Monday, December 29, 2008

Deseret Bomb

I received in the mail today the current Deseret Book (bookstore owned by the LDS church)catalog. Before I threw it in Alison's recycling box (which will soon be recycled itself), I decided to peruse the selections. That's when I saw the sad, sad, sad, sad, utterly depressing state of LDS fiction. Let's reframe that: That's when I saw the glorious future of LDS unintentional comedy. What I saw was the blurb for "Abinadi". I encourage you to follow the hyperlink so that you can read LuAnn's sparkling review. If you decide not to, here's the blurb:

"Raquel has a secret. As the daughter of one of King Noah’s
priests, she enjoys a luxurious life and the admiration of powerful men. But her
heart belongs to a commoner, a man with no earthly wealth but rich heavenly
gifts. When King Noah demands that Raquel join his harem, she flees the only
life she has known and marries her secret love. His name is Abinadi.

The couple finds abundant joy in their community of believers and in their firstborn
son. But when the Lord calls Abinadi as His prophet, their faith is tested to
the outermost limits. Abinadi’s commitment to the Lord requires them both to
give their all—even unto death. Yet if Alma, the newest priest in King Noah’s
court, chooses to overcome his troubled past and cleave unto the truth, their
sacrifice may yield rich fruit.

With vivid detail and poignant emotion, this
historical novel pulls readers into a fiery tale of love, courage, and faith
that is difficult to put down and impossible to forget."

This is for real. Imagine the doors that this book opens. Here's my own poorly thought out plot for some young adult fiction:
"Teenage Moses and Aaron become tired of the Pharaoh's strict ways and decide to play some pranks. Hilarity ensues as they perform hijinks around the royal palace. When the Pharaoh grounds them in order to get some peace and quiet, the two boys set sail on a memorable rafting trip down the Nile. Will they make it back in time to take their Egyptian dates to MORP?"
Does this plot seem as terrible as it would have had you not just read about "Abinadi"?

I just deleted a bunch of stuff that I had written here because what I really want to say is that it is an obviously terrible idea to write alternative plots to Book of Mormon stories and pretend that they're worth reading when they're truly absurd - just like it is a terrible idea to let otherwise reputable recording artists make Christmas albums and pretend that the music that they make is worth hearing when it's sounds hardly better than a hobo band.

1 comment:

Melanie said...

Brandon, I thought I was the only one! I happened to thumb through the Deseret Book catalog and it made me wonder what our church is coming to! Usually I just toss it directly into the recycle bin, but, like you, this time made the mistake of looking inside. I thought I had wandered into some other religion: a trite, sentimental, sensationalistic sappy one which gave me the shivers! I'll never look inside the DB catalog again. It might cause me to question my testimony. Usually I only question authority ;-D