Arise and walk: a novel

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Hyperion, 1994 - Fiction - 156 pages
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From the acclaimed author of Night People and Wild at Heart comes a stark, eccentric, and wholly original plunge into the dark and grimy world of just revenge. Set in New Orleans at the turn of the twenty-first century, Arise and Walk continues the chronicle of American madness begun in Night People. Tracking the lives of individuals intent on making a profound difference in the world before they are willingly or forcibly removed from it, Barry Gifford strips away the veneer of civility character by character only to leave the disturbing echo - is even vengeance enough? "Hear me ungrateful ones... Hear the black wings as they beat above, above and beyond... Behold, he shall come up as clouds and his chariots shall be as a whirlwind: his horses are swifter than eagles. Woe unto us! for we are spoiled... wash thine heart from wickedness, that thou mayest be saved". The prophetess, "La Preciosa", wails to her harkening audience from the other side of a nineteen-inch screen, while the Reverend Cleon Tone, formerly pastor of the Church of the Fresh Start in Daytime, Arkansas, is reduced to a street ministry on the corner of Burgundy and Orleans in the French Quarter. Suspended from his neck by a piece of string is a hand-lettered cardboard sign that reads HAND YURSEF A FRESH START BY LEND A MAN A HAND. "The Lord'll love you harder", he consoles, whenever a passerby drops a coin into his hat. Denying even the power of Christian charity in Arise and Walk, Gifford abandons the world to an army of moral equalizers. From Cleon Tone, a disgraced pastor, whose only hope for salvation lies in his ability to rescue mankind from the devil's son; Presciencia Espanto, La Preciosa, atelevangelist/prophetess whose version of the truth has resulted in her being indicted for felonious necromancy; Croesus "Spit" Spackle and Demetrious "Ice D" Youngblood, escaped convicts unwilling to pass unnoticed in the street of men or be swept under by the tide of history; Tombilena Gayoso, an Isleno woman for whom revenge is a supremely religious act; and Marble Lesson, the ultimate feminist and living embodiment of the biblical dictum "And a child shall lead them"; to the Mary Mother of God Rape Crisis Center and the New Idea of the Church of the Fresh Start, enter here a universe wherein the righteous arise and do considerably more than walk, and where despair is the only unforgivable sin.

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Arise and walk: a novel

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Religion and violence form an unholy alliance in this broad, black satire of fanaticism. The first section involves a disgraced black minister who attempts to assassinate a racist politician-a ... Read full review


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About the author (1994)

Poet, novelist, and playwright Barry Gifford was born in Chicago, Illinois on October 18, 1946. He briefly attended both the University of Missouri and Cambridge University. He published a book of poems in 1973 and started writing novels in 1980. He collaborated with David Lynch on Lost Highway and the HBO series Hotel Room. He currently lives in the San Francisco Bay area.

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