Andrew Klavan has written nearly three dozen books, most of them mysteries or psychological thrillers. Two of his novels, “Don’t Say A Word” and “True Crime”, were made into Hollywood movies. In 2009, he began writing young adult/teen fiction. Although I didn’t care much for his earlier novels, some of his later novels were outstanding – “If We Survive”, “Crazy Dangerous”, and “The Last Thing I Remember”. I remember being puzzled by the difference between his books that had too much language and objectionable content for me to finish reading, and other books that I could hardly put down and were clean reads.
This book is Andrew Klavan’s auto-biography, and by the end of the book I understood why his more recent books were so different from his earlier ones. In “The Great Good Thing”, the author describes his childhood and adolescence in great detail. Outwardly, the Klavans were an upscale Jewish family living in a nice suburban neighborhood who looked perfect. But it was all a facade. Andrew and his father clashed constantly, the father criticizing everything Andrew did. The father also demanded that he become a devout Jew, and Andrew retaliating by becoming an atheist. As an adult, he experienced severe depression and a lack of meaning in life, even after he fell in love and married.
It took many years for Andrew to accept the possibility that there really was a God, and that God cared about him personally. But the spark of faith was there, and it slowly grew. After years of soul-searching and prayer, he decided to follow Jesus and was baptized.
This biography was hard to read in places, especially where he described in great detail how worthless and depressed he felt. It was very deep and analytical. He seemed to be stuck in a downward spiral that he couldn’t get out of. But the fact that he now has such a different life is a testimony to the power of Jesus and his love. This is a story worth reading.