Book Review: Left Behind

Book Review: Left Behind
[/media-credit] “Left Behind”, the first book in Tim LaHaye’s Chritstian fiction series on the end times.

The Left Behind series has been considered one of the greatest Christian fiction series of its time, written by Tim LaHaye, an American Baptist evangelical minister, and now a New York Times Bestselling author. In 1995, LaHaye published the first book in the series: “Left Behind.” “Left Behind series” is about how biblical prophecies of the end times could possibly play out, according to the Bible.

The series was written from 1995 to 2007, totaling 13 books. LaHaye co-wrote this series alongside author Jerry B. Jenkins. LaHaye used his biblical knowledge for the series, while Jenkins’ provided writing skills. Together they created a series that sold over 80 million copies and was later produced into am early 2000’s movie series.

In an interview with Tyndale House Publishers, LaHaye speaks on coming together with Jerry B. Jenkins.

“Looking back on the whole experience, it was a dream in my heart 20 years ago.” LaHaye said, “I got the idea and then I went through the process of finding out I was not a fiction writer, and I needed a partner and how the Lord led us together and we combined our talents and it’s been a thrilling sight to see so many lives transformed.”

LaHaye also took on the task of writing a children’s version of the series. The previous writing team also worked with award-winning author Chris Fabry for the writing of the 40-book series. This series focuses on Judd, Vicki, Lionel, and Ryan, all from different backgrounds, but united in the end times after being left behind without parents.

They meet at New Hope Village church where they each begin their new lives after becoming Christians and learn about what their life is going to look like after the rapture. They go on to share the gospel with as many people as they can. Throughout the story we see crossover characters and relatively the same plot line as the original version but made less graphic and easier for younger children and teens to relate to. 

[/media-credit] The “Left Behind” kids series is a collection of 40 books which have all been read by journalist Karis Petrie.

Throughout LaHaye’s life he wrote 85 books. LaHaye sought to share his passion with the world. In an interview with Tyndale House Publishers, Jenkins reiterated how LaHaye got the idea for the series. While LaHaye was on a flight home, he saw a pilot come out of the cockpit, and witnessed him flirting with a younger flight attendant. He thought to himself what might happen right then if the rapture occurred, and it sparked the series, leading to his success.

Left behind is not a book that takes extra attention to understand, but it still gives the reader much variety and detail to think about. The book goes into great detail about each character, which is extra helpful in connecting the reader to the characters. 

In the prequels written after the series was finished, LaHaye focuses on very important characters and pieces setting up for the story. He shows the entire childhood of the Antichrist, giving readers a complete background and insight into his life.

My favorite part is the way he described heaven. He and Jenkins were able to capture in words what they think heaven could be like using the Bible’s description. While they may not be completely accurate, it sparks curiosity in the reader to dig deeper into the topic, which is exactly the author’s purpose for writing these books.

In an interview with Tyndale House Publishers, LaHaye shares about writing “Left Behind” and how it impacted thousands.

“We’ve counted among people who call us on the phone, email us, write us a letter, or talk to us personally.” LaHaye said, “More than 3,000 people tell us they’ve become believers, and that’s better than any bestseller list that’s what we’re in it for and that’s been the rewarding crowning thing of our careers.”

God led these three men to write these books, exposing millions of people to the gospel. Personally,  at the age of 13 when I began the series, my knowledge of biblical end times was limited. Even though the series is Christian fiction, the underlying details revealed the bible in such a new way drawing more interest.  I am now re-reading the entire series for a second time. 

 “Left Behind,” whichever version, is such a good read and can teach you so much about the end times. 

For more Feather book reviews read, Book Review: Beautiful Country and Book Review: The Whistling Season.

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  • S

    Silva EmerianJun 1, 2022 at 11:03 am

    Great article, Karis! I started reading the original series when it first came out – it was a BIG deal! We still have the entire set at home. Keep up the great work!

  • B

    Bella JohnsMay 9, 2022 at 5:05 pm

    Good job Karis! I’m so impressed by how many books you read!