In the 1970 film “Patton” the movie star George C Scott who played Patton, says to himself, “Rommel….I’ve read your book.” He was supposedly talking about the book ‘Tank Attacks’ and the lines were spoken in jubilation as the Americans won a very decisive tank battle. Patton was in effect saying; I knew your strategy because I’ve read your book. The truth is of course that he hadn’t read the book because Rommel never published it. Some of the manuscript in the form of ‘The Rommel Papers’ was published in 1953 well after the war ended. However, Rommel did write a book on the Great War (WW1) about infantry tactics but it is thought Patton wouldn’t have known about it because it wasn’t released in English until 1943. Only the other day I heard ‘I’ve read your book’ quoted and attributed to General Patton. Hollywood never did let the truth get in the way of a good story.
Today, when we were talking with a friend, Doug was lamenting that his employment was terminated when he was 69 years of age. He had desperately wanted to work until he was 70. I chipped in about the circumstances and then remembered that our friend had ‘read the book’. I stopped and said to her, “you don’t need me to explain because you have read my book”. She looked at me and smiled, “Yes, that’s right; I’ve read your book.” (Ice creams pages 301-302)
There is one other place I have heard this phrase and that is in church and among Christian friends. Mostly it has been said in relation to people being under attack, physically mentally or in some other way. Pastors have pointed out to us that the problem is the devil does not realize that we have ‘read the book’. If he had he would know that in the end he loses. The book is the Bible which tells us that in the end the devil finishes up in the lake of fire and we finish up in heaven. Forever!
I’m so glad ‘I’ve read the book’ it gives me such assurance, especially when tragedy has struck and we have felt like we were under attack. In Revelation 21:4 KJV we read “And God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes; and there shall be no more death, or sorrow, nor crying, neither shall there be any more pain: for the former things are passed away.” And 1 Thessalonians 4:17b reads “…and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” KJV
This is George C Scott – saying those famous fictitious words.