my beautiful idol

May 17, 2008 | 6 Comments

A few weeks ago, I was sent a copy of My Beautiful Idol, by Pete Gall, for review. A long plane trip earlier this week gave me the chance to really dig in to the book. Once I did, it was easy to stick with it.

Much like Blue Like Jazz, My Beautiful Idol is a spiritual memoir of a young man trying to make sense of life in his early 20s. I’ve even seen the two books compared in this way on a few occasions. The similarity should end there, because otherwise it will distort the way one reads My Beautiful Idol.

About a third of the way through the book, I was struggling with whether I wanted to continue. Spending some time reflecting on it helped me to see why — I didn’t really like Pete Gall. But as I continued to read, I realized that that is kind of the point. Pete Gall writes of his journey as a young man to fully devote himself to God. He offers a great deal of transparency as he shows his own immaturity in that season. And as he does, I was invited to watch how he gradually becomes aware of that himself. And I respect him for showing us so much.

So, don’t confuse My Beautiful Idol with Blue Like Jazz — it’s written from a different stance and should be read as such. But do consider reading it if you want to be refreshed by the honest reflections of one man’s journey through the Christian faith. You might even see some of your own self along the way.

  • Another blogger I read recently commented on this book. She too wasn’t completely without criticism for the book, but I thought you’d be interested in her response.
    http://julieclawson.com/2008/04/30/book-review-my-beautiful-idol/

  • Pat

    That’s a great review, John. I agree with your description of Pete. I found the book good, but not great, and I think you put your finger on the reason.

  • Tim

    Is this just a reworking of his previous book “Gall”?

  • Tim Primaeiouioeauieox,
    I think it is, but I’m not sure.

  • i had similar feelings about halfway through.

  • I just bought this book from Amazon, hopefully will get it soon.