Amos: A Worthy Dramatization and a Great Read

Christopher S. Swan’s dramatic manuscript of Amos is a wonderful opportunity to dive into a fictionalized version of an often overlooked Old Testament book.

As I read, I envisioned what the staging could look like–a dark stage at times, a well-lit one as workers harvest olives on Amos’ farmland.

The play would be well served with a multi-media approach as some scenes would work better with a closer view for the audience than the stage can allow.

Even so, an apt narrator could provide the details and still allow a stage dramatization to bring Amos’ story to life.

Yet, a play isn’t always a work that requires actors, sets, and a stage. This work is a great read too. Swan does a terrific job helping you imagine the action–which at times is very suspenseful.

Amos and God’s angels do battle against bandits and pagan forces determined to keep the newly commissioned prophet from his sacred mission–presenting God’s message to His rebellious people.

But along with literary tension come moments of peace and the simple work that defined most of Amos’ life. Swan provides cultural insights and historical detail in many of these quieter vignettes.

“Next to Amos is Tab, his youngest son at 7-years-old. He watches his father’s every move in silence. Listens to his father breathe as he works.

“Amos reaches down into a shallow wood box next to Tab’s sandaled feet. Pulls out a long cube of animal fat. Sets it on top of the baking powder. The cube of fat melts within seconds, seeping into the ochre powder, thickening it.

“Tab’s eyes widen. He looks back at his father, who lays four more long fat cubes down across the mound of rust-red powder. Tab watches the cubes melt in succession. He smiles at the satisfying sight.”

Swan has crafted engaging characters in Amos, his family, those who help him in his quest to deliver the message God has given him, and those representing evil forces seeking to kill Amos and end his mission.

Whether you’re looking for a good summer read–or an anytime read–or seeking out a drama for your church or group to enact, this work brings scripture alive, often tying New Testament grace to Old Testament storytelling and prophecy.

Amos, by Christopher S. Swan is worth your time and attention.

Photo Credit: From Amos by Christopher S. Swan

Nancy E. Head’s Restoring the Shattered is out in paperback! Get your copy here!

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18 Replies to “Amos: A Worthy Dramatization and a Great Read”

  1. A fascinating book review, Nancy. The prophets had a difficult job, mostly living with no evidence of any “success” here on earth. Their success was in their obedience, and not in the response of their audience. They were held responsible for giving their message, which was often tragic. This book sounds like it brings Amos to life, peeking into the task of a prophet of long ago. The addition of the young boy Tad reveals the everyday life of a prophet.

    1. You’re so right, Melinda. The author brings Amos to life and shows the difficulty of delivering the message–and how the success was in Amos’ obedience. It’s quite good. Thanks and God bless!

  2. That is so neat that he wrote an account of Amos in this way. I would love to read it!

  3. Nancy, not familiar with this play or work. I like how you said, “…tying New Testament grace to Old Testament storytelling and prophecy.” Agree with Ava, you enlarge my borders about literary works.

  4. Thank you for your review! I read Amos and did feel as if I was watching it play out in front of my eyes! So much more than just a story. My life was challenged!

  5. Loved this description Ms. Nancy! Great writers use their words to paint a picture. I think you just gave us a tour of an art gallery. Another book is being added to my list. Thank you ma’am.

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