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Review Excerpts

People – September 22, 2008 (Four Star review)
"A blend of playfulness and genuine emotion… Artfully mixing recognizable characters and real-life situations with fantasy, Savior takes the reader on an enthralling wild ride."

Montgomery Advertiser – September 14, 2008
“In ‘American Savior’ Merullo uses his substantial gifts of story telling, humor and spiritual insight to weave a tale of redemption and hope. He takes on the cynicism of our current political climate and offers in its place an opportunity to actually believe people can change things for the better. The characters he brings to life are terrific.”
-- James Evans

Chicago Sun-Times – August 31, 2008
“Roland Merullo’s ‘novel of divine politics’ is a page-turner about how the country might change if Jesus Christ ran for president. A Second Coming satire, it’s an inquiry into what might happen in a political season ruled by a figure that not only gets, but also can actually paint, the Big Picture. …Merullo’s skewering of the Religious Right and what could be called the Ambivalent Left is smart and on…”
--Carlo Wolff

The Washington Post Book World – August 24-30, 2008
“American Savior is blessed with enough gentle humor to keep this “novel of divine politics” fresh and even a little inspiring. The author, Roland Merullo, is developing something of a specialty in comic fiction with religious overtones or, if you prefer, religious fiction with comic overtones…The set-up for American Savior sounds like the answer to a satirist’s prayer, but the story never rips into our political system with the bitterness you might expect. ...Much of the light comedy here arises from Jesus’s straight-faced goodness amid the grimy mechanics of campaigning, polling, and dealing with the media. When asked about the Divine Party’s platform, Jesus tells his staff, ‘I’m running on the beatitudes.’

“It’s fun to imagine what would happen if a novle candidate threw caution to the wind and ran on a platform of universal kindness that appealed to our higher nature… American Savior is at its best when Russ is wrestling with conscience, trying to fathom how the election experience changed him, blessed him. Merullo knows what he’s talking about. Before he started writing novels, he was a carpenter.”
--Ron Charles

USA Today – August 20, 2008
“…Roland Merullo presents this intriguing scenario: What if Jesus returned to Earth and ran for president?...Merullo gently satirizes the media and politics in this thoughtful commentary on the role religion plays in America. The book showcases Merullo’s conviction that Jesus’ real message about treating others with kindness is being warped by those who believe they alone understand the Messiah.”
--Deirdre Donahue

The News-Review – August 7, 2008
“…Roland Merullo’s ‘American Savior,’ a satire on the presidential race, is a welcome relief…Merullo writes a ‘what if’ novel to poke fun at how we Americans get so caught up in the minutia of politics. The novel is an amusing take on the current political campaign for the highest office in this country. …Merullo’s satire is just that, but in the process he raises pertinent questions about the current and woeful state of politics in America...in the pages of this delightful spoof on American politics.”
--Bill Duncan

Catholic Register – August 3, 2008
“Roland Merullo has written an original, witty and absorbing yarn…the book indicts the viciousness of American politics, which Jesus eschews expect to say that He’s got more ‘woman’ inside Him than the other candidates, one of whom is a woman…I enjoyed American Savior very much… I think it helpful to keep in mind that the book is about Merullo’s own personal Jesus. His Jesus – a Jesus who doesn’t care about organized religion or sexual sins – is a Jesus I come across often and He certainly isn’t the worst version out there. I recommend the novel to all well-catechized Catholic adults. It will make a great beach read.”
--Dorothy Cummings

The Advocate – August 2, 2008
“Delightful and disconcerting, warm and wacky, thought-provoking and soul satisfying – there is no disrespect in Merullo’s AMERICAN SAVIOR except where disrespect is deserved and that is squarely aimed at the shabby, selfish, myopic view of politics too often acted out in America’s most important elections. What would Jesus do? Who would Jesus bomb? Frame the questions for yourself and readers may very well find the answers, not explicitly spelled out in the pages of Merullo’s book but in their own hearts after reading it.”
--Mary Garrett

Kirkus – July 1, 2008
"Smart, funny yet dead serious Second Coming novel from Merullo (Breakfast with Buddha, 2007, etc.), who has Jesus offering America spiritual renewal by way of a run for the White House. ...Impressive speculative fiction, and a bracing tonic for an election year..."

Booklist -- July 1, 2008
"…Intriguing… funny... effectively mixing elements of Vidal's Messiah with Mailer's The Gospel According to the Son with elements of Joe Klein's Primary Colors…"

Publishers Weekly – June 23, 2008
"When Jesus Christ turns up in West Zenith, Mass., Catholics, Jews and atheists unite to help him realize his plan of becoming America's next president in this hilarious novel from Merullo… …an uproarious satire…”
 

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