Warning: Creating default object from empty value in /home/jonathanleebrink/public_html/provoketive.com/wp-content/plugins/members/includes/functions.php on line 21

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/jonathanleebrink/public_html/provoketive.com/wp-content/plugins/members/includes/functions.php:21) in /home/jonathanleebrink/public_html/provoketive.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-popup-scheduler/wp-popup-scheduler.php on line 498

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/jonathanleebrink/public_html/provoketive.com/wp-content/plugins/members/includes/functions.php:21) in /home/jonathanleebrink/public_html/provoketive.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-popup-scheduler/wp-popup-scheduler.php on line 504

Warning: Cannot modify header information - headers already sent by (output started at /home/jonathanleebrink/public_html/provoketive.com/wp-content/plugins/members/includes/functions.php:21) in /home/jonathanleebrink/public_html/provoketive.com/wp-content/plugins/wp-popup-scheduler/wp-popup-scheduler.php on line 505
Thin Blue Smoke | Provoketive Magazine
13 Nov 2012

The Author

I love people who feel like outsiders because I believe they are the key to moving forward. Outsiders are often just visionaries under pressure who are on their way to becoming entrepreneurs. So, I encourage them, invite them into community and conversation, get them in touch with other insightful people, and walk beside them as they move from complaining to dreaming to changing the world.


Thin Blue Smoke
tbs banner-3

I am seriously moved, definitely warmed and inspired as I just finished a new novel by Doug Worgul, entitled, Thin Blue Smoke.

These characters got into my heart and let me know I still have a heart. They’re real and flawed. Some of them have had some really bad breaks in life, but those bad breaks did not set their destiny; one human being caring about another did.

Having stumbled upon a review while surfing my Facebook updates, it was the context of Kansas City barbecue that intrigued me because I love barbecue and spent a good many years living just north and later, just south of KC. A downtown hole-the-wall barbecue joint is a connecting point for many of the characters in the story.

Food, friends, and faith are all meshed in a raw and real way to keep you eagerly reading. I was sucked in with a mention of my hometown in the first paragraph of chapter one and later references to obscure northwestern Missouri locales, all of which were familiar to me.

Worgul is a former features, book and magazine editor for the Kansas City Star, the author of two non-fiction works, and a bona fide barbecue expert. He writes so beautifully and warmly that you know this man knows something about people, God, relationships, redemption, and barbecue. It’s not preachy in the least and is not a Christian book, in any conventional sense, but its message of love and redemption through relationships is, perhaps, the most beautiful I have ever read.

The characters are colorful, including the cranky old former professional baseball player and proprietor of the BBQ joint, the sort of adopted lost boy who runs the place, the scholarly, alcoholic, has been author Episcopal priest, the real estate developer with a secret, and the seventy-five year-old local legend blues singer, known as Mother. These are real people who have serious regrets, drink too much, have sex, and yes, some of them, are violent and corrupt. Not everyone is redeemed. It’s like life.

There are scenes so tender that they got to a crusty old dude like me. The eccentricities of the people made me laugh out loud and the circumstances of their love and grief caused me to weep silently.

I loved reading this rich and rewarding story set in a place I know, but it is the people (I don’t even think of them as characters) that encouraged me and inspired me to see if maybe, somehow in the twists and turns of life, I could be something of a redeeming influence for somebody.

Doug Worgul’s site

Burnside Books (publisher) site

No comments
Leave a comment

Your Adv Here
Featured Recent Comments

Top Conversations

Recent comments by presidential hopeful Michele Bachmann have stirred up the discussion about gay marriage once again. While speaking to a group of high school…

While recently visiting a (Won) Buddhist temple, I heard one practitioner refer to Jesus as a Buddha. I was struck by the generosity of calling…

Before I was married, my hairdresser—a divorced man—told me about a woman in her sixties who explained to him the meaning of marriage, the breakdown…

I sat in the minister’s office on a Wednesday night, nervous with my parents seated on either side of me. “Why now?” he asked. “I’m…

A little while ago, I had a very deep conversation with some friends about women in the church. One of my friends strongly holds to…

As I look out into the faces of the people in the congregation I’m speaking to on any particular Sunday, I think to myself once…

I’ve been hearing about a book making the rounds, Fifty Shades of Grey by E. L. James. Naturally, being a writer and voracious reader, I…

Feminism to me is the crazy belief that women and men are both created in God’s image and that each of us deserves a life…

The parable of the talents, we have been told, is a parable about personal responsibility, a warning of the terrible consequences of squandering our God-given…

This week, a dad disciplined his daughter. And at the time of me writing this piece, that discipline has been viewed over 14 million times….

Your Adv Here