It’s a true story of Alex Malarkey, a little boy who spent two months in a coma when he was in a car accident in 2004. In the book, his father Kevin tells the story of what was happening earthside with Alex’s recovery, the churches and people who prayed for him, and the family struggling to cope. Alex’s contributions, which take up about 10% of the book, talk about what he saw while he was in his coma. He writes about heaven, God, Jesus, angels and the Devil with the beautiful candidness that only children seem to be able to master.
The writing itself is mediocre at best, but the content is powerful. It deals with all the topics that I, in my Southern Baptist, faith in a box comfort zone, am not quite comfortable with. Don’t get me wrong. I believe God speaks to people, I believe he works miracles and sends visions and fights a battle for our souls. But for some reason, I’m much more comfortable with the idea that he does it for OTHER people. Special people. Not ordinary folks who can’t pay their rent.
This book takes that whole idea and turns it on its ear, speaking about the supernatural and the spiritual in a refreshing tone of frankness and honesty. Kevin Malarkey even says a few times “Unbelievable? Yea, I know. Seriously, how do you think I feel about it?”. So he’s aware that the story sounds unbelievable. He gets that all this talk of visions and prophesying puts people in mind of the charismatic movement. But he also knows that he needs to tell his story. So he does. And it is beautiful.
I highly recommend this book. It’s a quick read, but it will pull your heartstrings. As a disclaimer: I came at this book from an Evangelical Christian standpoint. If you are not coming from that worldview, the entire book will probably hit you very differently, but it’s still worth a look, I think.