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The Reluctant Jesus [Kindle Edition]

Duncan Whitehead
4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 264 pages
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Book Description

Winner of the 2014 Reader's Favorite International Book Award and Gold Medalist                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                 
A wild and romping comedy from the author of the bestselling and award winning novel, The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club. 

The year is 1999 and the millennium is fast approaching. Baseball fan and thirty two year old confirmed bachelor and architect, Seth Miller, is content with his life, as long as the Yankees win and his mother stays away from his Greenwich Village apartment. Seth's life though, is turned upside down when he is informed by his overbearing and overprotective mother, that he is actually God's youngest son; and by default the second coming of Christ. 

Initially convinced that his parents are crazy, his thoughts of their committal to a suitable care facility are superseded when he receives an unsolicited telephone call from God himself. With Armageddon fast approaching, and due to some poor editing and proofreading of the Bible, Seth must assume the role of Christ and fight God's corner in the 'Final Conflict' between good and evil. Despite his initial reluctance and attempts to shirk his new responsibilities, God is insistent and Seth is cajoled into undertaking the role of Messiah. 

With his best friend, and chief follower Bob Nancy, Seth embarks on a calamitous sequence of miracle doing and disciple gathering, all of which fail to inspire the legions of followers expected by God, but leads to a bout of food poisoning for a troop of visiting boy scouts and a suspected attempt on the life of Mayor Giuliani. 

God, a somewhat nonchalant character, is far more preoccupied by the lack of IT and administrative support he is receiving in heaven, than actual events on Earth; and is already planning to move on to other planets that he and Lucifer are in the process of developing for 'future projects'.

Enter Maggie De Lynne, as Seth's second disciple and love interest, who adds her own perspective to Seth's predicament; which is only compounded when a just as unsuitable anti-Christ, suffering from IBS and with a penchant for dressing up as cartoon characters, visits his apartment.

Throw a 'gangsta' rapping guardian angel and Walter the talking cat - who used to be quiet as a mouse - into the mix, and the scene is set for a hilarious tale of one man's reluctance to save the world and join the family business.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1393 KB
  • Print Length: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Dog Ear Publishing (28 April 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00K0N2VKO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (63 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #35,172 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
4.8 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A laugh a minute 24 July 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Comedy is hard to do and some would argue in the Social Media age, a dying art form. I remember saying to a friend recently I remember when we used to laugh without fear. I picked up this book as a free promotional offer and the synopsis made me laugh out loud. That’s good and then I got into the book and couldn’t stop laughing.
The story revolves around Seth Miller, a New York Jew in 1999, his best friend, Bob Nancy, a woman called Maggie De Lynne aka Magdalene and Bill Z Bubb. Throw in a preoccupied God trying to bring in a paperless office and come to terms with software glitches, a heartbroken Lucifer who had to leave his son thirty two years ago to go travelling with God and you’ve got a story that has you in stitches. Seth is your stereotypical New York Jew with typical Jewish parents, an overbearing, overprotective Mother, absent minded father who inform him just before his thirty third birthday that his real father is God. That’s right, the actual God, who inseminated Mother and then went walkabout with Lucifer to explore real estate possibilities in the far flung reaches of the galaxy. At first Seth doesn’t believe, who would? But when God calls him on the phone and then continues the conversation through Seth’s peaceful cat, Walter, Seth begins to realise he is the Son of God. After all, Jesus was a Jew. Seth’s sacred duty apparently is to confront the antichrist, Bill in a duel to the death for the salvation of humanity.
Lucifer is a hilariously funny character who actually really wants to be a real father and feels terribly guilty for leaving Bill’s mother years ago, he blames God for keeping him away from Earth for all that time.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, hilarious and playful satire 4 April 2014
“The Reluctant Jesus” by Duncan Whitehead is a hilarious satire set in 1999 New York and depicts the story of Seth Miller. A regular Jewish guy with a good life discovers that he is the second Messiah, son of God. At first he turns the job down but reluctantly he changes his mind.
The story is told with a dry witty voice that lets you know from the first page that you are in for a real comedy treat. Playful and entertaining the characterisation of God, Jesus, Satan and Irma Miller, Seth’s mother are very accomplished. God calls, Satan emails and Virgin mother Irma Miller knows passive aggressive as good as any Jewish mother would.
The story is based on a clever idea and told in a manner that should not offend religious people more than Ephraim Kishon or Woody Allen do. I dislike using the phrase in reviews but I laughed out loud throughout the read and it cheered me up tremendously during a very trying time in my personal life.
Whitehead is a great story teller - you never quite know where the plot is going although the strength lies much more in how it is told than what is told. The book is full of great observational and situational humour, showing someone who knows, likes and draws human nature with great skill, even when describing Satan or God. I have read the author’s award winning “The Gordonston Ladies Dog Walking Club” and expected this new book to be good, but Whitehead proved to be more than a one trick pony, not relying on formula or repetition. With The Reluctant Jesus the author shows his versatility and delivers another great piece of entertainment.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The title of this book evokes an image of me (the reader) as the protagonist, Seth Miller. Author Duncan Whitehead has taken the most improbable of all earthly probabilities and given us an incredibly amusing, satirical tale. Of course, if I were Seth, I would not have accepted the responsibility of being Jesus, not in this world we live in nowadays! Seth, however, "bears his cross" as greatness is thrust upon him...

