Bob Rice

An internationally famous speaker, musician, and writer, Bob Rice looks at the beautiful and the bizarre of life through a Catholic perspective. Also includes articles and excerpts from books he's working on.

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Location: Steubenville, Ohio, United States

My desire is to share the love of God to everyone I meet through the many gifts God has given me. My full time job is teaching evangelization and youth ministry at Franciscan University of Steubenville, OH. About two or three times a week I travel around the country proclaiming God's word or do a concert/lead worship. I've published many articles and I'm working on my first novel. 12 years ago, I married the love of my life and now we have 5 beautiful children. You can find out more about me and download lots of free stuff on my webpage-

Friday, January 30, 2009

Dune and Wishful Drinking

Let me make this clear: I do not believe in karma. But days like these make me understand how some people do. Just after I had one of the best birthdays of my life, my house was filled with children vomiting, sleepless nights, and a trip to the hospital. Everyone is okay, thank God, and thanks to those in Twitter nation for the prayers.

I also had an up and down experience with the last two audiobooks I listened to (though not as extreme). The first was the science fiction epic “Dune” by Frank Herbert. Dune was one of those books I heard about but never read. In the 80s, it was a terrible movie that had Sting in it. And then later they made a mini-series about it, which was supposed to not be as bad as the movie. I didn’t see either, but heard of them.

So I downloaded it off And you know what? It was one of the best sci-fi books I’ve read. Herbert tells a fascinating, fast paced story that brings you in great detail to another world. I can see why it would be hard to translate to film or TV. He focuses so much on nuances of thought- “the lie within the lie within the lie” as he writes, that you really need an interior monologue to fully understand and appreciate what it going on.

Not only that, but the audiobook production was amazing, often involving different voice actors, subtle music, and sound effects that enhanced the story without making it cheezy. The book was 22 hours long, but I was always eager to go back to it.

Before going to the hospital, I quickly downloaded a much shorter and different book, “Wishful Drinking”. It was Carrie Fisher’s autobiography, read by the author. Being a Star Wars fan, I was curious to hear some behind the scenes stuff. But eventually it suffered from two much information. No, I did not want to think of my Star Wars heroes smoking pot between takes, nor did I need to hear of the many men who gratified themselves watching Princess Lea’s bikini-clad Return of the Jedi image. She told a sad story of mental illness and drug abuse, yet made jokes about it in a way that made me smile and wince at the same time.

The timing felt a little off, too. She mentioned that “Wishful Drinking” was originally a one woman show that toured the country, and she spoke as if she was in front of an audience that wasn’t there- pausing for laughs, yelling for dramatic effect, etc. I would have loved to hear a live rendition of it, and hear her play off the audience.

At three hours, it was a quick listen. There were some great one liners, and I especially enjoyed it when she made fun of George Lucas, or told stories about her marriage to Paul Simon. But the stories of her mother and father’s many marriages, her failed marriages, stories of drinking, drugs and manic depression were hard to bear. For it’s faults, the book redeemed itself at the end, when Fisher challenged those who struggle with mental illness to hold their head high and don’t be ashamed. Then I realized: this is how Carrie Fisher is, not how I want her to be. It’s a sad story, but it is HER story, and she is making the best of it. So while I wouldn’t recommend it to everyone, I must admit it has merit.


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