Item description for Pagan's Nightmare ~ by Ray Blackston...
Overview ho's ever heard of a reverse Rapture?
Larry Hutch may have a few loose screws in his head, but he's determined to create a hit with his latest manuscript. While dealing with personal crises, he conceives of a strange new world: on a routine Monday morning in Atlanta, an unwary "pagan" finds himself one of the last remaining unbelievers in a world populated by Christians.
Christians can buy gas for twelve cents a gallon, while everyone else (the pagans, that is) has to pay $6.66. The radio stations alter all song lyrics to conform to "Christian" standards-the Beatles belt out "I Wanna Hold Your Tithe"; Abba's "Dancing Queen" becomes "Dancing's Wrong." Even French fries, newly labeled "McScriptures," are tools for evangelism.
Larry's novel is a big hit with his agent, Ned. But Ned's wife-a committed Southern Baptist-is less than amused. And Larry has yet to show the manuscript to his new girlfriend, even though he's made her the unsuspecting heroine. It will take deft handling from both men to keep their lives and their relationships intact when the world witnesses A PAGAN'S NIGHTMARE.
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Studio: Warner Faith
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.1" Width: 6.2" Height: 1.1" Weight: 0.95 lbs.
Release Date Oct 31, 2006
Publisher HACHETTE BOOK GROUP
ISBN 0446579599 ISBN13 9780446579599 UPC 9780446579599
Availability 20 units. Availability accurate as of Nov 22, 2017 12:39.
Usually ships within one to two business days from New Kensington, PA.
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More About Ray Blackston
Ray Blackston of Greenville, South Carolina, worked as a buyer and a broker for eleven years before cashing in his modest 401k and leaving his corporate cubicle to write full time. He serves on the missions committee of Grace Church, has traveled to rural Ecuador on a summer missions program, and coaches his six-year-old nephew Action Jackson in T-ball. He is the author of the popular summer hit Flabbergasted.
Ray Blackston currently resides in Greenville, in the state of South Carolina.
Reviews - What do customers think about Pagan's Nightmare ~?
Very funny cover, pretty good satire Jan 17, 2007
It's tricky writing satire for the Christian market, particularly a satire of the Christian subculture itself. But Ray Blackston does an admirable job here.
The humor in the book pokes fun at some of the foibles of a Christian subculture that separates and insulates itself from the world. One could argue that the satire could be sharper, but then a Christian publisher probably wouldn't want to touch it. As it is, Ray Blackston has crafted a story that makes Christians think while it makes them laugh at some of the ridiculous things we do in the name of so-called "Christianity".
Humorous view of what the future holds Jan 11, 2007
A Pagan's Nightmare by Ray Blackston is not for Christians with a low tolerance for humor. Larry has written a new book and presents it to his agent Ned to sell to the movie studios. Larry's book is a bit controversial in its view of Christianity and the hereafter. In alternating sections we read Ned's struggle to sell the book and the book itself. Ned's wife Angie, a Southern Baptist, is so offended at the book's content she tries to burn it and then organizes a protest outside of her own home. Is the book really that upsetting? It depends on how you look at it. Blackston's tone is dead-on for a wry commentary on legalism in the church. He pokes humorous daggers at the attitude without attacking the faith behind it. Blackston's writing style isn't always fluid, and transitions are rough in spots. Some of his characters (especially the ethnic ones) seem a bit stereotyped, but that may be part of his scheme to get the reader to think wider than just the story he's telling. The book seems to tell the story of a reverse rapture (unbelievers are taken, believers are left behind to create their own Paradise), but it's misleading. Try to avoid reviews that offer spoilers, because while they may make you more comfortable reading the book, the uncomfortable squirming that comes before Larry's explanation of what the book is really all about can help you find the legalistic areas in your own life. This is not the book for your Southern Baptist grandmother (unless she has a great sense of humor), but it's a fun read for believers and non-believers alike. It treats both Angie's faith and Larry's agnotisicm with equal respect.
Read While Wearing Steel-Toed Boots. Jan 10, 2007
Ray Blackston has crafted a skewed and entertaining novel in "A Pagan's Nightmare."
Some day, I'd like to meet this man -- Ray, not Larry, or Lanny, or Ned. Well, maybe I'd like to meet them, too.
This story within a story is both rich in humor and surprising in it's spiritual depth.
Warning...you may experience deep crunching sensations accompanied by sharp pain in your toes as you read. Ray hits a little too close to home when he paints some unflattering yet realistic pictures of "the sky is falling" theology.
If you like your Christian fiction without pablum or platitude - this is your book. If you want a fun read and you can laugh at yourself or if you are wearing steel-toed boots, give it a shot.
