I actually loved this book and have been telling one of my friends about it - so I am getting one for her (& I can think of a few more people who could perhaps use one). This book is one of my favorites along with - "What is so Amazing about Grace." Particularly, Philip Yancey's explanation of Deuteronomy, and of the so-called "cursing Psalms" and his reminder of why - according to God's Word and the Bible that Jesus read - I, (coming just as I am, often broken, wild, crazy, unlovable) STILL matter and have ALWAYS mattered to God, have been an enormous comfort to me . I can re-read parts of the Bible I never understood or had previously skipped over, knowing that even then - He knew and thought about me. That matters.
This was a bold subject for the author to tackle. And, to be perfectly honest, I probably had unrealistic expectations when I began to read it. For the most part, it is a collection of thoughts about a few Old Testament books with some of Philip Yancey's own unique insights, which are always worth reading. But, the book falls short of being a handy reference tool (since the chapters are really like overviews of the Bible books). At the same time, the book doesn't really present enough of a context for us to grasp the value placed on the Old Testament by the Jews in Jesus' time - or how the Old Testament books may have shown their influence in Jesus' teachings (which is what my expectation of the book was when I bought it at the bookstore).
There were a few high points. The chapter on Deuteronomy was creative - written almost like a fictional narrative in the third person. And, as I mentioned before, Yancey offers his unique insights and wisdom in his characteristically conversational and personal manner. Not a bad book, just not my favorite by Philip Yancey.