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Left behind : a novel by Tim LaHaye

Left behind : a novel (edition 1995)

by Tim LaHaye

Series: Left Behind (1)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
7,1841181,233 (3.33)113
Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. Suspense. HTML:An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun.
A repackage of the New York Times best-selling novel Left Behind.
Now a major motion picture starring Nicolas Cage!.
… (more)
Title:Left behind : a novel
Authors:Tim LaHaye
Info:Wheaton, Ill Tundale House Publishers, Inc. 1995
Collections:Your library

Work Information

Left Behind: A Novel of the Earth's Last Days by Tim LaHaye

  1. 10
    Father Elijah: An Apocalypse by Michael D. O'Brien (gabriel)
    gabriel: Father Elijah also deals with the Last Days, but does so without the very questionable theology of Tim LaHaye. It's spiritually powerful and quite well-written.
  2. 10
    The Anti-Christ Handbook: The Horror and Hilarity of Left Behind, Volume 1, The First 200 Pages by Fred Clark (RidgewayGirl)
    RidgewayGirl: An exhaustive and entertaining explanation of why Left Behind is not only bad literature, it's bad theology.
  3. 00
    The Rapture Exposed: The Message of Hope in the Book of Revelation by Barbara R. Rossing (SkepChris)
    SkepChris: The Book of Revelation can be read in various ways. The interpretation in the Left Behind series is extremely negative. This book can balance the scales.
  4. 00
    Das Allheilmittel by Jennifer Valoppi (rxtheresa)
  5. 00
    Godspeed, Carry My Bullet by Ian Lewis (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Though Lewis's work does not deal with the Rapture but rather with a dystopian society that resulted from a division of the U.S. into two governments with much of the Midwest being a DMZ, there are similar themes in that there is an underground/resistance movement and people on the inside working for that resistance. Also an assassination within the series.… (more)
  6. 00
    Jesus & the End Times by Michael Barber (fulner)
    fulner: You read the fictional story, now find out, what did Jesus REALLY say about the end of the world? Is the rapture even biblical?
  7. 00
    Interview with the Antichrist: His Hour Has Come by Jeff Kinley (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Both deal with fictional ideas of the end of the world as we know it, beginning with the rapture and moving on to the rise of the Antichrist and the tribulation.
  8. 00
    The Son of Shinar by Chris W Hambleton (JenniferRobb)
    JenniferRobb: Both series explore the End Times of the Judeo-Christian faith using a fictional setting.
  9. 01
    Rapture, Revelation, and the End Times: Exploring the Left Behind Series by Bruce David Forbes (eromsted)

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» See also 113 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 117 (next | show all)
I knew the book would be preachy, but the narrative became painfully obvious after 150 pages. The main character suddenly believes in God, the Bible, Jesus and the Rapture instantaneously. This after expousing his years and years of total disbelief. After his conversion, he speaks with a priest who wasn't taken (go figure) and just like that, literally within two sentences, he is 100% born again. His daughter Chloe, is skeptical and obviously is meant to be the voice of those who question all things religious.

The priest plays a tape from the pastor who was taken. The tape was made to explain to all who were left behind, just what happened and why. It is on this tape that the pastor warns all viewers of the arrival of the anti-Christ. Lo and behold, 35 pages later, as if on cue, he appears in the form of a Romanian president who is young, charismatic, very smart and who wins over the entire press and all world leaders while giving a speech at the UN. This happens around page 235.

It is at this point in the book that I knew exactly where this story was going, how it would end and how the next book in the series would be setup. And sure as snow is white, it turned out exactly as I predicted.

I was raised Catholic and was curious about the book. I was able to relate to the daughter, who spoke for all of the skeptics of the world. IMHO, like the Bible, this book is a work of fiction. And not very good fiction at that. The writing is geared towards junior high school readers and is very simplistic in structure, dialog and predictability. These problems, along with the fact that it preachers to the reader, I felt to be very demeaning. In short, the message is if you are not a believer, a Born-again Christian, you don't have a chance of getting into the Kingdom of Heaven. As Chloe says, "that's pretty sad for a loving God."

