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Jesus Swept: 04/21/09
I read and enjoyed ?Jesus Swept by James Protzman during the Easter weekend. It was the perfect antidote to the all the cute bunnies and religious well wishing. The novel tracks the events of an almost miracle and almost second coming in North Carolina. Centered around the almost miracle is an ancient bracelet, three young men (who take turns being Jesus) and the woman who finds the bracelet and tries to make the miracle happen.
The narrative is told in short snippets moving from different characters, not always being where I wanted the story to be. There are the street sweepers: Gary, Luke and Mark. Gary, the novel implies is the second coming of Jesus except that Gary doesn't believe it and is perfectly willing to share the job around with Luke and Mark. Then there are Liz and her husband. Liz has the bracelet for most of the book. There is Hook and Sinker (I kept waiting for Line to show up) a sister and brother pair who have a hand in the miracle too, although they don't see it that way. There are a handful of other colorful characters who make up this tale of "Do Good, Be Nice, Have Fun."
The goofy matter-of-factness to Jesus Swept reminds me favorably of Christopher Moore's books. Although I'm a fan of Moore's novels (especially the ones set in Pine Cove), I liked Jesus Swept more than I did Lamb. I like it more because Protzman keeps the story short. The novel makes its point, tells its jokes and then ends before there's a chance for rambling tangents.
There's also a hint of Dogma and Oh God! too. I suppose I would remise if I neglected my favorite character: Ho Dog. She shows up around the midway point and offers advice but doesn't tamper too much in the overall miracle.
The author information on the back of the book mentions a second novel in the works, Plaid. I'm looking forward to it.
Comment #1: Wednesday, April, 22, 2009 at 10:05:48
Thanks for the wonderful review. You're the first person who has the same favorite character as I do. (By the way, I'm bringing Dog back in Plaid, which is already proving to be great fun.)
Thank you again for such a clear and thoughtful review.
Do good. Be nice. Have fun!
Comment #2: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 11:41:34
Dog be praised. :)
Comment #3: Wednesday, April, 22, 2009 at 10:58:21
This sounds like a wonderful book. And since you made the comparison to Lamb I fell compelled to rush out and get it right now. Sounds great, I'll definitely be getting my hands on this one.
Comment #4: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 11:46:12
Great. Happy reading!
Comment #5: Wednesday, April, 22, 2009 at 22:52:06
I love books about Jesus even if it's fiction. Try to read "Jesus is Lord: Out of Egypt" by a renewed Anne Rice
Comment #6: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 21:07:00
No thanks. Anne Rice isn't my cup of tea.
Comment #7: Wednesday, April, 22, 2009 at 23:23:47
I found this post from searching on msn. I've been meaning to read this book because one of my bible study friends said he really liked it and i usually respect his opinion on reading material. Thanks for the review.
Comment #8: Wednesday, April 22, 2009 at 21:08:14
Glad I could help. Happy reading.