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The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival Paperback – January 1, 2010
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More About the Author
Now the managing editor of trade publication Advertising Age, Wheaton lives in Brooklyn, New York. The First Annual Grand Prairie Rabbit Festival is his first published novel.
Top Customer Reviews
Back to the story...
The Holy Grail of fiction is for an author to take one of the seven basic plots of literature and do something with it that nobody's ever done before. Now, whether or not anyone has ever done this before, I don't know, as I have not read every single book out there. But what I do know is that Ken Wheaton took a creature so far beyond my Southern Protestant understanding - a Catholic priest - that we might as well be a different species, and made him relatable. He told me a story I'd never heard told in quite the same way. He made me laugh and cringe and even tear up when his words reminded me it's time to go visit Ezella, who is my family's Miss Rita.
Witty and clever with a strong look at human nature, all wrapped up in a refreshingly well-written package. Time for a sequel, Ken.
From the beginning, Father Steve is a different kind of priest than you might expect: he curses, moans and even has human urges that make him seem a lot like many of the rest of us. His friends are less than pillars of virtue, too, so the three together make quite the trio! Vicky Carrier is a community activist and a long-time volunteer for the Church. She's a delightful young woman who's more than just your average volunteer as she's always hanging out with Father Steve and doesn't treat him with any particular reverence. The fact that Vicky's late father was a priest himself seems to give Vicky a whole different view on the priests' vows. Father Mark Johnson is quite the character as well, a charming guy who befriends Father Steve early on. Mark is himself struggling with the priesthood, having joined probably for the wrong reasons.Read more ›
But more about the book. Wheaton tells the painfully hilarious story of thirtyish Father Steve Sibille, assigned to his hometown's St. Peter's Roman Catholic Church (which Wheaton pointedly notes in a preface, in no way resembles the real church of the same name). Women from age 13 to 113, or thereabouts, hound him about a variety of not-very-spiritual matters, testing his priestly vows along the way. Father Steve's primary coping mechanism seems to be drinking significantly more than a sacramental amount of alcohol. The Rabbit Festival is a brainstorm in response to the threat that a rival Pentecostal church poses to the flock.
Wheaton's knowledge that comes from growing up in nearby Opelousas and breezy writing style pull you right into Grand Prairie. His characters, which include a gay priest, a wisecracking centenarian, the daughter of the previous priest (that's right), and a smarmy Pentacostal preacher and his son, are pretty broadly drawn, but appropriately so for a comic novel.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is probably the worst book I never finished. I somehow got through to Chapter 5 -- becoming skeptical of Wheaten's poor writing and poor taste (using the N-word; making fun of... Read morePublished 5 months ago by Roxanne Furlong
I found this book at my local library. The cover caught my eye and the description on the back cover compelled me to bring this book up to the counter and check it out. Read morePublished 8 months ago by Kyle J. Landor
The language and themes were stronger than I first expected from the beginning of the narrative, and my initial feelings were mixed, but I found that I felt compelled to finish it... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Cynthia Hill
Made me laugh. Made me cry. Made me want to drink bourbon and live in Louisiana.Published 14 months ago by G Mark Miller
This was our book club pick. It started a bit slow for me, but before long I was caught up in the character's lives and happily paging through. The characters are interesting. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Audrey Anderson
I had high hopes when I opened Ken's first book. I've read his work before and I know how good he can be. Read morePublished 18 months ago by MichaelT
Good story, very funny, and well written! I would recommend it to anyone. It really captured the spirit of Louisiana.Published 18 months ago by George Comeaux