UK Christian Bookshops Directory: Christian Book Reviews: The (Spiritual) Adventures of CyberCindy
 
The (Spiritual) Adventures of CyberCindy The (Spiritual) Adventures of CyberCindy
Dialogues in Cyberspace

Gill Rowell
ISBN 1842271709
Paternoster, 2003
£8.99

Category: Emerging Church & Postmodern Faith

Welcome to CyberCindy. Gill Rowell's CyberCindy isn't just a book - it's an interactive experience. Are you ready? I know I wasn't.

A couple of friends recommended the book to me, but they were obviously biased, friends of the author. And let's face it, it's a girlie cover: it wasn't going to do much for my street cred on the bus. But according to one reviewer - a fictional crocodile - quoted on the back cover, it's "the best thing since sliced gazelle." That clinched the deal: I bought it.

This is a book that defies classification. On the one hand, it's fiction, a postmodern science-fiction exploration of the online world: CyberCindy is a young woman who works from home via her computer and her Rompacomp (read the book), pushing at the boundaries of cyberspace for the ultimate virtual reality experience. She is completely amoral - or at least she thinks she is - and lives only for the present moment. We, as readers, travel through cyberspace with her and share her adventures.

On the other hand, it's a biblical commentary, retelling and recontextualising the book of Ruth - and an excerpt from John's Gospel - for today's world. Ruth is brought back to life as an avatar and CyberCindy joins her in her journey. For CyberCindy, Ruth is an entertainment package, nothing more. But Ruth is an avatar with attitude: she knows why she's there and isn't afraid to speak her mind.

On yet another hand - we are talking postmodern here: three or more hands are entirely possible - it's a workbook on ethics, philosophy and theology. Throughout the book there are pauses for thought, questions, discussions, explanations, cryptic quotes and poems, asides that challenge the reader. It's ready made for a readers group, just the ticket for a home group that needs livening up and ideal, of course, for an online discussion forum.

As well as the crocodile quote on the back cover there's a quote from John Goldingay:
"This is the most exciting, un-put-downable Christian book I have ever read - buy it quick!" He's right: stop what you're doing and snap up a copy of this book now. But beware: it bytes.

Two notes to the author:
1) Where's the website??
2) More, please!

Phil Groom, May 2003

Phil Groom is this site's Webmaster and Reviews Editor. He's a freelance blogger, writer and web developer who spent ten years managing the bookshop at London School of Theology alongside eight years writing web reviews for Christian Marketplace magazine before he came to his senses and went independent. You can find him on facebook or follow him on twitter @notbovvered.

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