The Lost Episodes: A Novel

 

Revie Bryson, a precocious and dreamy kid from Paris, Indiana, has decided he’s the second coming of Christ: and why not? His mother, a captivating performer and inventive storyteller, likes to tell him made-up Bible stories, which she claims are “lost episodes,” or outtakes from the King James version. Wild as prophecy and seemingly just as coded, these charming and dangerous tales feature steel mills, cars, and transistor radios, among other artifacts not generally associated with life at the beginning of Anno Domini. After years of listening to these stories, is it really so far-fetched for Revie to believe that God might show up on his doorstep one day like Ed McMahon and the Prize Patrol?

Faith can be fickle, though, and Revie’s belief in God and his family is scuttled when his mother suffers a crisis of identity and leaves home to pursue her dreams of stardom in Hollywood. Over the course of a year, one family and one boy must learn to sacrifice and forgive in order to be born again.

“In this wonderful debut, Furuness demonstrates the power of narrative, whether religious stories or scientific postulates, to provide a container for a person to invest belief, and therefore locate strength. He gives even this devout non-believer hope that telling, hearing, and inventing stories is central to being human, and, in particular, to growing up. And for that, I give thanks.”

Brian Gresko in The Rumpus

“Years ago I read a short story that burrowed in so deeply I had to track down the author—one Bryan Furuness—and proceed to beg and bully him to write a novel. At last, here it is—as beautiful and hilarious, as crushingly tender and brutally hopeful as I’d ever hoped for. I cannot recall the last time I read a novel that made me bark with laughter and then break into tears. What can I say? I love these characters, this world, this wonderful, wonderful, wonderful (breathlessly awaited) debut!”

Julianna Baggott, author of Pure

“Revie Bryson is the best company anyone has found in a long time. Mouthy, smart, and mercilessly funny, he narrates his story with subversive cheekiness, making both our hearts and our sides ache. Bryan Furuness writes with deft elegance, never missing a step, and the world he creates practically vibrates, holding together so much rich, exuberant life. The Lost Episodes of Revie Bryson is the best debut novel to appear in years, and once readers have met Revie, they’ll never want to let him go.”

Erin McGraw, author of The Seamstress of Hollywood Boulevard and The Good Life.

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