Review: “Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy,” by Eric Metaxas

November 6, 2014

I recently had the chance to read Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, by Eric Metaxas. This nonfiction book was released on September 30, 2014 by Thomas Nelson.

About this book (from the back cover):

From the New York Times best-selling author, Eric Metaxas, an abridged version of the groundbreaking biography of Dietrich Bonhoeffer, one of the greatest heroes of the twentieth century, a man who stood up to Hitler.

A definitive, deeply moving narrative, Bonhoeffer is a story of moral courage in the face of monstrous evil. As Adolf Hitler and the Nazis seduced a nation, bullied a continent, and attempted to exterminate the Jews of Europe, a young pastor named Dietrich Bonhoeffer become one of the first to speak out against Hitler. As a double agent, he joined the plot to assassinate the Führer, and he was hanged in Flossenberg concentration camp at age thirty-nine. Since his death, Bonhoeffer has grown to be one of the most fascinating, complex figures of the twentieth century.

Bonhoeffer brings the reader face-to-face with a man determined to do the will of God radically, courageously, and joyfully—even to the point of death. It is the story of a life framed by a passion for truth and a commitment to justice on behalf of those who face implacable evil.

My Verdict:

First, let me say that if you have the time and the inclination, Eric Metaxas’ book Bonhoeffer: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy – the original, unabridged version – is a phenomenal book and you should probably read that one instead. That being said, while the original version of this book is one of my husband’s favorites, I have attempted to read it in its 600+ page glory, and have failed twice. This is not the season for me to attempt that feat, what with small children and all. So, when I heard that an abridged, 256-page version had been published, I was excited. This book lived up to every expectation of mine, and the story flows so naturally I couldn’t tell what the writer left out. If you’re not familiar with Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s story, he was a Christian pastor in Germany who was a Nazi resister, part of a failed plot to assassinate Hitler, and ultimately, a martyr. Metaxas’ abilities as a biographer are amazing, and his well-researched narrative reads like a good story, not a dry history book. I thoroughly enjoyed this story, and highly recommend it to anyone.

If you’d like to check out Bonhoeffer Abridged: Pastor, Martyr, Prophet, Spy, it is currently on sale for $10.99 for the Kindle version. If you prefer a physical copy the paperback version is currently on sale for $13.59. Remember, Amazon’s prices can change at any time.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher through the BookLook Bloggers book review bloggers program. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

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