July 19, 2012

Book Review: The Company

Author: Chuck Graham
Genre: Allegory
Publisher: WinePress Publishing
Pages: 224

While most people I know aren't particularly fond of the allegory genre, I absolutely love it. As in, I've read The Pilgrim's Progress five times, love it. So I was intrigued and delighted when I had a chance to review The Company.
The book begins with an account of a giant meteor striking the earth, destroying life as we know it. The ensuing earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tsunamis wipe out nearly everything, and thick clouds of volcanic ash and smoke plunge what little remains into profound darkness.
One tiny mountain village, Brigos Glen, is relatively unharmed by the initial disaster, but smothered in darkness like everyone else. Their attempts to locate other survivors outside their sheltered valley fail. Seemingly alone in the world, they manage to eke out a miserable existence... until a stranger appears in their midst with one simple question: "Would you like some help?"
Thus, they are introduced to what comes to be commonly called 'the Company' - a giant power source somewhere far beyond the edges of Brigos Glen, that channels power over the mountains to provide light and a return to semi-normal life for the people there.

Though it was intended to be a discussion of the nature of the Trinity, The Company nonetheless delves deep into several other issues such as division in the Church, adherence to the authority of scripture, and others as well. And I loved it. In many ways, allegory is like bagpipes: there's nothing more amazing than a set of bagpipes well played, and nothing more atrocious than a set poorly played. This particular bit of allegory, my friends, was skillfully written and crafted, and a delight to read.
It was rather slow going for fiction, since the depth of the content required very careful thought and attention, but that's to be expected with allegory and didn't bother me at all. Parts of it had me near tears, parts of it had me cheering in my heart, and a few places even made me stop and think 'Oh wow! I'd never thought about it like that before!' - which is the sign of very good allegory.
I know allegory as a genre isn't for everyone. In fact, most of my own family dislike it. But whether you adore allegory like I do, or simply tolerate it once in a while, I highly recommend The Company. I'm already eager for the sequel to be released!

I received this book free of charge from the publisher in exchange for my review. A favorable review was not required.

What do you think of the allegory genre?

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