Sunday, February 12, 2012

Tiber River Reviews: Sinner




I guess I should have realized that a book by a comedian was not likely to be the book for me.  Comedy isn't my thing, and by the time I got to the end of Sinner I was skimming and waiting for it to be over.

Lino Rulli is an Italian-American comedian who has a show on Sirus radio (and I'll admit to barely knowing what Sirus radio is, having never listened to it.)  The book is kind of a memoir, but not really.  It's the story of his faith life, but not really.  It's a book about him, but after having read it, I don't feel like I know any more about him or about his faith than I did after reading the back of the book.

Rulli admits that he isn't the most pious guy on the block, and that he was thrilled to be confirmed because that meant he didn't have to go to mass anymore (guess his parents weren't as mean as mine).  What he doesn't tell us is why he came back.  He gives us a humorous chapter on how to go to confession.  I also liked the chapter about his first two adult confessions--one sitting in a beanbag chair talking to Fr. "You're OK" and the second in Rome talking to Fr. "How Many Times?"  He also had a chapter about how he ended up confessing to a priest he was trying to avoid.  Interesting as these chapters were however, there was nothing about them that would convince me to go if it was not a habit I already developed.

I liked the way he admitted that he doesn't know all the answers; that he isn't one of those people who comfortably tells you about what his Lord and Savior Jesus Christ did for him today.  His mind wanders during mass and he doesn't like going to confession.  I'm not a person who wears my religion on my sleeve and I like hearing the faith stories of people to whom I can relate.  However, I don't think he ever tells us why he believes or why we should.  There are anecdotes about his life, but they don't come together to really explain much about him, at least in my opinion.

All that being said, I know there are people that love this book.

I'd like to thank the Tiber River Review program for providing a complimentary review copy.  It should be obvious that I was not required to write a positive review.

I wrote this review of Sinner for the free Catholic Book review program, created by Aquinas and More Catholic Goods, your source for Baptism Gifts and Oplatki Christmas Wafers. Tiber River is the first Catholic book review site, started in 2000 to help you make informed decisions about Catholic book purchases. I receive free product samples as compensation for writing reviews for Tiber River.

8 comments:

  1. I have very little luck with Tiber. The last book I reviewed for them was in Sept. I had requested Sinner but ended up getting it from CC instead. Back in early January, I requested another book from them and nothing. I need to email them to find out why I'm not getting any

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    1. I've had trouble too. Of all the folks I review for, they are the ones I have consistent problems with. A few months ago they sent out an email offering an extra book, and I replied; they said something was stuck in the system. They unstuck it, and since then it has worked (one more book).

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  2. I'm so picky about what I read that I'm sure I'd be a bad fit for a book review system, although I have considered it ;) And I'm with you - if someone is writing an entire book about themselves it's time to open up and give the "whys" of the situation, not just the funny tidbits.

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  3. With most review systems, you get to pick (or at least say yes or no) to a book, after reading the description. Few have required numbers of books to accept. Yes, they want good reviews,but they realize not all are going to be good, and as a reviewer, some negative reviews add to credibility.

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  4. I appreciate the honest review .... because I've heard nothing but glowing accolades about this book.


    I have a hard time with book reviews .... I feel stressed when reading the book, then feel bad if I don't like it.

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    1. When I first started reviewing books on the blog, I was reviewing books I had purchased or got from the library. Later I got into the "free book for a review" circuit, and at first I'd work hard to find something to talk about in a review, other than the fact that the book was awful, even if it was. Now, I'm a lot more likely just not to finish a book I really don't like but I have realized that not all books are wonderful; some are good but not for me and some are just plain awful. People who read my blog regularly want to know what I think about the books I read; otherwise they wouldn't be regular readers. I try to be charitable, but if I don't like it, I want my readers to know why. All that being said, different stokes for different folks, if it wasn't fun for me, I wouldn't do it.

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  5. Interesting point of view RAnn. I'm reading one to review written by Pope Benedict and I'm having a hard time finishing it. It's not that he's a bad writer, it just isn't as interesting as I thought when I picked it out.

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  6. I agree totally with your review. A few parts of the book were somewhat entertaining, but over, I didn't understand what the point was, there really isn't any, and for a fellow who has a degree in Theology, Lino, you'd never know it. I do, most of time, enjoy his radio show though.

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