The Messiah of Morris Avenue: A Novel

Tony Hendra

Henry Holt,  April 2006

From the bestselling author of Father Joe -- a slyly comic, deeply spiritual novel that imagines the Second Coming and an unlikely, lovably human new savior

Tony Hendra's memoir, Father Joe, became a bestseller and a new classic of faith and spirituality -- even for those not usually inclined. Now he's back with a novel set in a very reverent future where church and state walk hand in hand. Fade in as Johnny Greco -- a journalist who nurses a few grudges along with his cocktails -- stumbles onto a young man named Jay who's driving around Jersey preaching radical notions (kindness, generosity) and tossing off miracles. How better, Johnny schemes, to stick it to his nemesis, the Reverend Sabbath, America's #1 holy warrior, than to write a headline-making story announcing Jay as the Second Coming? Then something strange happens. Died-in-the-wool skeptic Johnny actually finds his own life being transformed by the new messiah.

Hilarious and genuinely moving, The Messiah of Morris Avenue brings to life a savior who reminds the world of what Jesus actually taught and wittily skewers all sorts of sanctimoniousness on both sides of the political spectrum. Writing with heart, a sharp eye, and a passionate frustration with those who feel they hold a monopoly of God, Hendra has created a delightful entertainment that reminds us of the unfailing power of genuine faith.

hardcover | ISBN: 9780805079647 | Publication Date: April 2006

"Extraordinary, luminescent, profound . . . I beg you to read this book . . . We need Father Joe now."
--Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review (cover review) on Father Joe

"I could easily have read the book in one sitting, but it's too rich, too powerful."
--Frank McCourt, author of Angela's Ashes on Father Joe