Sunday, January 18, 2015

'The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven' Recanted, Publishers Weekly Reports

In October 2010, I reviewed the nonfiction book The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven by Alex and Kevin Malarkey. I reviewed it in exchange for a free hardcover copy of the book from the publisher. Now, according to an article posted at Publishers Weekly on Jan. 16th, its publisher is pulled the book "and its ancillary products" out of print.

The article by Clare Swanson reports that Alex Malarkey wrote in an open letter to religious booksellers that he didn't die or go to heaven and that he made up the story to get attention. The article quotes Alex as writing, "people have profited from lies, and continue to. They should read the Bible, which is enough....Those who market these materials must be called to repent and hold the Bible as enough."

Swanson's article links to a National Public Radio story by Bill Chappell. The NPR story says Alex's letter was posted on a website called Pen and Pulpit. Chappell states that Alex's mom, Beth, has been speaking out since last year saying that Alex no longer wants his name to be used without his permission, effectively distancing the family from its bestselling work already.

Mario the Vigilant Christian (you may remember his YouTube channel from "Ellie Goulding's 'Lights' Interpreted According to MK Ultra Theory") posted on this same topic yesterday.

This isn't the first time Alex's story have been questioned. In 2011, prolific religious author D. Eric Williams wrote The Truth About the Boy Who Came Back From Heaven: The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly.

Goodreads summarizes Williams' book thusly: "Should we take seriously a story about a boy who routinely visits heaven? And what measuring stick should we use in answering that question? Is it enough that this tale employs Christian terminology or is there a higher standard we must look to? Find out in the booklet, The Truth About The Boy Who Came Back From Heaven: The Good, The Bad And The Ugly."

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