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American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics…
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American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics

by Roland Merullo

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I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars for this novel. It is the story of Jesus Christ (yes, THAT Jesus Christ) returning to earth in a small town in Massachusetts sometime around 2008-2012. After performing a few miracles and coming to the attention of the media, he decides to run for President of the United States. He chooses his staff (apostles?) from ordinary folks and as in the Gospels, he just tells them to leave their jobs and work for him. He has a motley crew of people running his campaign, including a cynical and doubting TV anchorman along with his Jewish father, Catholic mother and brother with Down Syndrome, a psychologist, a drug-using gang member, and other misfit characters. Jesus runs on a platform of returning the US to a place where kindness replaces cruelty, generosity replaces greed, and truth replaces lies. He talks about issues of abortion, war, healthcare, the economy – everything a candidate would talk about. The cheesiness and clichés come in with the media people he meets. He is interviewed by Lenny Queen (Larry King?), and Ann Canter (Ann Coulter?) is constantly railing about what an imposter he is. There are numerous other news people and media and movie stars with similar names. I won’t even begin to try to remember how to spell the take-off on George Stephanopoulos. There were some truly funny moments in this book and some truly inspirational moments, but also some that made me groan. No, Jesus did not wear sandals and robes, but he did take walks in the desert, order Indian food and then wash a few feet, and ride a bull in a rodeo. In short, the book is a satire on the life of Jesus as it would be in the 2000’s. ( )
  TheresaCIncinnati | Aug 17, 2015 |
A satirical look at the election process and commentary on the state of the country through the presidential campaign of Jesus Christ. Jesus (Hay-Zeus to his Spanish speaking friends) has come back, preaching kindness and compassion to all people, and attempts to become the president of the United States. The story is told by Russ Thomas, a former TV reporter, who joined the campaign with some doubts (doubting Thomas anyone?) along with several family members and other odd characters for a presidential run. A satirical sort-of retelling of the Bible story of Jesus in today's age--gives you something to think about. I laughed out loud in several scenes, especially when the author discusses "a certain station who will not be identified but whose logo resembles an animal known for its slyness". Good book.
  walterqchocobo | Apr 8, 2013 |
I rather enjoyed reading this book, despite its premise. Jesus reappears on earth in a small Western Massachusetts town and builds a campaign for the U.S. presidency with a varied group of people who live there. It is narrated by a cynical newspaper reporter Russ, who is brought haltingly into the effort. Jesus as candidate does project a numbr of different images, some of them surprising, not unlike the gospel story. His mother, who has an intriguing heritage, figure fairly prominently in potios of the story. This is more of the liberal Jesus, who is fighting the people who pull the strings of political power, not unlike politicians of 2012. I don't want to say much about the denouement of this novel. ( )
  vpfluke | Mar 8, 2012 |
What would happen if Jesus came back to earth and ran for the Presidency of the United States of America? Quite an adventurous theme don’t you think? Well Roland Merullo attacks this theme with a vengeance. It all starts with a mysterious man who performs a couple of miracles. First he brings a baby boy back to life after he endures a fall from a balcony three stories up. Then he cures a young girl of a debilitating repertory disease. Finally Jesus starts to assemble his rag-tag bunch of ordinary people to unwittingly become his latest disciples, and informs them of his intent to run for president.

Merullo takes the history and teachings of Jesus Christ and reassembles them into a modern day setting. I think the story was well done. Although, not so much in terms of blasphemy, this story might offend some hard core Christians who might see it as a form of tampering with the word of God.

The characters are well developed and the story made for an entertaining read. It was also; in some way an enlightening tale. Oh, and for the inquiring minds who want to know…..yes….there is a resurrection. ( )
1 vote Ti99er | May 7, 2009 |
Russ Thomas is a reporter for WZIZ, a TV station in Massachusetts, when he is sent to report on the story of a young child who had fallen three stories, seemed dead, and came back to life when a stranger came up and touched him. Others were calling it a miracle, but Russ remained skeptical. Later, he's sent to a hospital where the same stranger has visited a young girl and seemingly cured her of a chronic illness.

The stranger becomes known as "The Good Visitor," and he turns out to be Jesus Christ. Jesus calls Russ on his private phone and tells him that he's running for President of the United States and would like for Russ to work on his campaign. Russ is not convinced at first, but finally agrees when Jesus visits Russ's girlfriend in a dream.

Jesus assembles a ragtag campaign team and heads out on the road as the candidate for The Divinity Party and chooses his mother as his running mate. Jesus runs an unusual campaign - he doesn't criticize his opponents and he's available for questions.

American Savior by Roland Merullo started out with a bang for me. The middle of the book, with all of it's campaign details, did drag a little bit, though. When it gets to the end of the campaign, the book really picked up again. It is worth reading for all of the questions it brings up. When a woman screams that the candidate is not Jesus,

"I might not be," he said slowly. "I might not be. But my question to you is this: would you know him if he came into your midst? If he came into your midst and did not look the way you expected him to look, and did not speak as you expected him to speak, would you know him?"

That really made me sit and think for a little while. This book is humorous as well as thought provoking and I enjoyed reading it.

Roland Merulla has written ten books, including Golfing with God and Breakfast with Buddha. He lives with his wife and children in Massachusetts. ( )
1 vote bermudaonion | Jan 21, 2009 |
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The American political system is thrown into a tizzy when Jesus appears and announces that he is planning to run for president, sending the two major party candidates and the world media into a last-ditch effort to discredit him.

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