“In his follow-up to the critically acclaimed Imaginary Jesus, Matt Mikalatos tackles this question in an entertaining and thought-provoking way—with MONSTERS!!! While Christians claim to experience Christ’s resurrection power, we sometimes act like werewolves who can’t control our base desires. Or zombies, experiencing a resurrection that is 90 percent shambling death and 10 percent life. Or vampires, satiating ourselves at the expense of others. But through it all we long to stop being monsters and become truly human—the way Christ intended. We just can’t seem to figure out how.” From Amazon.com
At first, I thought this would be a serious novel. Then, I saw the tag line beneath the title, “One man’s ferociously funny quest to discover what it means to be truly transformed.” Transformation in a story that has werewolves, zombies and vampires? I snickered.
“’My house is just ahead.’ But when we got to my house, there were three zombies milling around on the porch. They appeared to be stuffing flyers into the handle of my front door. These were very strange zombies. I punched my fist into my palm. ‘I knew I should have put up a ‘No Soliciting’ sign.’ I looked at the other zombies. Now that I noticed it, most of them had bright green flyers in their hands. I picked one off the ground and read it out loud: ‘REVIVAL IS COMING….” Pg. 15-16
The book begins with a commentary from Luther, a neighbor in the story. We find out later he is not your typical neighbor. He beats his wife because he’s a werewolf and his baser instincts get the better of him. Matt, the author, is the main character of the book. I found that very entertaining. Matt also uses his real friends as neighbors in the story. Even his acknowledgments are entertaining. However, unlike another comedic writer I have read, Matt brings in the truth of Christian life in a story about us. Yes, we are the monsters.
There are vampires who, “steal the life force of others to increase their own longevity, gladly using the lives and well-being of those around them to increase their own quality of life. As such, they are intensely selfish creatures with a strong sense of self-preservation. They are difficult to destroy and often capable to taking a variety of shapes to escape dangerous situations.” Or Werewolves who, “wrestles with animalistic instinctual urges that occasionally grow difficult or impossible to control. Once the urge grows to a certain point, the werewolf changes from human to wolf form and gives himself over to the desires of wolf self.” And many other monsters that we can identify with or see others in, too. What can I say? Christian churches are full of monsters.
Overall, I found nothing I disliked about this book. It’s well-written with deep truths hidden in the bowels of the story that should hit our gut like a punch from a zombie. Complete with an interview in the rear of the book and a glossary of monsters (in case we have trouble identifying our own or someone else’s monster). He even includes how to kill monsters. It was very convicting. A breath of fresh air in a Halloween-like setting.