Screen Door Jesus & Other Stories

Screen Door Jesus & Other Stories

by Christopher Cook

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“…a lyric voice that sings itself raw.”
—The New York Times

“…a master of setting, characterization, dialogue and narrative.”
—The Dallas Morning News

What happens when people apply their religion to life’s hard choices in the small East Texas town of Bethlehem, where churches of various denominations are located on almost every block?

First arrives a mysterious apparition of Jesus. Or is it? And is it a blessing or curse? Then a woman turns into a snake. A banker confuses prudence with greed, with dire consequences. A woman secretly baptizes her grandchildren at a Holiness Tabernacle. A man is torn between “sinful” TV watching and his fundamentalist wife. And an ethical young woman confronts her rich father’s ambition…

These are among the characters who appear in this entertaining and superbly written collection of 10 stories exploring small town religion and the human quest for dignity and meaning. Sometimes funny, often tragic, the resulting conflicts are deeply personal yet have social repercussions. In the end, one wonders if organized religion truly helps anyone on a spiritual journey.

But one thing is certain. Award-winning author Christopher Cook profoundly understands the aspirations we all hold and the pitfalls endured as we try to live by our ideals while reconciling ourselves with the competing beliefs of others.

Product Details

BN ID: 2940012954374
Publisher: Christopher Cook
Publication date: 07/02/2011
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
File size: 360 KB

About the Author

Christopher Cook (website: is the author of many short stories and the award-winning fiction books "Robbers" and "Screen Door Jesus & Other Stories", both available in e-book editions.

His other recent e-book releases are the novella "Storm" and the award-winning short story “The Pickpocket”.

A native of the U.S., since 1994 he has lived in France, the Czech Republic, and Mexico. Christopher’s books are available in numerous foreign editions, and his stories have been included in many anthologies, including Houghton Mifflin’s "The Best American Mystery Stories 2003". His memoir essay “Full Moon Over Bohemia,” set in the Czech Republic, was selected for "The Best Travel Writing 2006" anthology from Traveler’s Tales.

"Screen Door Jesus" has been made into a feature movie, and "Robbers" is under film option in the U.S.

Most recently, Christopher is working on another novel.

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Screen Door Jesus & Other Stories 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 3 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Christopher Cook's stories resonate with authenticity. Although his characters often are steeped in rural communities, they ask questions and raise issues common to everyone who is alive and all who ponder why are we here and what are we supposed to do with our lives. His characters ask questions many of us are afraid to ask out loud, but their inquiries I suspect often leave readers comforted, knowing they are not alone in their own search for meaning. They have lots of company. And therein hangs Cook's wonderful tales. Cook has an ear for the rhythm of speech. By the end of this book, I found myself speaking with an accent and at a pace not normally mine. In short, Cook is a wonderful writer wwho can make you gasp as he introduces you to people who are new and yet so familiar. I was sad when I finished the book. I wanted more. I wasn't yet ready to leave the world Cook has expertly crafted in fine style.
Bill-UK More than 1 year ago
A collection of ten, richly written and incredibly well-crafted, interweaving stories, set in the small town of Bethlehem, East Texas. Tales of ordinary folk struggling with the mundane, the marvellous, the comedy, the tragedy and the poetry of everyday life. A book to savour and return to.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This wonderful collection of stories goes on my "Must Read" list, and I'm recommending it to everyone I know. And I'm giving it away to friends as gifts. The stories are extraordinary. And the writing itself is terrific---clear and direct but also like music. Very few authors manage to write honest fiction/literature in which religious belief is the backdrop. And I don't mean what's called "Christian fiction" as a genre. I mean fiction that explores what it means to try to live spiritually when conventional religion seems to get in the way. I mean fiction that challenges us and makes us think even as it wildly entertains us! In these stories, critically acclaimed writer Christopher Cook manages not only to entertain, but also takes me inside characters who are ordinary people struggling to make sense of their religious beliefs in the context of everyday decisions, relationships, and conflicts with other people. And that's hard to do! You can't help but identify with them. I'm really happy to see this collection is now an e-book. Christopher Cook takes on very difficult emotional material head-on, and manages to do so in a life-affirming manner. I saw on his web site that he has a new e-book novella called "Storm" out and I'm excited to read it. I cannot recommend this writer more highly!