Title: Finding Jesus in Israel
Author: Buck Storm
Publisher: Worthy Publishing
Date of Publication: 1 May 2018
Told in a suave and easy to read style, Finding Jesus in Israel is an unconventional travel book by Storm. Though not a travel guide proper, this book takes interesting to a whole new level. Taking the genre of travel guides by storm, Buck Storm relates his multifarious adventures in Israel as he travels along the length and breadth of the country where Jesus once strode.
As a first hand account, the book mentions Storm’s experiences in a novel like manner with the introduction of several characters that he meets along the way that go on too make the story more engaging. Israel is a rising global tourist destination that has been hosting millions of international visitors each year. It is also a country that has a strong historical and political background. Perhaps, it is its history and political affiliations or present day position that makes Israel a land of much interest to people from various professional backgrounds. However, Storm does not deal directly with any of the difficult themes but rather mentions them through the talks that he has had with the locals there. After all, the best way to know a country and its culture is through its people.
The dialogues form an important part of the narrative and are short but well framed. It shows an ease with which he brings out the several themes and facts without getting sidelined from the original idea of presenting the magnificent sights that the Holy Land has to offer. Sadly, the book is too lengthy and cannot be read on the go. It requires quite some attention and for those who do not enjoy reading detailed travelogues with be put off immediately. Not exactly a travel writing as he doesn’t mention anything about the facts like costs and hotels. Dialogues and interaction between people is interesting. Unbiased take on events. Storm mentions all the things American-Israeli ties, Middle Eastern politics and historical significance of Israel. Though its almost like an ode to Israel, yet he doesn’t over venerate Israel as a land of riches. He mentions its importance and significance which is unparalleled to that of any other country in the world. What is important to understand is that the book is descriptive of his travel that was more of a pilgrimage.
Christianity lies at the background of the book and Storm’s intention is to understand its significance and the role that Jesus played while his days in the Holy Land. Some interesting chapters include Confession is Good for the Soul, Horse Trading, Paper Prayers, Same Old Sun and The Beginning is Near. Another chapter Bombs deserves special mention that deals with the growing turmoil in the region. Finding Jesus in Israel is very different from the usual factual travel books and it doesn’t provide a lot of information about the hotels available, the prices or any difficulties during the stay as a foreigner. But it is a valuable read for those who may be planning a trip or pilgrimage to Israel and it will leave readers feeling that the road less traveled is worth the effort that it takes to journey across the mixed terrain.