A Handbook of American Prayer: A Novel
A man walks into a bar. A dispute ensues, and the bartender kills him. He's sentenced to ten years for manslaughter. In prison, the convict, Wardlin Stuart, writes prayers addressed to no god in particular. Inexplicably, his prayers — whether it's a request for a girlfriend or a special favor for a fellow inmate — are answered, be it in days or weeks. When his collection of supplications, A Handbook of American Prayer, is published by a New York press, Stuart emerges a celebrity author. Settling into a new life in Arizona, he encounters a fundamentalist minister. The two are destined for a confrontation. In the interim, it seems that the god to whom Stuart has been praying has manifested himself on the earth. In this short novel about America's conflicting love triangle — celebrity, spirituality, and money — Shepard negotiates the thin line between the real and the surreal, expounding upon violence and redemption along the way. This story of an unlikely American messiah shows why The Wall Street Journal has compared Shepard, an award-winning author, to Graham Greene, Robert Stone, and Ward Just.
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LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - Lukerik - LibraryThing
This is an excellent novel, really outstanding. It's about a man who has apparently invented a method of writing prayers such that when you pray them they are answered. It's like a literary equivalent ... Read full review
LibraryThing ReviewUser Review - eheinlen - LibraryThing
This book was not at all what I expected. I did not expect this book to be written by a murderer. It was a really weird book. I'm not sure I liked it. Also, the book had several grammatical errors in it. Read full review