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Driving Jesus to Little Rock Released

By: PRLog

"Latest novel from Roland Merullo works from the same template as his beloved hit, 'Breakfast with Buddha.' " —Kirkus Reviews

BOSTON - Aug. 21, 2021 - PRLog -- PFP Inc announces the publication of Roland Merullo's novel Driving Jesus to Little Rock.

The new book fits neatly on the shelf with Merullo's other quirky-spiritual books: Golfing with God, American Savior, Vatican Waltz, The Delight of Being Ordinary, and the Buddha trilogy (Breakfast, Lunch, and Dinner)—a list that has sold over half a million copies and has been widely translated. This time, the narrator, Eddie Valpolicella, is on his way from Massachusetts to Arkansas to give a talk on "his" novel, Breakfast with Buddha, when, not far from home, he picks up a mysterious hitchhiker. Plainly dressed, insisting that he's a fan of the author, the hitchhiker claims to be Jesus, the Jesus, and accompanies Eddie on a five-day road trip that challenges him in an amusing variety of ways.

As he did in his other road trip adventures, Merullo manages to walk a tightrope by raising deep philosophical questions without sounding preachy. The author provokes readers to think about life while also making them laugh and providing them with a boots-on-the-ground view of America. This journey includes wealthy Russian businessmen, poor Appalachian deer hunters, South American spirit guides, and tours of places as seemingly disparate as a therapeutic massage studio in Lower Manhattan, the Civil Rights Museum in Memphis, and Thomas Merton's Gethsemane monastery in rural Kentucky. Along the way, there are meals and drinks, wrong turns and intriguing scenery, all brought into focus beside the book's utterly original yet strangely believable Jesus.

"Merullo is a long-standing, practiced hand at crafting narratives that are both hugely readable and genuinely thought-provoking, and the story of the growing relationship between his stand-in and So-Called Jesus makes for deeply captivating reading," said Kirkus Reviews. "Most of the narrative is mercifully free of the typical straw-man apologetics in favor of the "validity" of Christianity. …Instead, readers get a refreshingly complex, personal portrait of that promised "new Jesus"—wry, funny, knowing, and infinitely patient. This Jesus is less enigmatic and gnomish than Merullo's Buddha—he's far more of a pragmatic, working folks' Messiah, a version very touchingly on display when the two travelers share a meal with a poor family in a West Virginia hollow. Even non-Christians will find this road trip intriguing. A winningly thoughtful, metafictional exploration of the modern nature of Christianity."

Driving Jesus to Little Rock amuses, illuminates, and entertains, ultimately serving as the perfect comfort-food for battered, post-Covid readers. For additional information please contact or visit:

The novel is available in hardcover, paperback, and eBook versions. Copies can be purchased from IndieBound, Ingram, Amazon, Baker and Taylor, Barnes & Noble, Books-A-Million, Apple, Kobo, and several other sales channels.

Roland Merullo is an awarding-winning author of 26 books including 19 works of fiction: Breakfast with Buddha, a nominee for the International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award, now in its 21st printing; The Talk-Funny Girl, a 2012 ALEX Award Winner and named a "Must Read" by the Massachusetts Library Association and the Massachusetts Center for the Book; Vatican Waltz named one of the Best Books of 2013 by Publishers Weekly; Lunch with Buddha, selected as one of the Best Books of 2013 by Kirkus Reviews; American Savior, a Massachusetts Center for the Book, "Honor Award" winner; In Revere, In Those Days, a Booklist Editors' Choice Recipient; Revere Beach Boulevard named one of the "Top 100 Essential Books of New England" by the Boston Globe; A Little Love Story chosen as one of "Ten Wonderful Romance Novels" by Good Housekeeping; Leaving Losapas, a  B. Dalton Discovery Series Choice, and Revere Beach Elegy, winner of the Massachusetts Book Award for nonfiction.

Merullo's books have been translated into German, Spanish, Portuguese, Korean, Croatian, Chinese, Turkish, Slovenian, Bulgarian, Czech, and Italian.

His  latest writing project is a weekly essay series called On the Plus Side. Subscribers receive an essay in their email inbox every Tuesday morning for the first three weeks of the month, and then a more extensive newsletter on the fourth Tuesday. These writings cover a large territory, from current events to open-minded spirituality, books, health, food, travel, and the mysteries of daily life.

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Driving Jesus to Little Rock

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