American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics
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American Savior: A Novel of Divine Politics

3.66 of 5 stars 3.66  ·  rating details  ·  372 ratings  ·  106 reviews
What if Jesus suddenly appeared and announced that he planned to run for President of the United States? Yes, that Jesus. And what if a well-meaning but utterly inexperienced band of disciples not only helped him mount a seat-of-the-pants campaign but also ran it well, getting millions of people to support him and in the process throwing the other two major party candidate...more
Hardcover, 312 pages
Published August 26th 2008 by Algonquin Books
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Ummm ... an interesting read. I agree with Patty who said that there were some things in the book that bugged her. I felt the same way . . . and if there were half stars on Goodreads I'd give a 4 1/2. One of the criteria for me in giving a book 5 stars is whether I would want to pick it up and read it again. And with this book, I would.

The novel was readable, and somewhat predictable. Yet, it made me expand my thinking. I was initially offended at some of the personal things Jesus knew about and...more
I went back and forth between 3 and 4 stars for this novel. It is the story of Jesus Christ (yes, THAT Jesus Christ) returning to earth in a small town in Massachusetts sometime around 2008-2012. After performing a few miracles and coming to the attention of the media, he decides to run for President of the United States. He chooses his staff (apostles?) from ordinary folks and as in the Gospels, he just tells them to leave their jobs and work for him. He has a motley crew of people running his...more
Jesus Christ has come back and he is running for President of the U.S. This book taught me more about religion than most religion books and more about politics than any book I've read on politics. And it did all this while weaving a tale that was both exciting and at times funny. I knew where the author was heading in this story, but I got a bunch of delightful surprises along the way. This is the perfect book to read in the midst of all our religious and political craziness.
I waited for months to obtain this book from my library. When I finally received it, it didn't disappoint.

The story revolves around Jesus Christ's second return to Earth, in which he decides to run for President of the United States. He chooses a variety of "suspect" individuals for his crew of campaigners/assistants: a TV reporter, his girlfriend, parents, and brother (who has Down Syndrome) a low-income boyfriend/girlfriend pair, and various others.

What I really liked about this book was the p...more
There were definitley profound moments in this book. I am not sure where to really begin to describe this book.. I loves the premise, but it didn't play out the way that I thought it would. I was disappointed at the end, and yet, I TOTALLY agree with what "Jesus" taught about Ameican politics. I believe that our nation is in grave spiritual danger and that all political sides are at fault. I feel that politicians are mostly in it for themselves and what they can gain--rather than what is best fo...more
This lightweight, modestly entertaining novel missed the mark for me. In it, Jesus comes back to the U.S. in the near future to run for president & gathers a group of everyday people to staff his campaign & to teach life's lessons. It's not witty enough to work as satire, & it takes itself too seriously but is too naive & unbelievable to pull off any serious theology or politics. Jesus teaches a bland, New Agey, "Oh, God" style of theology, reassuring his followers that they just...more
May 18, 2009 Bunny rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Bunny by: People magazine
Shelves: read-in-09
I had kept this book out from the library because I wanted to quote it for the review, but it just didn't work out. So I have to paraphrase.

I desperately wanted to like this book. I mean it, I did. People asked what I was reading, and I got excited explaining the premise. How can you not love a book that has Jesus running for president? THE Jesus. I half expected it to turn out he was a fraud in the end.

But one paragraph did me in. One conversation between the narrator and His Holiness. They wer...more
Kathy (Bermudaonion)
Russ Thomas is a reporter for WZIZ, a TV station in Massachusetts, when he is sent to report on the story of a young child who had fallen three stories, seemed dead, and came back to life when a stranger came up and touched him. Others were calling it a miracle, but Russ remained skeptical. Later, he's sent to a hospital where the same stranger has visited a young girl and seemingly cured her of a chronic illness.

The stranger becomes known as "The Good Visitor," and he turns out to be Jesus Chri...more
Ron Charles
Given the fawning coverage of Barack Obama during this election season, a story about Jesus Christ coming back to Earth and running for president seems almost redundant. But 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. In a previous novel, Breakfast...more
Won this as a First Reads- It's so awesome to have a book with "Advanced Copy- Not For Sale" printed on it! Thanks!


