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Jesus Swept Paperback – December 1, 2008

4.5 out of 5 stars 25 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

James Protzman is the George Carlin of the literary world, skewering with brilliant characterization and storyline the veil of religious mythology that threatens to suffocate our society. But Protzman also understands and respects our longing for answers in life. Jesus Swept embraces the mad chase in all its futility, humor, and hope. --John Manuel, The Canoeist

Chock-a-block with local color and cosmic lunacy, James Alexander Protzman's first novel is the opposite of a Chinese meal: the prose is lean and the style spare, but this tasty text continues to satisfy long after the last page is turned. --James Morrow, The Last Witchfinder, The Philosopher's Apprentice

About the Author

James Alexander Protzman lives in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, with Jane (his wife) and their dog Jack. James was born in Richmond, Virginia, in 1950. In the early years, his family followed his Navy father from coast to coast, finally settling in Hampton, Virginia. James left home at 17 to attend the US Naval Academy at Annapolis, where he graduated in 1972. After five years in the Navy, including a stint with 2nd Anglico at Camp Lejeune, James enrolled in the School of Journalism at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He graduated from there with an MA in 1980. Over the next 30 years, James built a successful career in advertising and marketing in Chapel Hill. Today he is a freelance business writer, avid blogger, and novelist.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Kitsune Books; First Edition edition (December 1, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0979270073
  • ISBN-13: 978-0979270079
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,870,740 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
JESUS SWEPT satisfies on many levels. If you're looking for a laugh, for a new look at old questions, and for an engrossing story, read this book. The cast of characters includes people we often ignore: indigents Mark, Luke, and Gary/aka Jesus, who buy their daily bread with the proceeds earned sweeping store fronts. Doped-up beach bums like angel-tattooed Hook, her angry brother Sinker, and her stalker boyfriend Eddie Junior. These human oddments cross unlikely paths with Liz--Assistant Director of Development at Duke University--and her husband Frank, a misunderstood hypochondriac with a charming devotion to Liz. Early in the novel, I found myself invested in this motley crew, wanting to know how their lives played out. Protzman makes hamburger out of sacred cows, and confronts beliefs about religion and spirituality in a world where we too often judge others by where and how they worship. The story evoked my indignation--I wanted to slap the Marine bully who torments Mark, Luke, and Gary; was intrigued by the ancient bracelet Liz finds in the surf, and empathetic with Frank, almost hoping he would indeed have an illness so that he'd be taken seriously. Dénouement is a challenge for such an intricate novel, but Protzman pulls all the threads together with an ending that left me sad, hopeful, wanting more of his unique point of view, and--most of all--eager to spread the message: "Do good. Be nice. Have fun."
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Format: Paperback
Jesus Swept is a creative example of how far off preconceived notions can be. When you first meet each character you assume how they will be. They are realistic examples of life. You are caught unaware by some of the events that alter their lives. Pretty soon you start wanting to jump into the pages and help them. You become involved with the characters to the point of wanting to defend their actions and become their champions. This was an exciting story to follow. Like life, sometimes things go a different way. You start to embrace their differences as well as their achievements. It touches on the secrets we all bare in life. I find myself reflecting on events in his book and pondering the outcome had his book gone longer. It has a sweet ending that leaves you feeling life can be good and sometimes you can have find happiness. I look forward to another book from James Protzman.
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Format: Paperback
Placed in a magical land of the ordinary this novel draws extraordinary conclusions from a mixed bag of characters that oscillate from the realms of the divine to those of the electronic; passing through real life... touching base with love and laughter, loss and enlightenment. I couldn't put the book down, and now that it's done and the last page closed I wonder what is happening to my new friends and where they are.
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Format: Paperback
Snapped me up and kept me tangled and entertained all the way through the last page. A satirical view of god, jesus, and his "disciples" in a trailer park wearing grimy jeans. They didn't just come down to earth but in the dirt with the rest of us.

Silly, irreverent, spiritual, and wonderful...I recommend it highly.
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Format: Paperback
I'm not sure what I was expecting when I received Jesus Swept but it certainly wasn't what I got. Perhaps I'm simply not meant to read literary fiction because I did not understand this book at all. I found it very difficult to follow, with incredibly short chapters and fast changes of scene and characters. The whole book felt disjointed to me. Because I was never able to spend a substantial amount of time in the story with any one of the characters, I never felt connected to any of them.

The description also fails to mention the heavy use of foul language and sexual references which really turned me off from the book as well.

With the hope that the characters' stories would eventually connect and begin to make sense to me and in the interest of writing a fair review, I did read the entire book. Unfortunately it never did get better for me and I was as confused when I finished reading as I was after the first few chapters.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Great read that was, to me, unique. I enjoyed the writing style, the everyday characters, the ongoing wordplay, the clever prose, and the meandering story-lines of the various characters. I couldn't predict what would come next or how a character would react. I like that. I also like the take-a-way that resounded through the novel: Do good. Be nice. Have fun.
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Format: Paperback
If you did not like the best-selling book "The Shack," "Jesus Swept" will likely make your head explode! (If you "don't even want to know," move on. There's everything to see here. Including yourself reflected back and back at you.)

But if you were intrigued by the implications of "The Shack"; if you appreciated the still-voiced heart of the movie "Crash," the acid-like reality shifts of "The Matrix," the shades-of-shining darkness in the LOTR trilogy; and if (ONLY if) you could handle "that scene" in "Borat" (the one that almost killed everybody in the audience) THEN I can recommend James Alexander Protzman's deceptively simple first novel without reservation.

But be warned: You will be psychically Rolfed. Protzman tears the flesh off words and beliefs and puts it back on you again. Is it "good nice fun"? Not always. The experience is, for lack of a better description, disconcerting and Dadaesque. (If you really, really think about it, so is life.)

Protzman's writing is spare and the chapters short, but don't let that fool you. There is poetry in these pages; a soft yellow glow shines through all the skull cracks and vulgarities and character flaws. When you've finished reading the book for the first time, you may shake your head and ask, "What just f*ing hit me?" Don't be surprised if you then hear Jesus (or the Jesus who comes briefly after the next Jesus) reply "Blessed are they who don't say f*ing all the time."

Reading this book is like finding this bracelet, you see. It's like this tangle of threads. And maybe Dog will whisper to you: "You cannot hold the threads." And you won't believe it, of course, so eventually you'll pick it all up again from the beginning, this little lump of silver that has said too much already.
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