16 December 2011

Nazareth, North Dakota - Tommy Zurhellen

 Nazareth, North Dakota: A Novel
by Tommy Zurhellen
Fiction, Trade Paperback Original
ISBN 978-0-9845105-6-6
5.25 x 8 in / 212 pages
Publication Date: April 15, 2011


This gem of a novel—a splendid recasting and modern retelling of the story of the young messiah—is a fast, quirky, dirt-kicking ride through the Badlands of North Dakota from the early 1980s to the present, complete with feathered locks, KISS cover bands, and fire-and-brimstone preachers. It’s an adventurous, irresistible tale about everything from a 31-year-old fugitive mom who escapes a motel shootout with an abandoned new born to a corrupt sheriff, a kindhearted carpenter, the world’s oldest man, and the chosen paths of two hell-raising, miracle-bent cousins.
This incandescent debut is an authentic religious allegory connecting Lakota history with scripture. It contains plot twists and undeniable truths as deep and wide as the Little Missouri River, with ideas and messages so big, so earthshaking, so unmistakably divine, they do more than transform the little town of Nazareth. They change the world.

Nazareth, North Dakota is an imaginative and whimsical retelling The New Testament.  Tommy Zurhellen's latest novel tracks the events of the Bible in modern times, his story populated by ever too real misfits, malcontents, lost souls and of course larger than life heroes.  It is a tale as old as time and yet presented under a modern context.  As such the reader must ask himself or herself just one question...exactly how would we react if Jesus arrived today?  Would you believe?  What if John the Baptist was planted on the shores of the Rio Grande...would you go?

Waiting around for God!  As if God isn't already in every blade of grass and slab of concrete we walk upon, and in the very air we breathe.  Waiting around for God!  As if the Lord doesn't show us miracles every single day.  A miracle is like a big billboard that reads, "Don't worry God's coming."  Sometimes we're too stubborn to look up and read the signs.

How could I not truly enjoy this novel?  Compelling characters that are familiar and yet brand new, a well known tale wrought anew by a slight twist of perspective.  Each day I approached my reading with an eager spirit and, in the end, that is all I could ask of any novel.



Tommy Zurhellen was born in New York City. Nazareth, North Dakota is his first novel.
To find out more about Tommy, his upcoming tour dates and his research for the sequel Apostle Islands, visit his website.
Read a short story written during the evolution of Nazareth, North Dakota.
Learn about Tommy’s many sources of inspiration for the novel at High Plains Reader.
Check out Tommy’s interview at Eleutherophobia, which covers everything from Nazareth to wave-making waterbeds.

* I received an advance copy from the publisher for purposes of review. I was in no way obligated to write a review much less a favorable one. The opinions stated herein are all my own.


Post a Comment