Matt Mikalatos is the first person I've ever known* who wrote a novel and actually had it published. The first time I heard about Matt was through my brother, Dan, who while watching me desperately jump through hoops to get my own novel published stated, "Yeah, my friend Matt's been trying to get published too." Or something along those lines. It was a long enough time ago that I've forgotten.
So, I felt some kind of personal satisfaction when the news came through (from Matt's own blog: http://www.mikalatos.blogspot.com/) that his book, "Imaginary Jesus" was going to be published (for real).
"Imaginary Jesus" is not of a genre of books that I would normally (read: ever) read. But since I can satisfy my reading desire with the back of a shampoo bottle I knew it would be no sacrifice to jump out of my chosen genres for a few days and read the book I've been hearing about for the last so many months.
"Imaginary Jesus" is wacky and off the wall and fast moving and vastly more entertaining than the back of a shampoo bottle. Even the "Thanks page" and the random quotes from famous and non-famous people pages amused me. It's about Matt's own journey (fictionalized) to discover the real Jesus among the many "imaginary" Jesus' that we have created to suit our own purposes.
I think that thing that really caught me about the book was the idea of imaginary Jesuses**; those Jesuses that we have created in our mind to suit our lifestyles. Matt introduces us to dozens of imaginary Jesuses in his book and but I didn't recognize my own imaginary Jesus there.
As I read the book it was amazing how fast the concept of imaginary Jesuses made complete sense to me and how quickly I identified my own fake Jesus.
He's the "It's OK to sin if you have a good enough excuse Jesus."
OK, my names are not as catchy as Matt's "Magic 8-Ball Jesus" and "Testosterone Jesus," but he's real enough to me. I appreciate a book that makes me think and opens my eyes to something I've never seen before.
Great job Matt. Thanks for giving hope to the rest of us and thanks for opening my eyes to something I'd never considered before.
*As well as you know someone over the Internet.
** I have no idea if this is how you pluralize Jesus or not...