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On the Road to Heaven Paperback – August 13, 2007


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 348 pages
  • Publisher: Zarahemla Books (August 13, 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0978797132
  • ISBN-13: 978-0978797133
  • Product Dimensions: 0.7 x 5.4 x 8.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,377,109 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The title, epigraphs and style of this fictionalized memoir pay tribute to Jack Kerouac, a surprising muse for a story about a young man's Mormon conversion and two-year stint as a white-shirted Latter-day Saint missionary. At tale's beginning, Kit West, a long-haired, pot-smoking, philosophy-reading 16-year-old from the Colorado mountains, is smitten with Annie Hawk, who has run away from her Mormon parents. An LSD experiment convinces Kit that the Book of Mormon is true, and Annie finds religion. Then the young lovers break up and Kit heads to Colombia, where he knocks on doors, makes converts, conducts baptisms, deals with bullies, misses Annie and suffers the ravages of relentless tapeworms. Newell, for many years a media relations officer for the Latter-Day Saints, never criticizes his church's teachings, and some miraculous episodes strain credulity. Still, memoir readers as well as Mormons looking for a somewhat edgy affirmation of their faith will appreciate the lusty, brawling but tenacious missionaries and the tender love story in this sprawling coming-of-age tale. (Aug.)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By Gregory Wright on April 12, 2008
Format: Paperback
I grew up in the mountains of Colorado near Coke Newell and was a member of the branch where he first joined the church. We became friends and even worked together for a while before going on missions at about the same time. I can personally vouch for many of the details included in this book. I love a book that takes me inside the head of the person writing it--especially when it's well written and helps to expand my horizons. This book did not disappoint. I found it hard to put down. I highly recommend it!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Hawley Creek on January 13, 2011
Format: Paperback
I came across this book quite by accident. I'm glad I did because it is a wonderful story. I laughed often and my eyes got misty a few times as well.

It's one of those books that you don't want to end, and when it does, you get kind of sad. Highly recommeded.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By amcReader on September 16, 2012
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I happened to get to know Coke Newell for a few years while he and his family lived in my part of the world. I heard his voice as I read every word. What a beautiful story of conversion, complete with all the ups and downs. I really did hate for the book to end, but if it had to end, glad that it ended the way it did.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Eddington on May 15, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Books about conversion to Mormonism typically deal with those that occurred in the mid-19th century and often recount converts' subsequent journey, by wagon or handcart, to Utah. It is a ubiquitous road, one well-traveled by many an author to demonstrate the faith and fortitude of the Mormon pioneers. That road, as impressive as it was and treasured as it is by Latter-day Saints, is not the only road undertaken by converts to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Coke Newell's book, which is more autobiography than fiction, is the story of his road to conversion -- from a '70s hippie and environmental activist who loved listening to Uriah Heep, smoking weed and immersing himself in the philosophies of men to a scripture-toting missionary on the mean streets of Columbia, armed only with a testimony, the timeless philosophies of the Saviour and a desire to share the truth he found with others. It is illustrative of the fact that the roads taken by modern pioneers to Mormonism are very different but equally instructive and valuable. It shows there is breadth and depth to the Mormon experience, and that members of the LDS church should not be too narrowly defined or subjected to the same trite cookie-cutter analysis or stereotypes. Moreover, Coke Newell's book is a crackling good read, regardless of one's religious views. As a fan of the band Uriah Heep, I highly recommend it.
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