BOOKS: Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith, Joe Eszterhas

In his new book, Crossbearer: A Memoir of Faith, he describes his conversion to the Catholic Church that began in 2001 after cancer brought him to his knees. Although he has some strong things to say about the Church’s recent moral failings (sex scandal), I read on and was touched. He says he’s through with writing gory movies. Some quotes:

“The Eucharist and the presence of the body and blood of Christ is, in my mind, an overwhelming experience for me. I find that Communion for me is empowering. It’s almost a feeling of a kind of high.”

“Frankly my life changed from the moment God entered my heart. I’m not interested in the darkness anymore,” he said. “I’ve got four gorgeous boys, a wife I adore, I love being alive, and I love and enjoy every moment of my life. My view has brightened and I don’t want to go back into that dark place.”

toledoblade.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080823/NEWS10/808230343

What an incredible witness. He’ll bring many people home, I think. I can’t wait to read the book.
Thanks for sharing the article.

Thank you for posting this. Look forward to reading the book.

Joe discussed his book and conversion story with me on “Catholic Radio 2.0!”. Hear here.

I am reading it now. 1/4 into it. very honest about himself. I have some ?'s for someone else who is reading or read.

Just started it, hope to get a few more pages in tonight.

Holy Cow. Ok; I know I should read the whole book before making any comments, but…

Having also been a person who was sort of a hellion before a powerful conversion experience, I know God doesn’t change us immediately. In the beginning, we say and do a LOT of stupid, harmful things. We’re still basically the people we were - and often pretty arrogant about it - until ‘Stage Two’, which is incredibly painful and disorienting. He may reach Stage Two in the book; it remains to be seen. in the meantime, he’s saying a lot of stupid, harmful things and being pretty arrogant about it. Kindof makes me want to write and warn him that, if it hasn’t happened yet, he’s probably going to get knocked off his horse and feel horrible about the cavalier attitude he’s presenting…and the disrespect. But…that’s just my opinion…

I have followed Eszterhaus since his journalism days writing for “Rolling Stone” magazine in the 70’s. Fom there he went to Hollywood and was successful as a screen writer. I knew he had turned a corner when he moved from Malibu to the Midwest some years back. If memory serves me right part of this awakening was hastened by having some kind of throat medical problem and also realizing the vapidness of celebrity life. He is a dynamite author and will keep an eye out for this memoir.

John

It’s reminding me a lot of Father Joe, if anybody’s read that.

Eszterhas has made some bold statements that are not backed up by facts or research. He has not mentioned, yet, reading Catholic books by/about saints, theology,history. I have not finished the book and hope he finds a wise mentor. I am not doubting his strong belief in God! Nor am I doubting his experiences. There is a whole Catholic world out there he has yet to find.

He’s made some statements about the Church that, without retraction, could hurt someone else’s potential return. He shoots from the hip, presents as fact, and hasn’t made any effort to understand. I’m having a difficult time reading the book, to be honest, in spite of voracious reading habits. Part of it, I admit shamefacedly, is that it embarrasses me and makes me remember some of the truly stupid things I said and thought when I went through that “high on Jesus” stage. Fortunately, I wasn’t in a position to write a book…

Interesting, good spontaneous writing, great sense of humor. The first half or more of the book was hard for me to read, a lot of his remarks and editorializing were really sort of offensive. I couldn’t tell whether it was gratuitous or he was just full of himself. I don’t doubt his conversion; he’s too open about his blunderings not to be legitimate. The second half of the book was calmer, less vitriolic, expressed a more settled faith. My concern about the book has to do with his tirades against a variety of things in the Church, most of which he didn’t take the time or trouble to understand. I question the wisdom of featuring them so prominently in the book. Also the casual, offhand “My Good Buddy Jesus” references as though the Persons of the Trinity were drinking buddies from down the street; If he continues to grow and change in his faith, I think it will eventually embarrass him. The thing I appreciated about the book was his willingness to be honest about seemingly all aspects of his conversion. In the beginning, you THINK you believe it’s about God, but you really believe it’s all about you. It takes a while to get your head on straight. It seems he’s beginning to do that by the end of the book. I’m not sure I’d recommend the book except to someone who was already strong in their faith and not easily shocked. I came away from it missing two pieces of information that are going to drive me crazy - has he had any further contact with his estranged daughter and where do things stand with the screenplay or book he was still under contract for and for which he’d been paid? I don’t think I’d ever seen him until I saw the dust jacket photo. Man, he’s a mean looking dude!

The man who wrote the screenplays for Basic Instinct and Showgirls, among others.

amazon.com/Crossbearer-Memoir-Faith-Joe-Eszterhas/dp/031238596X/ref=si3_rdr_bb_product

God bless,
Ed

snowgarden started a thread on this book earlier this month.

Yep, here it is:
forums.catholic.com/showthread.php?t=263838

Ed, do you have an opinion of the book?

No, not at this time.

God bless,
Ed

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