what must be seen as a stroke of terrific luck (struck by
Divine Providence?) as well as, naturally, of publishing
genius, Little Brown will publish this September 21st
its first-ever trade paperback-original novel. The move
is lucky and wise because MISSION is likely to find its
first audience among people with the reputation for being
paperback buyers, those of us who are under 30 and those
of us for whom 30 always seemed like the end until somehow
we emerged on its other side, unscathed and apparently to
ourselves, at least, unchanged.
is probably the most original and unusual piece of fiction
I have read. Although it does take an open mind to read,
much less to accept some of its attempts at rewriting
history, MISSION's appeal is so universal and its message
so powerful that it may very well be the sleeper of the
Fall Season and of many seasons to come.
book is anchored in the reader's psyche during portions
of the second chapter. Little Brown's promotion department
has excerpted some of these sections in a point-of-sale
giveaway and our top 100 trade paperback fiction stores
will get copies of these excerpts to be used to build
interest for the book before it is released. I must warn
you not to read this excerpt unless you are prepared to
immerse yourself for a couple of days in the book itself
once it arrives in your stores.
will attract readers of Tom Robbins, readers of Tom Wolfe,
readers of early Hunter Thompson and readers of the Bible.
To "Which of the above four does not fit the pattern?",
any reader will instantly reply, "Bible readers." I know
it doesn't look like it fits. And I know this review hasn't
yet given much of a hint as to just what this MISSION
is s all about. It's just that itís a little hard to start
right out saying that MISSION is a very serious attempt
to better understand the facts of the life of The Man
who is the central figure of the New Testament, who he
was, how he got there and how his message has been subtly
and ever-so-slightly twisted over nearly two millennia.
Tilley, MISSION's author, has presented himself a huge
challenge in attempting to pull this story off. But pull
it off he really does. Readers don't mind that MISSION's
central character, Leo Resnick, a Jewish New York City
lawyer, is actually correcting some of the inaccuracies
in the best-selling book of all time, although that fact
may cause MISSION to be banned in some strongholds of
the moral majority. The reader doesn't mid this audacity
because Tilley's (Resnick's) attitude is not pompous or
preachy and he does not make anybody wrong. He's simply
correcting some errors that have evolved over time. It
helps, too, that he has more and better answers to some
of the perennial questions raised by bible reader than
I was ever exposed to when I minored in philosophy and
theology. Even more important, the story is compelling.
Just how are things going to develop for Leo and his friend
Miriam Maxwell, M.D. after the Friday evening that they
witness the corpse of a man who arrived in Manhattan General
Hospital with whip wounds on his back, a knife wound in
his side, nail wounds in both feet and both wrists and
thorns stuck into his skull, revive before their eyes?
What kind of relaxed weekend is Leo going to have when
the same Man appears in the living room of his upstate
retreat the next morning?
hope this is enough to whet your appetites. Read it and
you will love it. Sell it, buy it for yourself and give
it to your friends. The book will be in all stores.