Monday, February 15, 2010

Review: Hear No Evil by Matthew Paul Turner


Hear No Evil: My Story of Innocence, Music, and the Holy Ghost is a collection of personal stories by Matthew Paul Turner dealing with how music played a role in his life. Of course I wanted to read this the moment I heard about it (despite the fact that Churched remains in the TBR pile) because I'm always interested in how music plays a part in our lives. (similar to books. Music lovers, you know it's similar to books)

I really enjoyed this one, I can't remember the last time I laughed out loud so much while reading. Turner grew up in a fundamentalist church with rather strict rules. For instance, they had to sneak off to see Sandi Patty. This story humored me greatly, we actually listened to a fair bit of Christian music in my home growing up and my mom loved Sandi Patty, but all of the controversies I remember, like if a song didn't mention Jesus (like Love in any Language) it was such a bad thing. So while my home and churches were much less conservative, there were some definite commonalities. I laughed through quite a few of the early stories, but the stories towards the end really touched me. My favorite story is "Chasing Amy" which is about Turner's experience with his musical hero Amy Grant, and the opportunity he had to interview her when he worked as an editor for CCM magazine. (it was the magazine for Christian music) Amy Grant, by far, faced the judgement of the Christian subculture more than almost anyone else I can think of for both her attempt to "crossover" into mainstream pop music and her divorce. It was such an issue of hot debate, and it was interesting to read his perspective. But what I loved most of all was the way he identified Amy as "his storyteller." It's eloquently put and I know exactly what he means since I have an artist I think of in much the same terms. I just loved it.

I really recommend Hear No Evil for people who aren't afraid to laugh at the ridiculousness of the evangelical Christian subculture (while still loving it), who maybe have a fairly conservative background, who can find the grace and hope through the humor, and of course, who love music. I'd even venture to say you don't have to believe in Jesus to enjoy this book.

Rating: 4.5/5
Things You Might Want to Know: if you are particularly sensitive I recommend you stay away.
Source of Book: Received from publisher for review
Publisher: WaterBrook Press

Matthew Paul Turner is one of the most prolific people I follow on twitter, @JesusNeedsNewPR He also has a blog, Jesus Needs New PR

Giveaway: I have a copy to give away. Due to the fact that I'm poor, I need to limit this one to the United States only. Sorry. To enter, just leave a comment and tell me who your favorite Christian singer or songwriter is. If you don't have one, tell me if you've ever heard of any of them!




Amy

16 comments:

Beth F said...

I loved this line: "I'd even venture to say you don't have to believe in Jesus to enjoy this book." Please do not enter me in the giveaway, I'm not sure I'd be able to relate. I have heard of Amy Grant, but I have no clue who Sandi Patty is. My parents mostly listen to jazz!

Elisabeth said...

Hilarious! Sounds like I really need to read this one (see comment just left at B&B). I can't imagine not accepting Sandi Patty, but I had several friends whose parents did NOT approve of Amy Grant - especially Unguarded - one of the albums that shaped my teen years. Would love to be entered to win!

Juju at Tales of Whimsy.com said...

Fun cover ;)

bermudaonion said...

From your review, this "kind of" reminds me of The Unlikely Disciple which I really enjoyed! I don't listen to Christian music but have heard of Amy Grant and Sandi Patti both.

Julie P. said...

I'm here because I caught wind of you guys discussing this on twitter. I think I might enjoy this one -- you know how I trust your recommendations.

I like Casting Crowns.

girlwithasong1133 said...

My favorite Christian singer & songwriter is Bethany Dillon. (:

alitareads said...

I can't imagine having to sneak out to see Sandi Patty! I loved Amy Grant growing up, but I remember all the controversy both her personal life and her career choices.

I hadn't heard of this book, but now I definitely want to check it out!

Stephen said...

Good memory about Sandi Patty's "Love in Any Language." Back in my Fundamentalist days, that was the one Sandi song I could criticize lyrically. Ironically, that song was written by Jon Mohr, a college buddy of Steve Green - he wrote a bunch of songs for Steve - who, probably around the same time he wrote that song, moved his family (7 kids, I think) to the Ukraine to be missionaries. Last time I talked to Steve about it, Jon was still over there.

Thomas said...

This is going to be a hard one to answer.
It is hard to pick from Rich Mullins, Andrew Peterson, Shaun Groves, and Ginny Owens.

Thank you for the book review.

Thomas

brichtabooks said...

Okay, so I'm Jewish, but this book still sounds good! I'm a huge music lover! I never heard any of Amy Grant's Christian music, but I do like her pop stuff! I just read "Love is a Mix Tape" an amazing memoir that also deals with how music affects someone's life. Thanks for the review!

Solvang Sherrie said...

Okay, I really want to read this!

The first concert I ever went to was Amy Grant. My childhood played out to a soundtrack of her music. I remember sneaking back stage in college at one of her concerts and meeting her and Michael. W. Smith. Thanks for introducing me to this book!

Andi said...

Don't enter me Amy. My only comment as you said about don't read if your sensitive. This book should've come with a warning or a disclaimer. That's all I'm going to say. ~ Andi

Word Lily said...

I have trouble picking favorites of anything. But Christian musicians? Perhaps one of the hardest. I really like Derek Webb.

Wendy said...

Amy Grant's Age to Age was the first cassette I ever bought. I can hear almost any song of hers and immediately be transported back to the time in my life when I listened to it. I also can't imagine anyone being upset by Sandi Patti, but I do remember when our local Christian music station stopped playing her music after her divorce. Sigh. I can also remember sermons talking about the evils of rock music, backmasking and all that. I even destroyed my Footloose tape because out of guilt. :) I think I'll add this book to my list!

Nicole (Linus's Blanket) said...

I loved Amy Grant's first cross over album. I think I know the while thing by heart. Even that really Christian one at the end.

Rebecca @ The Book Lady's Blog said...

From my (very brief) stint as a semi-evangelical during my teen years, I remember this debate and am so glad I didn't give up any of my music, evil though it may have been :) And I still adore the very first Jars of Clay CD. There's something so soothing about it.

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