Books like this are not for me and I have no desire to read any of the other books in the series. ( )
  BenM2023 | Nov 22, 2023 |
I decided to read this because the premise was intriguing and it was somewhat internet famous for being awful. I went into it with fairly low expectations, but not quite low enough.
I managed to get through the first 20 or so pages as I enjoyed arguing with every flawed plot point, and then was only able to slog through the rest of the book by imagining how I would have rewrite the novel if given the chance.
The writing is abysmal. The writers have evidently never heard the catchphrase of every writing teacher: "show not tell!" None of the main characters are physically described (aside from Rayford having grey hair) so are difficult to picture. Hattie is apparently physically attractive, but we are never given any further detail or evidence of this fact. Nor are the characters given any real conflict with God (with the possible exception of the pastor Brian, who does have an interesting story). For the main part, they just didn't believe enough for no good reason, missing a brilliant opportunity to show an interesting and moving reconciliation with faith. The supposedly incredible inspirational speeches by Nicolae Carpathia read like a bad high school essay copied from Wikipedia.
Then there's the sexism. For the most part, women appear only to scold or argue with the primary male characters and are then berated into submission (an actual approving quote from the book showed Chloe being "really put in her place" by the pastor Brian). I'm not surprised that both Rayford and Buck are portrayed as being bad with women, since the authors have apparently never met a real one. But they like trying to talk to you pointlessly, going to beauty parlours (result never described) and crying! And don't forget women react positively to being lectured and stalked.
Numerous logical flaws pepper the plot as well. In one particularly galling instance (which made me want to throw the book in the garbage) Hattie complains that her sister has been put out of a job due to abortions no longer being required. Putting aside the ridiculous notion of family planning clinics as businesses, the clinic she works for explicitly also provides pregnancy related counselling, and with every unborn fetus in the world having been raptured, I can only imagine how overrun their crisis counselling services would be!
In all, I am baffled at the book's popularity, and astonished that there was even one sequel, let alone a whole series. Oh well, they couldn't possibly go 12 books without eventually learning to write...right? ( )
  weemanda | Nov 2, 2023 |
This story follows two main characters:

1. Rayford Steele, an unsaved pilot who was flying a 747 when 100 passengers simply disappeared during the rapture, leaving behind their clothes, jewelry, and loved ones. His wife and son are raptured, but he and his daughter, Chloe, who was attending college in California are left behind.

2. Cameron "Buck" Williams, an unsaved journalist, left behind on Rayford's 747, who begins, at the risk of his own life, investigating and putting together the United Nation's plans for a one world global market and the rise of the antichrist, Nicolae Carpathia, of Romania, who was tall, young and handsome, and could speak 9 different languages...all the languages of the UN and the 3 from his own country. His goal is to disarm the world of all weapons except 10%, which would be given to the UN so they could do their job of "keeping the peace", move to one currency, one religion , becoming a one world global market, dividing the world up into 10 kingdoms. The Antichrist will make a 7-year pact with Israel, rebuild their temple, and move UN headquarters to Babylon for the new world order.

This is the beginning story and prediction of the end days as told in the Bible from the Book of Revelations. The truly saved will simply disappear in the blink of an eye. And from that day forward, seven years of hard to severe trials and tribulations will follow. I gave this a 4-star...a good story but an average read because the story was more centered on the mental state of mind of the two characters and did not really show the total chaos in the world the instant the saved were raptured. It was still very interesting and the ending did leave you hanging and wanting to read more.

Buck Williams was saved just before entering the meeting where Nicolae Carpathia, from Romania, Consul of the United Nations (U.N) and also the Anti-christ, shoots and kills the two people who propped him up into this world ruling position. But, because Buck had people praying over him for God's hand to protect him, he literally became invisible to everyone there in the meeting. Carpathia had invited him under false pretenses. He was to welcome Buck to the "team"...which he did. Carpathia threatened all the attendees at the meeting, and went to each one to hear how they were going to tell the media and law officials how this was a murder suicide. When he got to Buck, who was crying, God told him to keep quiet. Carpathia remarked that his friend was too overcome with grief to speak, and moved on to the next person. Now, instead of working for Carpathia, and being his friend, Buck is outcasted by Carpathia for not showing up to the greatest event in history. God closed their eyes and cleared their minds of any trace of Buck joining this team, and he protected Buck's spirit from being drawn in.....next up...TRIBULATION FORCE...


We must leave our self-serving lifestyles of pride, pleasure, and self-fulfillment before it is too late! The antichrist will emerge from Egypt and will miraculously rise in power, running on his "humanitarian" efforts, while pushing a one world global economy, after Christ's return for his people and when the 7 years of trials and tribulations begin. There will be no children left on earth. They will be raptured up with the church. God, himself, will no longer be here on earth for the next 7 years. You can imagine the evilness coming out of people...killing, raping, pillaging, looting and stealing...you name it. The mark of the beast would become mandatory during this time. These will sure be the hardest, trying times.

If left behind, you should know that the Antichrist will appear to be a miracle worker. He will step out, trying to take over the world, just when it is in total chaos, and promise strength, peace, and security, BUT he will clearly be against God because he will speak out against Him.

P. 311: Revelations 5 - You cannot escape the trials after the rapture. The Seven-Sealed Scroll will begin to unfold. Anyone who comes forward proclaiming peace and unity should be suspect of being the Antichrist. After the rapture, there will bo no peace on earth!

