29 January 2013

Review: American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics

American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics
American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics by Roland Merullo

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

There's a meme among much of the political left that the liberal viewpoint is devoid of ideology and is inherently pragmatic. There's also the meme that Jesus Christ, were he alive today, would be a liberal.

American Savior, perhaps inadvertently, is the literary result of those memes.

The idea is simple, in this case: Jesus has returned, and he wants to run for president. He gets together a small group of reporters and their families to make the run, and the book follows the campaign through election day.

The book is mostly well-written. The annoying "we're going to name people who are famous without actually naming them, so here's a guy who has a first name that sounds like 'Wolf' and the last name 'Spitzer'" is throughout. The concept of Jesus is kind of weird, and the main character is frustratingly annoying. It's just a weird book.

And, at the end of the day, it just feels like a stealth ideological attempt to co-opt a religious figure. The rest of the ideology hinted at in the book is pretty standard stereotyping as is, and Jesus keeps talking about how he's a different way of thinking while pretty much adopting left wing viewpoints. It's not really groundbreaking and mostly frustrating, especially if you have any political knowledge.

Skip this one if you ever have the opportunity. It's not really worth the energy.

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