The clever and amusing storytelling I find quite appropriate for the story. There is no doubt that this is a comedy, not after Seth receives a telephone call from God himself! The transformation from biblical to comical is done tastefully, without being offensive to the sensibilities of rational-minded people. The purpose of comedy is to entertain, and if anything, this book is highly entertaining, from page one to page last. There will be many a laugh out loud moment for you as you read this book.

At the same time, you are left with a reflection once the reading is done. All great storytellers have a way of telling the story within the story, and Whitehead is quite clever at allowing the reader to enjoy and be entertained, while leaving adequate "food for thought". For me, after my sides stopped hurting from laughing so much, the thought in my mind was, "What if?" At this time of year, shortly before Easter, I find this question worth repeating out loud: "What if?" This book is highly recommendable for all human beings, regardless of faith. Satire accomplishes its purpose in this book if we begin to think the unthinkable, namely, that someone you meet in the street, might be more than what they appear to be...

Reviewed by Thomas Jerome Baker
Author of How to Coach a Debate Team: 1

** I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for a fair and unbiased review.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Reluctantly read this book, AND I WASNT DISAPPOINTED!
An utterly fun and enchanting tale with humor filled, appealing characters. Duncan hits home with this one and though its fun on the surface level, for those enlightened, there is... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Al-Khemet Book Club
5.0 out of 5 stars Second Son Comedy
Loved the spin on theology with the introduction and development of God's "second" son. This is not for the uber religious but for those who can have a good laugh and think... Read more
Published 1 month ago by Marc
5.0 out of 5 stars but I'm glad I did
Another humorous Duncan Whitehead novel! I was myself reluctant to check this one out, but I'm glad I did! I found it very humorous and well-done. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Angie Martin
5.0 out of 5 stars My favorite Duncan Whitehead novel!
This is my FAVORITE Duncan Whitehead novel in every way. First of all, his cover art on this one was one of his best. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Book Crazy
5.0 out of 5 stars An original, laugh-out-loud, parody
An original, laugh-out-loud, parody. Seth, the second son-of-God, has to step up and become the acting messiah with hilarious consequences. A truly fun read.
Published 1 month ago by Mr. Kindle
5.0 out of 5 stars 'The Reluctant Jesus' by Duncan Whitehead is a great fun read
'The Reluctant Jesus' by Duncan Whitehead is a great fun read. What if Seth, the second son of God was one of us? It's a hilarious novel set in modern times. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Fantasy Author Natasja Hellenthal (UK)
5.0 out of 5 stars This is very witty and clever.
This is very witty and clever. I love satires and this book had my attention throughout. I’m very happy with this purchase and addition to my library. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Don
5.0 out of 5 stars Lovely ironic humour
As a big fan of Monty Python and of course The Life of Brian I was intrigued to see if another creative spin could be placed on this sort of material and I'm happy to say it has. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Hobbit
2.0 out of 5 stars Two Stars
A good idea but a weak story.
Published 1 month ago by R. N. Wilkinson
5.0 out of 5 stars "Oh Seth!"
This is a humorous portrayal of the coming of the messiah...only this time it is the second son of God, an architect from Manhattan. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Love2read
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