiful and twisted. We are shaken by changes, losses, gains, insights, desires, mistakes, and transitions. And just when we've gotten settled back down, things get shaken up again. This is the life we've been given. So how do we make sense of life's unexpected nature, find a way to embrace the tension, and live with a sense of peace despite pain?

In this stunningly honest, compelling, and ultimately hopeful book, Josh James Riebock explores issues of trust, obedience, intimacy, dreams, grief, purpose, and the unexpected stops along the journey that form us into the people we are. In a creative way, he shows readers that pain and beauty are so inextricably linked that to lose the former costs us the latter.

Those grappling with life's inconsistencies and trials will especially find a welcome resonance between their lives and Heroes and Monsters. Riebock both validates their experiences and challenges them to live beyond them in this ever-changing life.

Author Bio

Josh James Riebock is a sought-after speaker at conferences, colleges, and churches across the country. The author of mY Generation, he lives with his wife, Kristen, in Texas.

Publisher's Weekly

With transparent detail, Riebock (mY Generation: A Real Journey of Change and Hope) tells the story of his messy, confused, and gloriously grace-filled life in his sophomore effort. The book reads like a journal, or better yet, a graphic novel—complete with vivid illustrations of more pivotal episodes in the author’s life. While at times the story moves forward with the jerks of a teenage chauffeur, Riebock is able to transport readers nimbly to and from the painful, awkward, and meaningful moments of his life where mercy, love, and hope seep in through the seams. From the field where Riebock’s drunk father drives him right into Jack (a scarecrow who becomes Jesus’ alter ego in the book) to a hotel room in central Texas where an introvert gets comfortable with himself, Riebock’s struggles, both mundane and dramatic, reflect readers’ own life sagas and clearly reveal the author’s theological points without being systematic. As Riebock writes “Words are giants, able to lift people up, carry them to the stars, and tear planets apart...” his own locutions are vulnerable and imaginative, powerful without being forceful, certainly able to lift readers up and impart hope for the journey. (Mar.) 2012 Reed Business Information.

Product Reviews

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  1. JulieC
    Austin, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    A creative, authentic book to inspire your soul
    July 30, 2012
    JulieC
    Austin, TX
    Age: 35-44
    Gender: female
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    When I picked up "Heroes and Monsters" randomly off the bookstore "new non-fiction" table, I had absolutely no idea what to expect. I was just drawn to the beautiful illustrations on the cover. I flipped through it, and I came across a paragraph where the author was describing the depth (and slight absurdity) of his love for his dog. The humor, insight, and creativity of his writing immediately drew me in, and I was hooked. Besides, I was a bit relieved to find someone else contemplating the larger meaning of love as revealed by the expression of affection for one's pet -- I didn't think anyone else did that but me!

    When I started reading this book, I couldn't stop! Every story Josh told about his life had me thinking "Wow -- that is EXACTLY how I feel!" Josh's gift for storytelling and writing allows him to put thoughts and feelings into words much better than I could ever articulate. There is some relief in that, actually -- to find someone who has experienced intense pain, who has struggled with self-hate and self-doubt, who has questioned his faith, who has waded into the morass of despair...and yet is not afraid to look in these dark, scary places of the soul. In fact, here's a person who has the ability to turn all that pain and darkness into something beautiful and redeeming, using nothing more than courage and words. There is redemption in every chapter of Josh's life, and in every chapter of this book.

    I didn't realize this was a "God" book until I was well into it. In fact, I don't think I would have picked up this book if it had been hanging out in the "Christian" section, because I'm not a 'churchy' person. But that's the beauty of Josh's perspective on how God works in our lives: He shows up in the most unexpected places, not looking like anything you'd ever imagined. (NOTE: this book thankfully requires you to use your imagination about God!!)

    Even though Josh does not use the words "God" or "Jesus" anywhere in the pages, "Heroes and Monsters" is ultimately a story of how Divine Love is with us in every moment -- in pain and joy, in heartache and celebration, in loneliness and friendship. Josh doesn't tell you directly about God. He shows you: Josh is honest, detailed, and open as he shares his own story, and in this way, he lets you discover God in key moments of his life: in a car wreck, in a hospital room, in the woods, in a pool, on a stage, at a computer. And you can feel it. Seriously, there were times I got goose-bumps. I laughed. I cried. God's right there with you in these pages. Through the words. Through the stories. Through Josh.

    "Heroes and Monsters" deeply touched me, giving me the courage to explore the painful places in my own soul. And after reading it, I'm reminded that I'm not alone in that journey.
  2. Linda
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    3 Stars Out Of 5
    not what I expected
    March 13, 2012
    Linda
    Age: 45-54
    Gender: female
    Quality: 3
    Value: 3
    Meets Expectations: 2
    Heroes and Monsters - Josh James Riebock

    An Honest Look at the Struggle within all of us

    Publisher's Blurb:

    Heroes and Monsters is an unforgettable memoir of passion and redemption, a ragged look into a world at once wildly twisted and profoundly beautiful, an exposé of both the hero and the monster within all of us.

    In this stunningly honest, thoroughly unconventional, and ultimately hopeful book, Josh James Riebock explores issues that form us into the people we are--issues of family, love, intimacy, dreams, grief, purpose, and the unexpected stops along the journey. With artful prose and vivid storytelling, he shows that pain and beauty are so inextricably linked that to lose the former costs us the latter.

    My Review:

    I'm not exactly sure what I was expecting from this book, but what I found wasn't it. Even though I found the writing style somewhat rambling and unconventional, the story does have a valid message about soul-searching, redemption and grace. Besides getting to know Josh, the main character very well, I would have also liked to get to know the others, especially his wife. At one point in the story, Josh had a conversation with a cow. Yes, very unrealistic and I wondered about this exchange and its significance to the story. However, it is hilarious and a nice break from pages and pages of text with little dialogue. As much as this is an account of one person's search for peace of mind, I didn't really see it as, ‘an honest look at the struggle within all of us', Nevertheless, ‘if you're craving a story that is just a wee bit odd' this book should quench your longing quite nicely.

    This book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Baker Books, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
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