The Afterword: A Novel Hardcover – Mar 18 2003
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From Publishers Weekly
Bryan's sly, minimalist debut is written in the form of an Afterword to his bestselling novel, The Deity Next Door. The catch is that The Deity Next Door does not exist. The fictional essay opens with Bryan basking in his record-breaking sales as he answers his fans' questions about the novel. As he describes his creative process, he gradually reveals the story of The Deity Next Door, which follows a modern-day American messiah named Blaine, a secular computer programmer in New York City who is astounded to discover that he has divine powers ranging from making objects levitate to healing his cancer-stricken son. Bryan explains the various theological questions he wrestled with as he wrote, digressing frequently to discuss his relationship with a group of evangelicals at a Dallas Bible college who fueled his interest in Christian spirituality. He also probes the literary problems of writing about a messiah ("In the gospels, we don't really know Jesus as a fully rounded man.... How does Blaine feel? What's his interior life really like?") and discusses the reactions of his agent and editor. In spite of the arch, metafictional conceit, Bryan takes his subjects seriously; this is less a sendup of the publishing world than a high-toned meditation on Christian theology, spirituality and the writing life. The lively, concise book is cleverly executed and poses some provocative questions. Yet some readers may be put off by the self-important tone. There's something a bit ludicrous about a writer who compares the writing of his bestseller to the creation of the Bible, and Bryan's earnest approach suggests we're meant to take the portentous scribe seriously.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.
From Library Journal
A prophetic debut? This clever work gives the back story of a best seller that never was called The Deity Next Door. With a nine-city author tour.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
Top Customer Reviews
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The author also misrepresents other people's views. For example, when he talks about the 10 plagues in Exodus, he says that Ryrie Study Bible "can only acknowledge the natural causes for the plagues". I don't think Ryrie will agree with this claim. In fact, Ryrie's comment on Exodus 7:17 apparently rebukes those who try to find a naturalistic cause and then clearly states: "...this was a supernatural judgement".
There are times the author does not know or make distinction between his own opinion/knowledge and the fact/truth. For example, he says that it's always the Catholics who perform the miracles, but not Protestants. This is simply not true. He may say he didn't know of any miracles performed by any Protestant. But to claim that no miracles (e.g. cure the sick, cast the demons etc.) have ever been performed by Protestants is clearly beyond his limited knowledge and beyond his proof. This also shows how little he knows about Protestant churches in the past and today.