Meeting Rich (by Caleb J Kruse)

Every so often I browse the free Kindle books at Amazon, and download any that look even slightly interesting. One of them I found earlier this year was this one, by Caleb J Kruse, an American author I had not heard of. The blurb said it was about the last three weeks in the life of a famous singer, and I vaguely recalled having heard of someone called Rich Mullins, so I thought it could be quite interesting.

The full title of the book is ‘Meeting Rich: A Liturgy. A Legacy. A Man with a Guitar in my Living Room’. I was increasingly puzzled by the title until, doing some research later, I discovered that it’s similar to the title of one of Mullins’ albums. It’s a bit misleading as there’s no hint of any kind of liturgy, but it could certainly be said to be a legacy. Rich Mullins, it turns out, was a contemporary Christian songwriter and singer.

On the plus side, apart from its having been free to download, the story is mostly well-written. It’s in the form of an autobiography starting with a brief account of the author’s life, particularly in his teens, including his taste in music. It then turns into something of a eulogy to Rich Mullins, veering rather into hero-worship, which I found somewhat uncomfortable, and then the famous man comes to stay with the author’s family.

I suppose I was expecting some deep conversations between adults; instead this is about a likeable guy who takes the time to befriend a somewhat insecure teenager and encourage him in his music. That’s cool, but essentially that’s all there is to the book. It’s not long - Amazon lists it as having 50 pages, and it’s not something I would have wanted to pay for.

There are some photos later in the book, mostly of the author and his family, and I started to wonder why this was available to the public. There’s a comment made towards the end that it was originally intended to be just for family and close friends; that would have made more sense, really.

It’s a nice enough account, but even for those who were fans of Rich Mullins, it doesn’t say much about him other than that he stayed at Kruse house as part of the family. And since these events happened almost twenty years ago, I'm not sure that it's going to be of much interest to anyone new.

If you can find a free edition of this, and like reading this kind of thing, it’s not a bad book to while away half an hour or so.

Review copyright 2017 Sue's Book Reviews

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