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The Traveler's Gift [Audio]
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Comedian and motivational speaker Andrews has crafted a breezy little fantasy reminiscent of It's a Wonderful Life and A Christmas Carol. Our hero, the likable David Ponder, finds himself at a midlife crossroads: events beyond his control have deprived him of money and his job. With a wife and daughter to support, he becomes seriously distraught and contemplates suicide. A car crash precipitates the imaginary (or is it real?) journey that forms the bulk of the book-individual visits with seven historical notables. Each offers our titular "traveler" gifts in the form of written "Decisions for Success," which he then absorbs. For example, Anne Frank's "gift" vividly demonstrates that happiness is a choice. At book's end, there is a strong element of faith, but Andrews uses a light touch. Readable and less sentimental than Richard Paul Evans's The Christmas Box, this will find a ready audience. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

Clean-cut comedian/writer/lecturer Andrews is a frequent speaker on the motivational circuit and the editor of several collections of real-life inspirational tales (the Storms of Perfection series). With this tale of misfortune and redemption, he branches out into inspirational fiction. Sadly, the sense of humor that apparently delights his live audiences does not enliven his debut novel, a standard motivational spiel thinly disguised as fiction. David Ponder, 46-year-old father and husband, loses his job and, after moping a bit, gets into a car accident. Upon losing consciousness, he is transported to the past, where he meets Harry Truman, King Solomon, Civil War hero Joshua Chamberlain, Christopher Columbus, Abraham Lincoln, Anne Frank and the angel Gabriel. The lessons they impart are condensed into seven affirmations, awkwardly termed the Seven Decisions. Andrews's prose style is strictly workmanlike, and he often slips into honeyed personal growth speak: "I am an eagle. It is my destiny to fly" and "I will walk with a spring in my step and a smile on my face." Those seeking guidance would do well to turn to more substantial nonfiction offerings; those in search of satisfying storytelling will be warned off by the subtitle. Author tour. (Nov. 5) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.

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