Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Book of Neil

It's 2012 and Jesus Christ returns to earth, to a "fair little city," where he is completely ignored, dismissed and scoffed at as "another mentally ill street preacher." But one day on the Crystal Creek golf course, when Jesus, wearing "a grayish robe tied by a thick rope around the waist...his hair...long and swept across his shoulders with each practice swing" strikes up a conversation with Neil, a middle-aged man in familial and financial crises, things take a dramatic turn. Jesus is desperate to make his presence known. He enlists Neil's help, as He decides to seek media attention in a secular world driven and preoccupied by technology, materialism and self-indulgence. The two hatch a plan to rob a bank in order to benefit their mutually desired goals.

The hilariously flawed execution of their plan snowballs in The Book of Neil, a smart, amusing story about faith and the nature of belief in the modern world. Author Frank Turner Hollon (Blood and Circumstance, Austin and Emily) narrates Jesus' return to earth via the points-of-view of those whose lives He touches, an array of believers and doubters: Neil, suffering pre and post-robbery panic; the skeptical police chief in town; a bank teller who feels a sudden "peace come over her" during the robbery; a New York Times reporter eager to launch the story of the "Jesus-Bandit"; and even the President of the United States.

Unexpected twists and turns shape The Book of Neil. At the end, on the rapid approach to a chilling climax, the engrossing, satirical aspects of this novel suddenly emerge in a whole new light, and Hollon's literary craftsmanship leaps from mere entertainment into a much deeper, thought-provoking epiphany.

The Book of Neil  by Frank Turner Hollon
MacAdam/Cage, $20.00, Hardcover, 978159692380, 230 pp
Publication Date: November 16, 2012
To order this book via INDIEBOUND link HERE

Please note: This review is a reprint and is being posted (in a slightly different form) with the permission of Shelf Awareness. To read this review on Shelf Awareness: Reader's Edition (12/11/12), click HERE.

different character’ point of view. Not only Neil, but Edwin (the police