Long term friend of The Sofa, Richard Littledale has a new book out called Jonah: poet in extremis – which as Richard says is “a little book which seeks to rescue Jonah from the Sunday School cupboard, and expose it for the poignant adult story which it truly is.”*
Richard has this to say about the book:
“Any man who can be pressed into service by Reformation preachers, Jewish comedians, Russian painters, children’s book illustrators and others has already been through the ‘interpretative mill’ quite enough. The purpose of this little book is not to rescue Jonah from his detractors, nor to ask that the ‘real Jonah should please stand up’ – for he is long gone with the passage of the years. These pages are not the place to tackle discussions about the scientific questions raised by the tale, nor to provide some authoritative conclusion to the theological debates. Instead the book aims to understand Jonah by immersion (pun fully intended).”
I’ve slowly started reading this, and was impressed that the first page takes us on a nostalgia fueled trip to youth groups gone by, finishing with a heart breaking stop at a funeral. I’m inspired to keep reading to see if this is where the story really ends.
*To be honest I think we’ve described Jonah as a Sunday School favorite a few times ourselves.
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