Friday, April 1, 2016

Suburban Gospel - Review and First Chapter Excerpt

Idgie Says:
This is a fantastically spot on book showing the Life and Religious temperament of the 80's South.  Mark takes a "memoir" of his life and turns it into entertaining storytelling.  You forget that he is actually telling us about his youth in the South, that it isn't simply a witty novel about trying to survive your angst-filled years. 

Given that I am most definitely a girl who was raised in this same time and place, I related to this book from page one.  The horror of not being "saved", the anguish of possible damnation because my Gloria Vanderbilt jeans were too tight, the hope that the slow song at the dance would last a really long time and that I wouldn't have to pray about it Sunday morning in Church.  

I laughed, nodded, smirked and nodded again as I read through the story of his need to fit in, have fun, find a hot girl, and not go to hell because of it all.  Mark has a great flow to his style of writing that rambles easily through the story and into your mind in a pleasing manner. 

I most definitely recommend this novel. 

Click HERE to download the first chapter. 


Suburban Gospel
Mark Beavers
Hub City Press
April 1, 2016

Book Description:
When the deacons at Mark Beaver’s Bible Belt church cue up an evangelical horror flick aimed at dramatizing Hell, he figures he’d better get right with God, and soon. Convinced he could die at age seven and spend eternity roasting on a spit in the fiery furnace of Hades, he promptly gets Saved. But once the ’80s and his adolescence hit, the Straight and Narrow becomes a tight squeeze.

Suburban Gospel offers more than a look inside the Southern Baptist religion circa Jerry Falwell and the Moral Majority—it’s a tale of faith and flesh. Beaver invites us into a world filled with Daisy Duke fantasies and Prince posters, Nerf Hoops and Atari joysticks, raggedy Camaros and the neon light of strip malls.

As much about the adolescent heart as the evangelical mind, the story explores similar emotional terrain as coming-of-age classics like Tobias Wolff's This Boy's Life and Mary Karr's Cherry. Suburban Gospel is a tale of growing up Baptist, all right—but also of just growing up.