If you want by-the-rules Christian fiction, you may find yourself frustrated, but do try to get beyond that, this is a mind-twistingly good read.
What if Christians ruled the world? Jan 10, 2007
Larry is a writer who has given his publisher Ned what he thinks will be the next great novel. It's the story about Lanny who lives in a world where Christians have taken over and all the pagans are being hunted down. Lanny and radio DJ Ned Neutral (an homage to editor Ned) are two of the few "unfortunate ones" left and trying to run for their lives from. Lanny is also on the search for his girlfriend Miranda as he worries that she has become one of "them". Meanwhile in the real world, Ned is letting everyone read Larry's manuscript including his own wife who is not happy with the book. She feels that it's a attack on Christianity and must be stopped. While battling wits with his own wife, Ned continues to discover more about himself and Larry as he delves deeper into a world where Christians are the supreme ruler.
This was my first Ray Blackston novel and I must say I throughly enjoyed it. I really liked the story in a story format, I felt like I was reading at the same pace as the characters who were reading the novel. I think that Larry's story was a good representation of what a non-Christian often views the religion to be. Christians should be alerted to this, that we're not some closed off club that tries to frighten people into joining. In the story, Christians have become the bad scary guys, who all follow Marvin who claims that only he knows what God really is saying. I found the speaking in King James a hoot because there are many people who still think that the KJV is the only true version of the Bible. I really liked the way the song lyrics were changed, especially being a huge Beatles fan, I got a kick out of the new words. I felt frustrated with Ned's wife at first because it seemed to me that she was one of those Christians that spent more time attacking than witnessing. I rather found it ironic that she is such a go at it Christian, yet she is married to such a lukewarm one. I got a good laugh out of the discussion questions at the end, especially the question for single people. This book really made you think about why does Christianity have to do things are certain way? Do we place those rituals as more important than our relationship with Jesus? I recommend this book for anyone who enjoys a funny, light read that makes you think hard after you're done.
1984, Eat your heart out. Marvin's watching you. Dec 20, 2006
I am currently in a love affair with the hilarious, witty, scandalous and sometimes downright outrageous writings of Ray Blackston.
Therefore it comes as no great suprise to you that I am about to highly reccomend his latest offering on the altar of instant classics, a rather short page turner called "A Pagan's Nightmare." Complete with deliciously nose-thumbing reccomendations on the back cover ("Riveting! Gripping!! Fabulous!!! Exclaimation Points!!!!" from "Today's Religious Fanatic", and "Thou has made much mockery, therefore, ye shall recieve not our vehement condemnation, but our esteem. For thou hast brought great mirth unto us." from the King James Fiction Review to name a couple). The book gives a simultaneously amusing, thought provoking and chilling view of what a world full of Christians... but devoid of Jesus would look like to an "outsider".
A framed story, a non-Christian named Larry submits a novel-cum-movie script to his Agent, Ned. Ned eats the novel up, but his wife a devout Southern Baptist named Annie is less than amused. And by less than amused, I mean a full fledged deep south, sign waving, picnicing protest in his front yard. Meanwhile, Larry hides from his newly accquired girlfriend that she is the love interest in his latest, greatest attempt at the box office. As Ned pedals the manuscript from studio to studio, a wide range of people (from barbers to baptists to crossdressers to college students) read the script and hungrily ask for more. In the same manner, the reader is slowly paced through the novel within the novel.
Lanny Hooch is the last Pagan on earth. Well, or one of the last. Deffinitely in the last five. Teaming up with an equally confused Disc Jockey who can't understand why he's now playing songs like "I Wanna Hold Your Tithe" and "Dancing's Wrong;" they seek safe haven from a world that seems determined slather them with doctrine in return for a seat on the giant purple couch next to the apostle Marvin. Lanny doggedly searches for his girlfriend, Miranda, who dissapeared when Delta Airlines switched to Detour Airlines (earthly flights for the heavenly bound). Encoutering such obstacles as $6.66 gas, secret catchphrases, poorly dubbed movies, Cuba and McScriptures, the unlikely pair navigates their way around the globe (in private airplanes, a green Xterra, and Fidel Castro's Yacht), trying to figure out where Miranda is, what in the world is going on, and why King-James-Only-Speaking Marvin alternates between gold and purple robes.
:) The resolution of the novel and whether or not they escape or find Miranda or the movie makes it to completion, is, of course, for the reader to find out, but the implications of the novel are much larger than that. A clear thumbing-of-the-nose at "Christianese", legalism and consumerism that dots the horizon in American churches and floods the American "religious right", Blackston paints a 1984-esque picture of what happens in a world where the Church is given absolute power and Christ is utterly forgotten. No matter who you are, or what you believe, there's a message for you in this book that is both gripping and riveting, regardless of exclaimation points.