by Justin Gil, contemporary (2003)
Lulu, $8.56, ISBN N/A
In the sleepy town of Brahmton, John Anderson and his wife along with the rest of the town tolerate their pastor Mike despite the fact that Mike is in jail every other Sunday for drunken misbehavior and that Mike had recently wedded a fifteen-year old girl. However, these folks will have to make some space in their daily schedule when Thomas Kasey shows up and starts whipping the folks of Brahmton into a religious frenzy, much to Mike's displeasure. It's pastor versus pastor time, folks, sound the bell - ding-ding-ding.
Saints Visible follows poor John's dismay as the previously indifferent folks of Brahmton are whipped into a frenzy of Catholic-hating religious zealotry thanks to Mr Kasey's charisma and arsenal of hate-literature masquerading as religious comic books.
Saints Visible is a very entertaining read, thanks to Mr Gil's humorous prose that tickles me silly without the author having to go over board with wacky antics. However, the message about religious zealots being the way they are due to their, er, state of mind, shall we say, that allows them to be so easily manipulated is nothing that I have never read before. Apart from the fact that one of the smartest persons in this story is a romance novel reader - which pleases me for obvious reasons, heh - there is nothing in this story that is truly unique or surprising. Needless to say, people with strong religious convictions who are not too fond of stories telling them that they are all sheep easily manipulated by self-serving religious leaders may want to tread with caution where this book is concerned. I'm not particularly religious, so I have a pretty good time with this one. I can't vouch for anyone else, clearly.
The resolution to this story is too abrupt and too neat, with unrealistically too much sweetness and sunshine like a Hallmark movie though, although I doubt Hallmark will ever carry a movie with a theme like that in this story, heh. This creates a significant damper to my reading, but all in all, Saints Visible is a pretty interesting story worth a look, especially when it's available for free in electronic book format at http://www.lulu.com/content/32855 - it is the trade paperback edition that costs $8.56.
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