Screenwriter Stennett offers a satirical look at a non-Christian's ascent to pastor of a megachurch in this engaging, highly readable novel. Ryan Fisher is a 28-year-old real estate agent who doesn't believe in God, but lists himself in the Christian Business Directory (along with a Jesus fish symbol) to beef up sales. He and his wife, Katherine, attend church to validate his new religious image, where he sees the possibilities of utilizing business principles to create his own megachurch. They move to Bartlesville, Okla., and create "The People's Church" where Ryan preaches a feel-good, do-good gospel ("I'm not encumbered by things like the Bible and Jesus"). As church numbers swell, Oprah calls, local pastors are on the warpath, a religious fanatic plots Ryan's assassination, and Katherine is smitten with Cowboy Jack, a karaoke singer-turned-worship leader who pens Christian lyrics to popular radio tunes. Is Ryan in over his head? Interesting narration and Dave Barryesque footnotes make this humorous entertainment with a faith-based message. (June)Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher: A Novelby Rob Stennett
Meet Ryan Fisher—a self-assured real estate agent who’s looking for an edge in the market. While watching a news special late one night, he sees evangelical Christians raising their hands in worship. It’s like they’re begging for affordable but classy starter homes. Ryan discovers the Christian business directory and places an ad complete
Meet Ryan Fisher—a self-assured real estate agent who’s looking for an edge in the market. While watching a news special late one night, he sees evangelical Christians raising their hands in worship. It’s like they’re begging for affordable but classy starter homes. Ryan discovers the Christian business directory and places an ad complete with a Jesus fish. His business doubles in a week. But after visiting an actual church, Ryan realizes that with his business savvy, he could not only plant a church—he could create an empire. The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher is a hilarious, spot-on, and often heartbreaking satire in the tradition of Kurt Vonnegut, Tom Perrotta, and Douglas Adams.
A consummate salesman, Ryan Fisher sees an opportunity to succeed and sell big, so he places an ad in the Christian business pages even though he is not a believer by any means. His plans get even grander when he decides to build his very own megachurch. This first novel is both a biting satire and a bittersweet account of a man whose machinations just may catch up with him as he juggles a failing marriage and tries to keep up the deceit that he is a man of faith. It will appeal to fans of Ray Blackston (Flabbergasted) or Brad Whittington (Welcome to Fred) or anyone who appreciates dark humor in their spiritual fiction.
- Publication date:
- Sold by:
- Zondervan Publishing
- NOOK Book
- File size:
- 1 MB
- Age Range:
- 18 Years
Meet the Author
Rob Stennett is the author of two novels: The Almost True Story of Ryan Fisher and The End Is Now. He’s the creative director at New Life Church and an accomplished film and theater director. He lives in Colorado.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
See all customer reviews
Author Rob Stennett has a fun satirical wit, and that is on full display in this novel. Rob came up with an interesting premise—could a flimflam man create a church—and ran with it to its logical conclusion. Unlike other reviewers, I don’t see the book as a critique of any particular church denomination or style. Some see it as a critique of “mega” churches, but I think it could just as easily be seen as a critique of more “traditional” churches that have been doing the same things for decades with little regard for the lost, or the hurting. That’s the beauty of novels, particularly satire: They are like literary Rorschach tests. (Or like the dark tree in the “Empire Strike Back”.¿) What you get out of them depends much on what you take in. I found the characters well drawn and the plot logical and easy-to-follow. The only criticisms I have are mechanical in nature. The POV is a problematic. It often shifts within the same scene, making it difficult to tell whose head you’re in. This POV (omniscient…or maybe an altered 3rd person?) is certainly a valid way to write, but I’m not sure if it was the best choice for this story. Also, I found the ending abrupt. It was passable, no threads were really left hanging, but it felt like something more needed to happen…or needed to be said. (It doesn’t help that the eBook version showed twenty more pages which were used for an interview and a sample of another book. Something I’m not against, mind you, but when coupled with a soft ending…) All in all an enjoyable read, though. This would probably be 3 ½ stars, but I’m a sucker for a great premise.
Christiandom could use more writers of this variety. #theBOOKZreadsYOU oh n oprah is in it