Friday, May 2, 2014

The Reluctant Jesus by Duncan Whitehead

This is the second book I've read by this author (the first being his book The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club).  He has a nice easy writing style, full of humor, with characters finely drawn.  I especially liked this particular selection, because the book is laugh out loud funny in many places and shines a satiric spotlight on so many modern neuroses.  Apocalyptic novels are very popular right now, and most of them are pretty grim indeed.  If you are tired of this kind of read, try this one for a refreshing change of pace.  You'll be glad you did.  This is a very clever and satirical read by an author who knows how to entertain.

The reluctant Jesus of the novel's title is a man by the name of Seth Miller.  He is content with his life in a Greenwich Village apartment miles away from an overbearing and protective mother, until the day his mother informs him quite seriously that he is actually God's youngest son, the second coming of Christ.  Initially, he thinks his parents are crazy, but a telephone call from God brings him around, telling him he has to fight in the Final Conflict between good and evil.  He is initially reluctant to assume his role as the new Messiah, but with his best friend as his disciple he embarks on a sequence of events that lead to some hilarious outcomes.  Maggie De Lynne arrives on the scene as Seth's second disciple (and love interest) and Seth's predicaments just compound themselves.  Add to this already hilarious mix an anti-Christ with IBS (who loves to engage in Cosplay), a gangsta rapping guardian angel, and Walter the cat (who God uses to talk through) and you'll see why this book is a sharp witted and imaginative romp. 
I kept thinking as I read this that it could be turned into an excellent film...along the lines of Bruce Almighty with a Jim Carrey type comedian playing the lead.  Let's hope that Hollywood is paying attention.  In the meantime, I can't wait to see what's next from the pen of the talented Duncan Whitehead. 

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