The Reluctant Jesus
Sun is shinning!!! Great day to go outside and read this book.
A wild and romping comedy from the author of the best selling and award winning novel, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club.
The year is 1999 and the millennium is fast approaching. Baseball fan and thirty two year old confirmed bachelor and architect, Seth Miller, is content with his life, as long as the Yankees win and his mother stays away from his Greenwich Village apartment. Seth’s life though, is turned upside down when he is informed by his overbearing and overprotective mother, that he is actually God’s youngest son; and by default the second coming of Christ.
Initially convinced that his parents are crazy, his thoughts of their committal to a suitable care facility are superseded when he receives an unsolicited telephone call from God himself. With Armageddon fast approaching, and due to some poor editing and proofreading of the Bible, Seth must assume the role of Christ and fight God’s corner in the ‘Final Conflict’ between good and evil. Despite his initial reluctance and attempts to shirk his new responsibilities, God is insistent and Seth is cajoled into undertaking the role of Messiah.
With his best friend, and chief follower Bob Nancy, Seth embarks on a calamitous sequence of miracle doing and disciple gathering, all of which fail to inspire the legions of followers expected by God, but leads to a bout of food poisoning for a troop of visiting boy scouts and a suspected attempt on the life of Mayor Giuliani.
God, a somewhat nonchalant character, is far more preoccupied by the lack of IT and administrative support he is receiving in heaven, than actual events on Earth; and is already planning to move on to other planets that he and Lucifer are in the process of developing for ‘future projects’.
Enter Maggie De Lynne, as Seth’s second disciple and love interest, who adds her own perspective to Seth’s predicament; which is only compounded when a just as unsuitable anti-Christ, suffering from IBS and with a penchant for dressing up as cartoon characters, visits his apartment.
Throw a ‘gangsta’ rapping guardian angel and Walter the talking cat – who used to be quiet as a mouse – into the mix, and the scene is set for a hilarious tale of one man’s reluctance to save the world and join the family business.
Seeing as I loved The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club so much I just had to accept when I was offered an ARC of this new Duncan Whitehead book. And I’m so happy that I did because it was just so amazing and made me laugh out at times. Admittedly it did take me a while to pick up this book at first, but that had less to do with the synopsis than all the things that are going on in my life at the moment. But things have calmed down and I have more time to read now and I’m so happy about it all. This was definitely a great book to get me back in the swing of reading too.
The cast in this book is amazing. Seth is hands down my favorite character in the book. I loved his skepticism towards the whole situation which just lifted the whole story to a higher level than it would have otherwise been. Seeing as I’m not religious I also really needed this skepticism to enjoy the book. Bob Nancy is another great character, especially in his relation with Seth (and when you add Nancy Nancy in that situation things become even better!). There’s actually not any one character in this book that I did not enjoy reading about. If you read this book you’ll find out why.
Story-wise this book is also really strong though a bit strange in its pacing. Because sometimes the story will sort of come to a standstill, or even back track to give you some backstory to be “in the know” when you experience the scene to come. This style of writing really didn’t bother me and with all that snark that comes so easily to Seth it was even a lot of fun. It might not be your cup of tea but I strongly advocate trying it out because you might really like it. I’m also just a sucker for sidestepping story-arcs as long as they don’t go to far off base (the link to the story has to be at least reasonably clear for it to feel relevant).
Admittedly the title didn’t speak to me right away, but the synopsis definitely did, especially in combination with knowing that I just love Duncan’s writing. Though you might not be familiar with his style to win you over, I’m certain that if you just gave this book a chance you might really find yourself liking it. If you end up reading this book and want to share what you thought, come back over here and share your thoughts!