The Dirty Parts of the Bible: A Novel
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"Funny as hell, with a heart as big as Texas"
Semifinalist for the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award
The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a humorous adventure across America during the Great Depression---a rollicking tale of love and liquor, preachers and prostitutes, trains and treasure, sure to appeal to fans of Water for Elephants, O Brother Where Art Thou?, Mark Twain, and Johnny Cash.
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Publishers Weekly says:
"While the title suggests a raunchy read, this rich and soulful novel is actually a rather well-done bildungsroman [coming-of-age story] steeped in wanderlust and whimsy that at times recalls The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn, and at others a tamer On the Road. The story begins in 1936 as 19-year-old Tobias is thumbing his way from Remus, Mich., to his uncle's farm in Glen Rose, Tex., to find a hidden bag of money, after his father, a Baptist pastor, drunkenly slams his car into the church and is removed from the parsonage. The author does an excellent job in making well-charted territory (riding the rails; scavenged campfire meals under the stars) seem vibrant and new. Snippets of scripture, Southern spirituals, and folk ballads lend context and flavor to the text. Most impressive are the jangly dialogue and the characters' distinctive voices, which are authentic and earthy but not remotely hoary. When Tobias finally arrives at his uncle's, the surprises that await him are more than enough to keep his--and readers'--interests piqued." (Review from the Amazon Breakthrough Novel Award)
"The Dirty Parts of the Bible has it all ... a plot that brings lots of laughs and a few tears, a writing style that is comfortable and matches the story, and characters that are pure joy." --Front Street Reviews
"The Dirty Parts of the Bible is a grown-up Mark Twain-type adventure with lots of spirit and humor." --Reader Views
"A fun read." --The Nashville Scene
“Oh, you wouldn’t know the place,” I said. “Try me, kid—I’ve been everywhere.” “Remus.” Craw looked up and scratched the whiskers under his chin. “It’s in Michigan,” I said, trying to help him out. “Damned if you’ve haven’t stumped me,” he said. “Now—where was I . . . ?” “You were saying I needed a moniker.” “Ah, yes.” He put his left hand on my shoulder. “I hereby christen you . . . the Remus Kid.” I wished he hadn’t. It was embarrassing enough to be from Remus. Even worse to be called
it. I’ll put some biscuits on—you boys must be famished.” “Boys?” Wilburn laughed, pointing at Craw. “That’s the oldest boy I’ve ever seen.” Millie squinted her eyes, looked Craw up and down, and pulled Uncle Will inside the house. I could hear her through the screen door. “He’s not setting foot in this house.” “But Millie—he’s kin.” “Not Tobias. I’m talking about that nigger.” “Don’t worry,” Wilburn said. “I’ll take care of it.” I hoped that Craw hadn’t heard. If he did, he didn’t say
the Bible is a book of facts. “Doesn’t believe in stories? The Bible isn’t a damn book of facts, it’s a collection of stories. And Jesus wasn’t a scientist or a mathematician—he was a storyteller.” Craw threw up his hands. “Why, all of life is a story!” “But if it’s just a story,” I said, “if all that stuff in Genesis didn’t actually happen—how the hell can you say it’s true?” “Oftentimes,” Craw said, “a truth is so big, so far beyond our understanding, that the only way we can grasp it is
down. Then she tied the other end to your waist and held you the whole way, while I pulled the both of you out.” He looked me in the eye. “Does that sound like selfishness in disguise?” I squirmed under my sheet. Craw had saved my life in St. Louis, and now Sarah had done the same—neither of them expecting anything in return. Sarah’s words echoed in my mind: “All I want is for you to live.” Could I say the same for her, or was I just out for myself? Even if the curse was a fake, I shouldn’t have
snapped on the Lone Star belt buckle he’d given me. “Time to slay a demon.” “Almost forgot,” he said. “The demon’s only the first challenge—I haven’t told you what to do once you get the girl’s clothes off.” “Don’t worry—I’m a fast learner.” CHAPTER 29 FOR the first time since Easter, I snuck out of the house, grabbed a fishing pole, and headed to the water. Only this time, I was after bigger game than bluegills. I limped across the yard, dragging my left leg over the dirt. My body