The Fire in the Rock

  • by Charles Henderson Norman
  • Narrated by Charles Henderson Norman
  • 14 hrs and 11 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

The Fire in the Rock is a first-person retelling of the Exodus story from the viewpoint of Tzipporah, the wife of Moses; but it is not a conventional Bible story. First, God is offstage; he is present only in the characters' hearts and thoughts. Second, there are no overt miracles - all the events of the Plagues and the Exodus are attributed to natural, if unique, events that are now known to have taken place at around that time.
I've seen some confusion on the part of some potential listeners on this issue, so let me make this point clear: in the book, the issue of whether these events were miracles (as Tzipporah herself insists,) or just coincidences, rather depends upon what one brings to them, just as in our own lives. There is no way to know with certainty, and it remains a matter of faith. There is one unambiguously inexplicable occurrence near the end of the book, just to drive home that point. I am not out to sabotage anyone's faith; on the contrary, my intent is to show that there are transcendent things worth believing in, even if one rejects simplistic supernaturalism.
In any case, this is not a book of signs and wonders; I write of Moses and Tzipporah as real people with a real, human relationship. Indeed, the book has been described (by Kirkus) as "a powerful, focused love story that may perhaps be more appealing to seekers than believers"; As for the religious aspect - Moses himself is filled with uncertainty and doubt till the end of his life. The central inspiration of the book was, in fact, this simple question, "What if Moses were just an ordinary man?"
The Fire in the Rock received a Starred Review from Kirkus Reviews, and was named to its list of 'The Best Books of 2106.'


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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

The story of Moses brought to life.

Since I'm not Christian I wasn't really sure what I would think of this book... it held me spellbound!

The story comes from Tzipporah's (Moses wife's) perspective told at the end of her life. And it's a story that is so realistic that the events could have taken place as they are told here and spawned a legend that grew with the retelling to create the story told in the bible.

It is very cleverly crafted and I could barely stand to stop listening to work and sleep.

There is a lot of background information because who Moses is as a person and his life experiences play a large role in shaping the Exodus and ensuring it can happen at all.

The book is narrated by the author, this makes it a little different to what I'm used to. There aren't the distinct character voices that a skilled voice actor creates but this soon stopped mattering. Charles has a great voice and the pacing and delivery are very well done. He also did an excellent job of expressing emotion, in fact I feel like his love and passion for the story come through in his voice.

Regardless of your religious beliefs or even if you have then this is a very interesting book and it is beautifully told.

This book was supplied free by the author/narrator/publisher and I voluntarily wrote this honest review.

If you found this review helpful would you please take a moment to click yes below, thanks.
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- Claire

Great blend of genres that achieves its goal . . .

in what the author set out to achieve; leading one to wonder,"What if Moses were just an ordinary man?" That is how the story is unfurled and remains the underlying perspective in which to take in the tale.

My three favorite reads are The Bible, fiction, and history; The Fire in the Rock does a fine job of blending all there of those, often so seamlessly that one must remain cognizant of the fact that the author IS blending fact with fiction . . . all while addressing a topic of what most view with either complete belief or utter disbelief.

As a person of strong faith, as well as having an in-depth background of biblical teachings, I still enjoyed this book simply because I believe it is important to include ones imagination of the persons, circumstances, cultures, and times surrounding our Bible stories. Even the Apostle John wrote of the actions of Jesus/God "if they were written in detail, I suppose that even the world itself would not contain the books that would be written" (John 21:25 NASB). So there is a little room for artistic license when considering Bible stories.

That being said, the author takes the story of Moses, specifically the Exodus, and while using well researched historical and biblical truths, he adds to it an underlying tale of fictional origin. The danger in this (if danger is the proper word) is that the author gets awfully close to one of John's last admonishments, "I testify to everyone who hears the words of the prophecy of this book: if anyone adds to them, God will add to him the plagues which are written in this book" (Revelation 22:18 NASB). I say that only because, even though the author readily admits this is a fictional account, it is so close to the truth that it could lead marginal believers astray. I true irony there is that in the Afterword the author makes every attempt to explain away "the plagues which are written in this book."

Getting off my soapbox, this is a well written account of a story we are all familiar with, yet from a different perspective; that of a woman's view of her husband who lived through an extraordinary (I would say miraculous) set of circumstances which will be retold until the ends of the earth. The fictional spin from the eyes of Zipporah adds a personality to Moses that the Bible does not give us and it is fun to imagine that some of these aspects of the man and his side story might be true; especially the early parts of the book when we hear of Moses' life during his time prior to returning to confront the Pharaoh.

All in all this was a great book to listen to, just keep reminding yourself it is a novel. I would highly recommend this for it's entertainment value with the caveat to beware of the questioning of several faith-based beliefs. The only two issues I have with the book are: 1.) the Afterword where the author pretty much throws faith out the window in favor of historical and scientific evidence; though he does maintain his belief in God and hope for an eternal afterlife. 2.) as others have stated, having a male voice narrate a female's story was distracting. I had to keep reminding my self that it was NOT Moses as the primary voice.

I was given a free copy of this book by the author and narrator of this book in return for this honest review. In fact, I had a nice exchange of emails surrounding this story and our faiths prior to my listening to it which lent to some added insights as he poter his heart and soul into his work.

I hope this review helps in making a decision as to whether this is a book you wish to purchase and listen to.
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- Bill Beaulac

Book Details

  • Release Date: 04-28-2017
  • Publisher: Charles Henderson Norman