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Diary of a Heretic

3.80  ·  Rating details ·  15 ratings  ·  10 reviews
Malcolm Tully, the sensitive young owner of a pastry shop in suburban Chicago, only wanted an open-mike night, not a spiritual movement. But when his shop hosts a Saturday night discussion group, he finds an audience hungry to learn life's meaning and ready to pay for it. Seduced by his scheming pastry chef, Carlos, Malcolm becomes reluctant leader of a cult-like business ...more
Published May 1st 2013 by Beekman Press
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Rabid Readers Reviews
Jun 03, 2013 rated it it was amazing
For hours after finishing “Diary of a Heretic,” I wondered how I, a mere reviewer, could do justice in review to the modern classic presented. This is a deeply profound novel. I wallowed in the bathtub and contemplated and then realized, like Malcolm, sometimes we just have to get on with it. I loved this novel and Malcolm would never understand that.

You might ask, reading the description, why people would follow some average guy to raise him to the level to which Malcolm rises in this novel. H
Dan Leo
May 05, 2013 rated it it was amazing
If I may, I would like to reprint the review I wrote for this wonderful book on Amazon:

I read "Diary of a Heretic" in serial fashion on Kathleen Maher's blog (her blog is also titled "Diary of a Heretic"), and the publication of each new chapter was a highlight of my week, the book is that good. It's an unusual tale, the story of a rather unassuming young man who somehow, almost by accident, finds himself starting a new religion when all he really meant to do was to start a free-form discussion
Feb 13, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
With tremendous insight and clarity Kathleen Maher probes the deepest levels of humanity, the complexities of emotion, and the forces that can drive people in an unexpected direction: "Diary of a Heretic" (2013) is narrated by Malcolm, who becomes a great successful spiritual leader after he decides to host philosophical discussion meetings in his Chicago coffee shop.

The coffee shop, located near Northwestern University, was blanketed in heavy snow following a winter storm. Malcolm, a quiet deep
Michael McGhee
Aug 08, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This is a remarkable book - Deeply funny and moving at the same time. It's a quick read and I actually read it twice in succession: first because the wild plot was pulling me along, and then again because I wanted to savor certain scenes and passages. Like this one, where Malcolm, the narrator, has had more than one aquavit too many (the makers of aquavit liqueur should license this for an ad campaign): "One sip of aquavit and all discomfort, every ill or hurt fades into nothing....the aquavit c ...more
Marc Nash
May 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
This is a book about cognitive dissonance, the ability to deeply hold two contrary beliefs simultaneously. All its main characters succumb to a pull-me, push-you of their emotions as they realise their beliefs have feet of clay and yet still follow them. And why wouldn’t they, since those beliefs revolve around a religious cult?

Malcolm owns a coffee and pastry shop and is in mourning for his dead lover Colin. He has a keen mind and desires to make his shop a centre for debating ideas “a coffee k
K.C. Maher
Dec 31, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: favorites
I love this book, partly because the fictional diary-writer feels very close to me, except that I'm not young or male. Also, nobody would ever bully--or trick--me into starting a cult religion, even if it is called Religion Without Rules! Of course those aren't the only differences between the reluctant & naive charismatic Malcolm and me. But I share many of his anxieties & perceptions. Occasionally, Malcolm's one year diary (the year is unnumbered) is overwritten, meaning too many adjectives, b ...more
I was continuously lost in this book. Lol. it was an interesting story though.
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013
Kathleen Maher writes a story of love, greed, manipulation, lonliness and much more. Diary of a Heretic is a humorous as well as a sobering story. The story depicts the premise of people wanting to believe in something. Malcolm, one of the protagonists, a gifted orator and charismatic, develops a following turning into a cult. We following Malcolm's diary telling of the drastic changes he faces. We see the greed, and destruction he experiences in his journey. Maher has a solid writing style whic ...more
Maxine Robinson
Jan 24, 2016 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: first-reads, won-it, 2016, dnf
I've read over half and I have absolutely no desire to keep going. I tried, but it's not for me at all.
I don't care for any of the characters, I'm not curious to see how it plays out. I just don't care.
The writing was ok.

I won this from goodreads first reads.
Chloe Wickens
Nice book, interesting concept. Possibly not my sort of thing but an enjoyable read none the less.
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The F-word: Diary of a Heretic Q & A/Discussion 6 34 Jul 22, 2013 09:32AM  
Q & A/Discussion with author Kathleen Maher 1 4 Jun 27, 2013 09:25PM  
I write fiction that’s fast and fun but doesn’t belong to a genre. Plot and character development run neck and neck—at least that’s the balance I’m aiming for. I love to write, and to rewrite, and strive for prose that’s natural, rhythmic, and intimate.

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“...I tried to pretend that what we were enacting was nothing more than an intricate kind of handshake." ~Malcolm” 5 likes
“A dismal omen: ...this morning a woman handed me a dollar bill that was translucent from age, as soft and warm as living tissue.” 3 likes
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