When I first began this book, I had a hard time getting Christopher Moore's Josh (Jesus)character out of my head. I will admit that the Jesus of American Savior didn't immediately strike me as much as the Jesus of Lamb.

However, after a few chapters, I was able to put that aside and begin to enjoy this book. This is a story that chronicles a presidential run by none o...more
I really liked this idea for a book. I was looking forward to reading it. I had even looked at some of the other books by this author and thought about going ahead and ordering them. However, it's just ok. It's not a great book. The premise is that Jesus comes back to American to enter into the presidential election months before November. He picks several "normal" people to become his staff of advisors. 13 of them to be exact. The book has a religious slant to it but mostly it's about finding y...more
What if Jesus Christ returned to Earth?

What if he returned to America?

What if he returned to America and RAN FOR PRESIDENT?

And what if, once he appeared in the spotlight that goes with that race, he espoused his platform and it didn't mesh with the right wing Christians at all? After all, Jesus' messages AREN'T anything like what Conservative America preaches. How would those people recognize him when their image of Him is skewed?

So here's the story as told through the eyes of a cynical half-Cat...more
G.d. Brennan
"American Savior" is an intriguing book because of the tension inherent in its premise--Jesus returning to earth not in judgment, but to be judged, by the American people, as a candidate for president.

There's something inherently un-Christian about all politics. Red state or blue, left or right, all politicians have to reward their friends and punish their enemies. They have to do good in order to be seen; they have to cozy up to the powerful and ignore the powerless, even if they pretend otherw...more
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Jeff Raymond
There's a meme among much of the political left that the liberal viewpoint is devoid of ideology and is inherently pragmatic. There's also the meme that Jesus Christ, were he alive today, would be a liberal.

American Savior, perhaps inadvertently, is the literary result of those memes.

The idea is simple, in this case: Jesus has returned, and he wants to run for president. He gets together a small group of reporters and their families to make the run, and the book follows the campaign through elec...more
I've had this on my too read list forever, and I'm glad that I finally got around to reading it. That said, it wasn't exactly what I expected it to be. It was much more....serious. I was expecting it to somehow be funnier, more irreverent than it was. Instead, I think it was a honest look at American politics and American religion and...well...I was rooting for Jesus Christ returned to Earth to become president of the United Stated. Sometimes it was a little bit preachy, but not in a religious w...more
Jan Burrelsman
I enjoyed the book. I liked pondering what if...? What if Jesus did show up today and run for President of the United States? What if he asked me to drop everything and help with the campaign? How would the general public react to this scenario? There is a line on p.67 where Jesus says, "I have come, as I did last time, to show you how to awake from the dream." This coincides with ACIM,of which I have been a long time student.
Oct 08, 2008 Jackie rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: politically inclined folks, Chris Moore fans
This is an extremely interesting book. The premise: Jesus comes back, this time running for President of the United States. Religion plays only the smallest of rolls in this book--it mostly deals with political and social realities that are achingly current though dressed up slightly differently (eg: The Neverending War, which is in South America instead of the Iraq War, and hilarious name substitutions like Hurry Linneament and Shawn "No So" Mannily). It's an intense mixture of humor and social...more
Kathy McC
I so enjoyed Breakfast with Buddha, that I was excited to read Meruillo's next endeavor. While I loved the premise of this book and enjoyed the quirky characters, I just didn't find the writing as engaging as Buddha.
Premise is marvelous- Jesus returns to Earth to run for president. He runs as a member of the Divinity Party which is actually moderate. Jesus' views on important political issues do not line up with the Christian Right so there is much upheaval within its members. Jesus hires some...more
So: Jesus runs for president. On the Divinity Party ticket. He supersedes both Republicans and Democrats, brings a non-religion platform, does the talk show crowd, and still manages to squeeze in wandering in the desert (figuratively speaking) and pontificating (less interested in our sins than in how we progress, I can't help but wonder--this Jesus sounds pretty liberal to me).

