Book Review – Courageous (the novel version)

Book Review – Courageous

DON’T WORRY, there are no spoilers in this review.

Based on the movie “Courageous” by Sherwood Pictures

Written by Randy Alcorn


I received this book for free from Tyndale House Publishers since I am part of their blogging group.  Since I’m writing this review, the book was complimentary. A good trade I think. 🙂 Thank you to my friend Angel Navy Wife for telling me about it.

I debated reading this book now or waiting until AFTER I see the movie. My dear friend Cara was going to guard the book for me. (Since I knew that if I wasn’t going to read it, it’d be too tempting not to peek if it was in the house.) But in the end, my Mom over at [Sweetness of Speech], told me to go ahead and read it so that I could write the review before the movie so that people would be encouraged to go see it, which is something I really want to do. Plus, I really did want to read it. 🙂

I’m a big fan of Sherwood Pictures and the work that the Kendrick brothers and Sherwood Baptist Church has done. You can really tell their heart is for the Lord and for His will to be done.
I’ve been following the production of Courageous since they announced it back in the fall of ’09. During the spring and summer of ’10 I watched the production journal videos practically everyday.  I’ve looked at every single behind the scenes photos, and I’ve prayed for the whole team, and, and……you get the picture.

So yeah, I’m a committed fan.

Anyway. The BOOK of Courageous is really good. I finished the 362 pages in a little over 48 hours. It would have been less than that if I didn’t have responsibilities. Of course, if we didn’t have responsibilities we’d never have the opportunity to be courageous. Just a thought.

I’m going to suppose that most of you know the basic synopsis  of the movie.  If not, you can read it here.  It was fun to see the scenes I’d watched in the trailer and music video (click on those words to see them if you haven’t seen them or want to again. I’ve only watched them like 20 times each.)  Actually spelled out. Literally.

Supposedly only 20% of the material in the book is from the movie script that Alex and Steven Kendrick wrote.  The other 80% Randy Alcorn added himself. (Otherwise the book would be extremely short. Movies are faster paced than books).

Warning! Some parts of this story will probably make you cry. It’s sad. And happy. And inspiring. And hopeful. And sad. (Yes, I repeated that on purpose).

This story is aimed at men.  It is about their call to be courageous fathers and husbands. So why am I so excited about it?  Because society has beaten down and ridiculed men for years. As a woman, I do not like that. I what men to be what they were created to be. Godly leaders and protectors.  When men rise up and strong it allows woman to be exactly what they were created to be. Women.  The supporters of men, but not their leaders.  Plus, this movie is not just about men, three out of the five guys in this story are married, and all of their wives help them to be what they find themselves being called to be.  They too, become courageous. One of my favorite lines from the book (and I hope it’s in the movie) is spoken by one of the wives, “If you’re gonna man up, then I’d better woman up!”

So no, it’s not weird at all for a woman to be excited about this film/book.

I would compare Randy Alcorn’s style of writing to that of Jerry Jerkins. Although this book is more plot drive as opposed to Jerry Jenkins’ development of characters. But considering the fact that he didn’t create most of these characters, he did a good job. This was my first of his fictional work. I do own this book by him, which I love.

Another thing I love is how he continues the story of Caleb and Catherine Holt (from Fireproof). They are beautiful weaved into this story, as is Brock Kelly from Facing the Giants. This is an added bonus that I’m positive will not be included in the movie.

Did this book make me less eager to see the movie? Nothing could be farther from the truth. I’m looking forward to it even more.

1. I want to see what is in the film and what is only part of the book.
2. I want to see how particular scenes are played out visually. (‘m a detail lover.)
3. Some scenes from the movie were left out of the book. I want to see them.

Do I recommend the book? Definitely yes.  I wouldn’t put it in the hands of a young child due to all the references to gang activities and such, but I certainly enjoyed the story and learned from it.   Now I’m sure that I’ll be hunting down copies of the novel versions of Flywheel, Facing the Giants and Fireproof.

BTW, if you think that you had most of the plot figured out (like I did) there are still some twists that will surprise you. (Like they did me.) My siblings keep trying to get information out of me. I will not give it up or die trying.

You can order the book here.

All photos but the poster from the official Courageous website,


2 thoughts on “Book Review – Courageous (the novel version)

  1. I cant wait to see it!

    “Another thing I love is how he continues the story of Caleb and Catherine Holt (from Fireproof). They are beautiful weaved into this story, as is Brock Kelly from Facing the Giants. ”

    Makes me want to read it! I didn’t order it though, as I already have a stack of books to review that I am just not finding time to get to, maybe in the fall when life slows down.

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