Never Mind the Reversing Ducks (by Adrian Plass)

I have very much enjoyed the writing of Adrian Plass over many years, particularly his brilliantly funny 'Sacred Diary' series. However, for some reason I never acquired this particular book. I discovered it about a year ago on my younger son's shelves, and decided to borrow it.

The sub-title to 'Never mind the reversing ducks' is 'a non-theologian encounters Jesus in the Gospel according to St Mark'. That's a pretty accurate description of the book. It's basically a gentle stroll through Mark's Gospel in 92 short readings, with commentary by Plass.

There are personal anecdotes, confessions, and also plenty of wise and thought-provoking words. As promised, there is no deep theology; however, the author manages to inject some new ideas and interpretations into these familiar passages, causing me to stop and ponder more than once.

Adrian Plass's famous humour shines through now and again, mostly when he points the finger at himself and his foibles; but it's not intended to be an amusing book. It's the kind of thing to pick up and read a few pages at a time. I've used it over the past year, usually reading three or four sections each weekend. To be tidy, I decided to finish it before the end of this year, so read the last few this morning.

The intriguing title of the book is explained in one of the commentaries, so I won't explain it here.

Generally recommended to anyone (Christian or otherwise) looking for some light - but thought-provoking - brief meditations on familiar Scripture verses. Not for reading at one sitting, however.

Review copyright Sue's Book Reviews, 26th December 2011

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