Great premise. Problem for me was Merullo's writing. His narrator, frequently deemed a smartass, wasn't very smartass...more
Ryan Mac
A satirical look at the election process and commentary on the state of the country through the presidential campaign of Jesus Christ. Jesus (Hay-Zeus to his Spanish speaking friends) has come back, preaching kindness and compassion to all people, and attempts to become the president of the United States. The story is told by Russ Thomas, a former TV reporter, who joined the campaign with some doubts (doubting Thomas anyone?) along with several family members and other odd characters for a presi...more
I was intrigued by Merullo's premise for this book, but found that the execution left me wanting. I was unsatisfied with Jesus the way he was written, though I'm not sure quite what I would change; it would be incredibly difficult to characterize him in a modern context and in a way that makes him accessible and compelling, yet still god-like. There was too much moralizing (in a fairly liberal, we shouldn't push our sectarian beliefs on others vein) and I found the thinly veiled caricatures of m...more
Michael Shaw
This book The concept was interesting enough, if wholly unbelievable - Jesus Christ comes back to earth to run for President of the United States of America. First, I don't buy that Jesus would have any real interest in American (or global) politics and certainly not enough to run for office. The story is told in flashbacks from the point of view of a small town Massachusetts reporter turned Security Chief for the Christ campaign. The story isn't particularly compelling, the characters...more
This novel was a sometimes humorous, sometimes satirical, sometimes realistic account of how Jesus Christ's campaign for U.S. President might develop. The book reminded me of the movie "Oh God." Because Jesus was running for President of the U.S. most of the issues were limited to American politics. I wondered if a novel of Jesus running for Secretary General of the United Nations might be a more appropriate setting for presenting Jesus' teachings. Nevertheless, I think this book was a pretty ac...more
I really wanted to love this book - the premise was fantastic and I won it off GoodReads (even better!)

I've been trying to finish it for a month and I just can't. The characters are flat and uninteresting. The plot feels like a copycat of recent politcal events. Even though I agree with the points the author is trying to make, I'm just not interested enough to continue.

The writing is OK - there are a few clever moments, but overall, the book just isn't particularly engaging.

I will say that since...more
Here’s a quirky book that seems entirely fitting for right now. WWJD if he was a presidential candidate? Jesus’ comment on page 129 captures it: “I offer you my blessings and I ask for your vote.” References to current politics are sprinkled throughout and fun to catch. But I suppose what hit me most was the notion that our nation would actually support a candidate as compassionate, peace-loving and wise as Jesus. Sad, but with so much cynicism and dirty tricks in politics, that was the hardest...more
Jesus Christ running for president of the US.
Guess what - he wins, but is assassinated anyway.

the narrator is a tv news reporter who is recruited to serve as security officer for the campaign. his fiancee, boss and wife, and his family are recruited to work for the campaign as well. the narrator delivers the story of the campaign as his movement from disbelief to belief. This Jesus Christ is a bit different from the one described by most fundamentalist Christians in the US today. I believe fun...more
Tattered Cover Book Store
This book couldn't be more current. The premise: Jesus comes back, this time running for the presidency of the United States. There is very little religion in this book, surprisingly--he's running on a platform of kindness, understanding, optimism and fairness (how outstandingly refreshing after every evening's political news these days). There is a lot of what the book calls "reverent irreverence", definitely some laugh out loud moments and some hilarious camouflage for real life characters (on...more
Apr 13, 2014 Sue added it
Premise: Jesus returns and runs for President. Obviously, lots of comic possibilities and a lot of laughs. But I also found this insightful and moving. Recommended!
Merullo has become one of my favorite authors. While some may say the ending was predictable, the journey inspired hope in mankind
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ROLAND MERULLO is the acclaimed author of twelve previous books, including Revere Beach Boulevard, In Revere in Those Days, A Little Love Story, Golfing with God, Breakfast with Buddha, Lunch with Buddha and American Savior. Merullo has won numerous prizes, including the Massachusetts Book Award for both fiction and nonfiction. He lives in Massachusetts with his wife and two children.
More about Roland Merullo...
Breakfast with Buddha: A Novel The Talk-Funny Girl A Little Love Story Golfing with God: A Novel of Heaven and Earth Lunch with Buddha

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