The first four seals in the first 21 months are described as men on four horses: 1) white horseman...the Antichrist, who works on bringing in diplomacy and getting organized for the first 3 months; 2) red horseman...war, possibly bringing in WWIII...sometime within the first 6 months...survivors should stockpile food supplies at this time; 3) black horseman...inflation and famine, in which millions will die; 4) pale horseman...symbol of death, plagues will sweep across the nation wiping out millions more (1/4 of the world's population) before the 5th Seal Judgement.

The 5the Seal Judgement: the killing of millions converted by the 144,000 Jewish witnesses.

The 6th Seal Judgement: a worldwide earthquake so devastating it can't be measured on the scale...God's wrath for killing His saints.

The 7th Seal Judgement: Introduces the Seven Trumpet Judgements, which will take place in the 2nd quarter of the seven year period, the second 21 months, which get progressively worse.

Also, during the 1st 21 months, two witnesses, Elijah and Moses, will witness here on earth, in Jerusalem, for 1,260 days. No rain will fall during those days. These two men will have power to perform miracles...turn water to blood and to strike earth with plagues whenever they want. Anyone who tries to kill them will be struck down. Satan will kill them at the end of 3-1/2 years, and their bodies will lie in the street for 3-1/2 days, after which they will rise from the dead and ascend into heaven as their enemies watch, and then another great earthquake will destroy 1/10th of the city and killing 7,000 people. (p. 313)


Accept God's message of salvation. His Holy Spirit will come into you and make you spiritually born anew. Become a child of God by praying to Him right now. (p. 215)

"Dear God, I admit that I'm a sinner. I am sorry for my sins. Please forgive me and save me. I trust in him right now. I believe that the sinless blood of Jesus is sufficient to pay the price for my salvation. Thank you for hearing me and receiving me. Thank you for saving my soul." (p. 216)

Intelligence, looks, abilities, self-emotions, to publicly make known your decision to accept Christ, etc...

Lust, jealousy, spitefulness, vengeful, petty, selfishness, judgemental, self-interest, worship of monetary idols (money, property, house, books, my time, car, etc...), boastfulness or self-importance/vanity/self-absorbed (Facebook) ( )
  MissysBookshelf | Aug 27, 2023 |
I found this book to be exciting, thought provoking, and suspenseful. As Christian, I really enjoyed it and it gave me a lot to think about. ( )
  marytblogs | Aug 20, 2023 |
I have to admit that the cliffhanger ending of the book was a welcome twist. It helps explain why everyone so easily dismisses who the obvious villain is, whether you’re familiar with interpretations of the book of Revelations or not.

That having been said, I cannot dismiss all the things that made this book a real chore for me to read. Buck Williams is such a cliche, but I sort of like him. He’s the most proactive character of the piece. But every character is such a cardboard cutout superficial person that I failed to sympathize much. Rayford Steele, the pilot who finds God, is an arrogant ass. The woman he’s thinking about—who he’s never touched, although he wants to (as told to us in the very first paragraph of the book), is vapid and superficial too.

And let’s not talk about how this book utilizes women in light of the Bechdel test. I know, I keep bringing up that test lately in my reviews, but I can’t avoid it here. It’s that bad. I had hope for Steele’s daughter, but the book ultimately failed her too.

The book is preachy—look, it can’t not be, given the subject matter. I get that. But it got repetitive fast. It’s an easy read. I blew through this book, not because of the heart pounding action but because the overly repetitive parts were skim-worthy.

I did not like this book. Sorry. ( )
  CaseyAdamsStark | Jul 5, 2023 |
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» Add other authors (80 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Tim LaHayeprimary authorall editionscalculated
Jenkins, Jerry B.main authorall editionsconfirmed
Ferrone, RichardNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Kummer, JeroenTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Sondericker, JackNarratorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Weyandt, EvaTranslatorsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For Alice MacDonald and Bonita Jenkins, who ensured we would not be left behind
First words
Rayford Steele's mind was on a woman he had never touched. With his fully loaded 747 on autopilot above the Atlantic en route to a 6 a.m. landing at Heathrow, Rayford had pushed from his mind thoughts of his family.
Last words
(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is the book. Please do not combine with the movie or the Experience in Sound and Drama audio version or the graphic novel - these are an adaption of the book.
Abridged audiobook ISBNs: 0842316752, 0842343237
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Fiction. Literature. Science Fiction. Suspense. HTML:An airborne Boeing 747 is headed to London when, without any warning, passengers mysteriously disappear from their seats. Terror and chaos slowly spread not only through the plane but also worldwide as unusual events continue to unfold. For those who have been left behind, the apocalypse has just begun.
A repackage of the New York Times best-selling novel Left Behind.
Now a major motion picture starring Nicolas Cage!.

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