Finding Mr Goldman
David Rhodes pulls no punches in offering a vivid parable of false riches and ultimate redemption. This sparklingly well -written fiction entertains unerringly at the front door while the truth slips in through a side window.’
Rachel Harden finds this modern parable readable and salutary.
Finding Mr Goldman is a contemporary parable about possessions, wealth, and relationships. [...] The writing is excellent - the author is a priest and former journalist - and, as the book moves on, each chapter draws the reader in and could stand alone. [...]
It starts off so predictably:rich, dissatisfied man, with his life cur short, meets his Maker and repents... but in fact he doesn't, and so the journey, more of a pilgrimage, begins.
This is a book not about what happens when we die, but about the importance of how we live- and how the two are inextricable. Whom it is aimed at is not so clear, but it is a good reminder of important Christian truths, and a good read.
David Rhodes is a freelance writer, former journalist
and recently retired parish priest. Extensive work among
homeless people led to the innovative Retreats on the
Streets. His latest books are designed to help us discover
God’s love in an unjust world, linking faith and action.
David gives a voice (and respect) to those we label the poor
and raises some huge questions for us all: What meaning
does my life have? How can we make our planet a better
place. Where is God in all this?
Finding Mr Goldman tells of the epic battle of good and
evil played out in the life and sudden death of a wicked man. Had he known
the hour of his death, the wealthy Harry Goldman might have arranged his
day differently. Instead he finds himself plunged into a nightmare in which
his life of violence and ruthless greed is laid bare before him. Accompanied
by a disreputable looking but likeable tramp, who bears a striking resemblance
to Jesus, Goldman sets out on a quest to save his soul. But confronted by the
shattering reality of hell, he realises all is lost. It is only then that he discovers the
redeeming love of God. Janet Morley writes: Fresh, witty, fabulously economic,
and with some acute and wise observations, I just wanted to read on and on …
And Adrian Plass: David Rhodes pulls no punches in offering a vivid parable
of false riches and ultimate redemption. This sparklingly well-written fiction
entertains unerringly at the front door while the truth slips in through a side
The importance of a story can never be underestimated in the context of the way that we live, the novel is often an escape from reality that helps us to relax and get out of ourselves. It may be an intellectual challenge or a gentle form of relaxation. It may also challenge pre-conceived ideas and open up new ways of thinking.
The parables of Jesus can be seen in many ways to reflect all of these aspects of the way we understand a story. The parable is of course used to share a message and Jesus used them very effectively to help his listeners understand some profound truths that still speak to us 2,000 years after they were first heard.
The parable of the rich man and the beggar at his gates is one that speaks of the misuse of wealth and the importance of recognising that even the poor beggar has a place in the Kingdom. In the case of the parable it is the beggar who goes to heaven whilst the rich man goes to Hades.
In our society the message needs to be reiterated and the rich man or woman needs to be reminded that wealth brings responsibility. It is also a truism that wealth does not purchase happiness and all the money we possess is little use at the end of our life.
In this very readable rereading of the parable of the rich man and the beggar the reader shares a story that is about a journey through the world that we so easily take for granted. It is especially true for Mr Goldman a very wealthy man who exploits both people qand material resources for his own gain only to discover that in deather there is a whole set of new values to be learned.
The beggar who is the companion to Mr Goldman after his death may be Jesus but this hardly matters, it is more important to recognise that he is a guide and more importantly a friend, though accepting someone perceived to be a lesser person is a part of the learning process for Mr Goldman.
The story is in an update of the parable of Jesus and may well also be seen to be a reinterpretation of both Dante’s Divine Comedy and Bunyan’s The Pilgrim Progress. It is a parable and a story about greed transformed into love and the realisation that relationships are more important than wealth.
It is a parable for the 21st century and like all good stories captures the imagination. I found myself unable to put it down once started. It is also a reminder that even those individuals who seem beyond redemption are also children of God and because this is the case they are forgiven through the death of Jesus in the crucifixion.
Unlike the parable of the beggar and the rich man, Mr Goldman does gain his place in the heaven that is the gift of God, it is the process that leads to the gift of redemption that makes the story so eminently readable.
a lively challenging book
a thought-provoking study
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