OWEN EGERTON / The Book of Harold, The Illegitimate Son of God
As profound and deeply respectful as it is wild and often hilarious, this take on a modern messianic movement in suburbia confronts the inherent paradoxes, absurdities, and dangers of spirituality, while musing on the beautiful complexity of humanity and the strange and wonderful beliefs we hold.
The titular and sometimes exasperating hero of Owen Egerton’s satire is Harold Peeks, a middle-aged suburbanite living a lonely if typical modern life in the outskirts of Houston. His world feels bland and pointless until one evening, at a mundane office party, he announces to his stunned co-workers that he is the Second Coming of Christ. Oddly enough, people start to believer him
Blake Waterson, Harold’s closest friend and narrator of the novel, is as skeptical as anyone of this disheveled and disconcertingly bawdy Savior, and yet this would-be Judas is compelled to follow Harold on his two-hundred mile walking journey to Austin with a mismatched group of equally puzzled disciples. On the road, this motley crew of witnesses experience misguided converts, violent possums, and the ungrateful recipients of off-kilter healings. They also discover the inherent paradoxes, absurdities, and dangers of spirituality, as they learn that saviors may not have all the answers, and humanity is just as bizarre and beautiful as the beliefs we hold.
“An engaging exploration of everything ridiculous, horrible, and beautiful that humanity has ever been given or invented about religion.”
—The Hipster Book Club
“A lively and beautifully crafted novel about the anguish of belief.”
Owen Egerton has had a varied yet illustrious career that includes employment as a secret fast food inspector, an on-air home shopping host, and a para-church youth leader. He was the co-creator of the award-winning The Sinus Show at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater, and for several years was the artistic director of Austin’s National Comedy Theater. He currently writes screenplays and performs standup comedy. He lives in Austin.
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