Review: American Savior

It is election day so I thought I would begin my reviews with American Savior a fiction commentary on American politics and religion.

American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics

Title: American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics
Author: Roland Merullo
Language: English
Genre(s): Fiction, Political fiction, Satire
Publisher: Algonquin Books
Publication Date: 2008
Pages: 312
Why Picked: I stumbled on it online.
What if Jesus suddenly appeared and announced that he planned to run for President of the United States? Yes, that Jesus. And what if a well-meaning but utterly inexperienced band of disciples not only helped him mount a seat-of-the-pants campaign but also ran it well, getting millions of people to support him and in the process throwing the other two major party candidates–as well as the world’s news media–into a frenzy as they scramble to discredit him? [1]
First Line:

“When Jesus decided to run for president of the United States be began his campaign, sensibly enough, with a miracle.”

Favorite Character:

The narrator Russ Thomas.  I like a good skeptic and sarcasm to boot.

While I expected a humorous book I was surprised at how much this one made me think about politics and religion.  Never preachy or mocking, Merullo looks at what a campaign based on loving one another might look like.  His Jesus doesn’t take stand on all the political hot button topic that turn modern political “discourse” into a screaming match.  His Jesus merely tries to make people understand that “There is a golden alpine field within each of you, a place where you are bathed in approval, not because of anything particular you have done, but simply because of your own sacred nature. If you had a president who could show you the route to that place, what a different it would make in your lives and in the culture of the world!” What would Jesus do, indeed? I only wish all the characters were as fleshed out as Russ and Jesus.  Many of the others remained flat.