Note: This book can be purchased in the Kindle format. Don't own a Kindle? No problem. You can also download a Kindle book to your iPhone, iPad, Android, Blackberry, PC, or Mac, etc. Just click the link below to access the Amazon pages; in the right column, in the Kindle Edition box, you'll find the simple instructions. And you can read the first chapter of the book for free.
This novel begins with a parody of the supernatural claims of Mormonism, as a sample of all religions based on revelation (e.g., Judaism, Christianity); it ends with a boisterous catechism of a new religion.
One evening Father Alazon Lechlieb, an impostor with a mysterious past, appears on “Lenny Prince Live” and astounds America with an incredible tale of how, over a period of thirty years, he received a series of divine revelations on the shores of Bear Lake, bordering Idaho and Utah. These revelations, he reports, were delivered by God-sent angels. They instructed him, he goes on, to find and translate a set of twelve scrolls, then choose four disciples to help him interpret these scriptures and establish The Church of the Comic Spirit.
The Bear Lake Scrolls consist of twelve comic stories, of which the more famous Biblical tales are inferior imitations. Each story has its own distinct plot, style, genre (short story, film script, newspaper coverage of a congressional investigation, diary, series of letters to the editor), brand of comedy (wit, satire, parody, sex farce), and characters (Eve and Adam, Methuselah, Noah’s wife Elsie, Abraham and Sarah, Lot’s wife Jane, Moses, Job, Johan, David and Bathsheba, Goliath – all cast in the roles of schemers, rogues, buffoons, fools, and schlemiels). God is often the central character, the comic hero, though his role and character change from story to story, just as in the standard Bible.
Like every religion, the Church of the Comic Spirit has teachings. These are set forth in a short catechism consisting of answers to FAQs: Whether God really exists or whether somebody has just been posing as God? Whether sin is an art form? Whether women are smarter than men? Whether the profits generated by Bear Lake World, Inc., should be tax-free? Whether irreverence is the highest virtue? Whether laughter is the way to salvation? How many angels can dance on the edge of a hot tub?
“Pie in the faith. Cheeky, but strangely reverent. – Ian Schoales, NPR Commentator
“Delivers laugh after laugh, even in the footnotes. This delightful series of parodies does for the faith of our forebears what This Is Spinal Tap did for rock and roll.” – Dale Allison, author, Jesus of Nazareth and The Testament of Abraham
“Presents a fascinating characterization of God as the ultimate comic hero . . . It’s all here – Eve, Adam, Moses, Abraham, Sarah, Job, Bathsheba, David, Goliath, to name just a few. And even a catechism for those requiring a theological fix.” – William Unrau, author, White Man’s Wicked Water