What The Reviewers are Saying
RAPTUROUS seems right up my alley.
--Dr. Noam Chompsky
I am not the fastest reader of all time -- I usually read two or three books at the same time. However when I began "Rapturous," I dropped "Salt Sugar Fat" by Michael Moss and "Rebellions, Perversities, and Main Events" by Murray Kempton, and tore through Brent Buell's novel in three days.
"Rapturous" is a very humorous page-turner that could easily be turned into a satirical film. Buell turns the religious notion of the Rapture on its head. The character of Jesus is probably more realistic than the Jesus depicted in most churches or in the classic paintings.
The book's characters extend from the evil Bush and Cheney to religious fundamentalists to the pure inhabitants of an underground community of New Yorkers.
I loved the fact that Bush was NOT taken in the Rapture since Jesus did not want to create a martyr of the president. I also liked the way Buell found a way for Jesus to sneak his comrades in and out of potentially dangerous situations. And Jesus was seen differently depending on who was watching him — a Christian saw a Christian; a Muslim saw a Muslim. I wondered who a Jew saw?
As my son once told his kindergarten teacher who was discussing the resurrection (my son told us she was discussing the "insurrection"): "We think Jesus was a good man; we just don't believe the God part." This is definitely a very good Jesus with very good politics.
Lew Friedman, Campaign to Stop Killer Coke, www.KillerCoke.org
I had just gotten in bed to take a nap (barely slept last night) and RAPTUROUS was on my bedside table. I picked it up thinking I would read the first few pages before drifting off. Well.... I have FORCED myself to stop at page103 with the rapturing of George Bush.
It's fantastic! I love it! It's a total page-turner. There's SO MUCH observation in it. So much of what Buell knows about the world distilled in it. And it's fucking funny as hell. I've been laying here laughing out loud.
This will be made into a movie. I can really just see it.
I cannot wait for the time to read the rest of it. But it can't be done in little pieces. It's way too juicy. You need big chunks.
-Joelle Shefts, Artist & Screenwriter
Buell does not like stupidity. He really doesn’t like it when it’s coupled
with the apocalyptic thinking and megalomania that were such hallmarks of George
W. Bush’s train wreck of an administration. So there’s only one thing to do
if one is a brilliant satirist and that’s to give Dubya and his equally
demented henchmen and women a sound, hilarious, uproarious drubbing. You’ll
alternately laugh your head off and gasp with astonishment -- there’’s no
sacred cow that Buell doesn’t skewer, and the more sacred, the more skewerable.
But like a lot of satirists, Buell’s razor wit almost camouflages his compassion for the sad and sorry human race. In the end there's justice and even mercy for the baddies. You won’t guess what it is, but when it comes, it’s perfection.
Arlene McKanic, Author
I loved Rapturous. I had begun
to do some work on my room. I took a break to read a couple chapters of
Rapturous. Well the room was put on hold while I read [the] book over the next
three days. I laughed, I cried, I shouted (my poor neighbors), I mourned, I
appreciated. I appreciate how Buell captured so much of contemporary media
numbness, religious anti-religiosity, and the inanity of our culture wars. His
Jesus Christ figure (and his references to "dad") are powerfully and
hilariously real. I too often imagine that Jesus comes back metaphorically all
the time - in the form of a homeless woman, a friend or family member in need of
support, or even someone we don't like who has something to teach us. Well, I'd
like to add that He came back again in the form of . . . RAPTUROUS.
--Dr. Charles Coleman, CUNY
English and Cultural Diversity
This is an outstandingly original work. There is a delirious surreal quality to the story that Monty Python would have been proud of. Reminds me to some extent of the feel of Catch 22. . . . It's a fiendish plot and also very funny. Somebody said that all laughter was revenge and this seems to me to be the perfect revenge over just about everyone in power in the US.”
--Andy Martin author of The Boxer and the Goalkeeper: Sartre vs Camus.