Monday, July 27, 2015

Book Review: Locking Arms

A Fair Trade Book, However Inadequately Reviewed

Title: Locking Arms

Author: Stu Weber

Author's web page:

Publisher: Multnomah

Date: 1995

Length: 288 pages

Quote: “A man can and must carry the weights of marriage and family responsibility. But he's a lot more effective at it when he walks beside at least one man friend.”

This book needs to be reviewed by a man. I'm not one. When we discovered Locking Arms during our Big Haul of randomly assorted books, my eighty-something friend Oogesti was recovering from eye surgery. He never recovered completely enough to give me a reaction to this book. I had read bits of it aloud to him, and he'd planned to read it. That did not happen. Adayahi also has aging eyes and has not volunteered to read this book either. Any local male lurker who's bought this book is welcome to contribute an intelligent discussion to this review.

Stu Weber's book celebrates platonic male-bonding friendship. Idealistically, perhaps. He visualizes groups of male friends, not covering for each other's adulteries, but helping each other avoid adultery; not getting drunk together, but staying sober together; not taking advantage of each other's failures or weaknesses, but helping each other through hard times. One reason why adults (of both sexes) tend to abandon the goal of having a solid group of real friends and just try to stay married to one person is that marriage is more attainable than real friendship is. Lifelong friends, as distinct from old acquaintances, are few for the best and luckiest of us. Weber urges men to hold onto the ideal.

Locking Arms is a readable book, with enough firsthand anecdotes, quotes, citations, and Bible texts to be useful to those preparing sermons, and enough discussion questions to be useful to those organizing fellowship groups. And the stories Weber tells are fresh and lively. How useful will men find this book? How can a woman say?

It's a Fair Trade Book. If you buy it here, by sending $5 per copy + $5 per package to either of the addresses at the very bottom of the screen, we'll send Weber or the charity of his choice $1. (If you buy two copies, you send $15 and we send Weber or his charity $2.)