#BookReview: I Died Swallowing A Goldfish by Kent Holloway

Max Lucado Meets CSI. Holloway has been writing fiction stories for many years, sometimes involving various cryptids, other times involving various folklores, and even one time using his day job to create a fictional tale of a crime scene “cleaner”. This is his first foray into the nonfiction realm, and here he uses his day job to talk about Christian ideals in a style very reminiscent of Max Lucado. Each chapter is roughly half “here’s a story from my day job as a forensic death investigator” and roughly half “here’s how that tale impacts the Christian life”. Because Holloway consistently uses prooftexting – the technique of citing Bible verses out of context in support of one’s thesis – I personally cannot give it any more than the four stars I’ve chosen to give it here. Others, particularly Christians or at least those than enjoy reading books such as Lucado’s works, will likely rate it higher and honestly I cannot fault them for it. It was a solid tale in that vein, I simply am so adamantly against prooftexting that I cannot allow myself to give 5 stars to any text that uses the technique. Others more critical of Christian beliefs reading this more for the CSI side of it (which is a valid approach, that side is truly fascinating) might rate the book a bit more critically specifically because of the Christian points, and that too would be fair-ish. Holloway, as he admits in the text, is an ordained minister and a Southern Baptist, and what he says throughout the text is mostly solidly in line with current Southern Baptist theology. So if you’re reading this book just for the CSI side, maybe just skip over the back half of most chapters, or skim them for any conclusions about the CSI side of the chapter. Overall a very well written book with a rare if not unique perspective in this field, and one that is very much recommended.

This review of I Died Swallowing A Goldfish by Kent Holloway was originally written on November 20, 2019.

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