Overview When Conrad Davis, a TV journalist who is critical of the religious establishment, is thrust into another world where Jesus Christ did not appear 2,000 years ago, but in the present, he finds that he has earned some very powerful enemies.
Publishers Description What If Jesus Had Not Come Until Today? Who Would Follow Him? Who Would Kill Him? A fiery car crash hurls TV journalist Conrad Davis into another world exactly like ours except for one detail---Jesus Christ did not come 2,000 years ago, but today. Starting with angels heralding a birth in the back of a motel laundry room, the skeptical Davis watches the gospel unfold in today s society as a Messiah in T-shirt and blue jeans heals, raises people from the dead, and speaks such startling truths that he captures the heart of a nation. But the young man s actions and his criticism of the religious establishment earn him enemies as ruthless as they are powerful. An intense and thought-provoking novel, Eli strips away religious tradition to present Jesus fresh and unvarnished. With gripping immediacy, Bill Myers weaves a story whose truth will refresh your faith."
From Publishers Weekly Saunders's (Pastoralia) idiosyncratic voice makes an almost perfect
accompaniment to children's book illustrator Smith's (The Stinky Cheese Man)
heightened characterizations and slightly surreal backdrops in this
unconventional fairy tale for grownups. Saunders describes the setting, the
town of Frip, as "three leaning shacks by the sea," which Smith represents as
oblong two-story towers in brick red, ocean blue and mint green situated on
irregular plots of land with sinewy trees against a yellow sky that suggest a
Daliesque eerieness. The 1,500 gappers, spiky little creatures with multiple
eyes, feed on the goats that graze the shacks' backyards; by habit, they split
into three groups to attack all three properties at once. One day, the gappers
decide that henceforth they will concentrate all their efforts on the goats at
only one house, the one closest to the sea--inhabited by a girl, Capable, and
her grieving, widowed father. Soon, the two unafflicted families begin to tell
themselves that they are superior to Capable and her father ("Not that we're
saying we're better than you, necessarily, it's just that, since gappers are
bad, and since you and you alone now have them, it only stands to reason that
you are not, perhaps, quite as good as us"). Of course it's only a matter of
time until everybody's luck changes. The Saunders-Smith collaboration is
inspired. Smith adds witty touches throughout, and Saunders's dialogue features
uncannily amusing deadpan repetitions and platitudinous self-exculpations.
Saunders is much too hip to bring this fable to an edifying ending, but things
do conclude as happily as is possible in the morally challenged, circumscribed
world of Frip. 100,000 first printing; major ad/promo; author tour. (Aug.) ELI:
A NOVEL Bill Myers. Zondervan, $12.99 paper (304p) ISBN 0-310-218039 ~ In this
compelling if at times frustrating novel, Myers imagines a parallel universe in
which Jesus Christ is born not 2,000 years ago in Bethlehem but 30 years ago in
Santa Monica, Calif. Through Conrad Davis, a universe-hopping journalist, we
meet the 20th-century Jesus, whose name is Eli Shepherd. In less capable hands,
science fiction about a contemporary messiah might become a morass of polemic
and pulp, but Myers weaves a deft, affecting tale that preserves the
enigmatically audacious Jesus of the New Testament and situates him in our
weary, jaded, media-saturated society. And unlike other contemporary Christian
novelists who transparently take aim at all things left of center, Myers
delivers a messiah who transcends politics, eschewing both the Left and the
Right in favor of a place his listeners have never heard of, called "The
Kingdom of God." Eli's travels with his disciples-- who include a pornography
mogul and a white supremacist--enlighten, entertain and challenge both his
fictive and actual audience. Yet it's disappointing that the novel climaxes as
Eli's betrayer is revealed; the crucifixion, resurrection and ascension feel
like afterthoughts--events that deeply affect Conrad but not necessarily anyone
else. Despite this and other lapses, such as Eli's uncharacteristically lame
explanation for the absence of female disciples, this is a refreshing departure
from the usual clich s of popular Christian fiction. (Aug.) Copyright 2000
Cahners Business Information.
Awards and Recognitions Eli by Bill Myers has received the following awards and recognitions -
A really Different approach to the Son of God Mar 8, 2007
This book is a real eye-opener! It's especially good for those of us, who haver read the New Testament a few times and tend to think that "we know it all already" and cannot seem to find new insights in the Bible any more. The idea of imagining what it would be like, if Jesus was born today, in this world of hamburgers and TVs was really meaningful to me!
What if we didn't recognize Jesus Jan 14, 2007
Ever since Blood of Heaven and Face of God, I've been a Bill Myers fan. Once again, he knocks it out of the park with this story that asks the question, What if Jesus came back today? How would he react to organized religion, to the media, to transportation? This book keeps you engaged and makes you wonder, "Would I recognize Jesus if he came through my town?" A must read!
Best book Aug 15, 2005
This was actually one of the first books I read on my own after I finished high school. And by far, I think it is THE best book I have ever read! When I started reading this book, I thought the premise was original. It took me a little while to understand what was going on as there were "time gaps" in the story. But after reading it, you realize everything going on. And it is one of the books I recommend to everyone who wants something to read. I have read it 5 times myself, and it will definitely be a staple in my book collection.
Ignore the "Alternate Reality" Storyline... Jun 17, 2005
In all honesty, the "alternate reality" storyline is a fairly thin veneer with which to display the actual meat of this book. After centuries of stories about shepherds, fishermen, tax collectors, zealots, and pharisees, many people have lost track of who these people actually were in the context of their own time, and we see them through the benign lens of a comfortable Christianity that we've grown accustomed to in the West.
But these people were thought of differently back in the time that the Gospels were composed. This book presents us with hippies, drug dealers, uneducated men, militants, and televangelists--people who we are more familiar with--and casts them into all the "accustomed" roles of Bible stories. In doing so, Myers shows us, at least in part, how odd, and scandalous Jesus' actions must have seemed at the time they were going on. It presents a different picture, one that adds a depth and richness to the Gospel stories than what modern Americans remember from Sunday School.
I appreciated this book tremendously, because it drew me to think about who it was that Jesus was spending time with, and how he was spending that time with them. This is not, really, a story about "alternate realities." This is a book that translates the Gospels into modern times--not word for word, nor even chapter for chapter, but tale for tale.
Amazing Book!!! Jan 12, 2005
This is one of the best books I have ever read!!!! Bill Myers is a wonderful Christian author who truly puts his heart into his books. I loved this book so much that I emailed the author to thank him for writing it which is something I have never done before.You can't read about Eli without it touching your heart profoundly! I highly recommend this book to everyone and when your finished you will want to read his other books as well!!!