Edgar Award-winner and internationally bestselling novelist tells of his improbable conversion from agnostic Jewish intellectual to baptized Christian--and of the books that led him there.
The Great Good Thing is the transformative story of a man:
born and raised a Jew, but who lived most of his life as an agnostic;who wrestled with the questions of what he believed and why, and how he could be certain in his faith; andwho came to believe in God with what started as a tentative experiment in prayer.
No one was more surprised than Andrew Klavan when, at the age of fifty, he found himself about to be baptized. Best known for his hard-boiled, white-knuckle thrillers and for the movies made from them—among them True Crime (directed by Clint Eastwood) and Don’t Say a Word (starring Michael Douglas)—Klavan was born in a suburban Jewish enclave outside New York City. He left the faith of his childhood behind to live most of his life as an agnostic in the secular, sophisticated atmosphere of New York, London, and Los Angeles. But his lifelong quest for truth—in his life and in his work—was leading him to a place he never expected.
In The Great Good Thing, Klavan tells how his troubled childhood caused him to live inside the stories in his head and grow up to become an alienated young writer whose disconnection and rage devolved into depression and suicidal breakdown. In those years, Klavan fought to ignore the insistent call of God, a call glimpsed in a childhood Christmas at the home of a beloved babysitter, in a transcendent moment at his daughter’s birth, and in a snippet of a baseball game broadcast that moved him from the brink of suicide. But more than anything, the call of God existed in stories—the stories Klavan loved to read and the stories he loved to write.
The Great Good Thing is the dramatic, soul-searching story of a man born into an age of disbelief who had to abandon everything he thought he knew in order to find his way to the truth.
In this compelling account of religious conversion, Klavan tells his story of growing up Jewish in New York's affluent Great Neck village, ongoing conflicts with his strong-minded parents, and his eventual transition to Christianity. This embrace of a faith foreign to his family came at the end of a long search, one that had Klavan seeking his life's meaning in various places, including an encounter with Zen Buddhism. Early educational endeavors at the University of California, Berkeley, informed his passage. Marriage added to the complex picture, filling the author with a despair that would lead him to seek professional help. It took a transcendent encounter with the living Christ to bring Klavan to a sense of fulfilment and satisfaction and a sure knowledge of his place in the cosmos. God's answer to his prayer was "wildly generous, an act of extravagant grace." His personal quest for salvation finally found its culmination in a relationship with the Jewish messiah. This is a fascinating story of a life journey.