Imaginary Jesus by Matt Mikalatos
5 Stars (out of five)
I was standing over the stove cooking up a couple of grill cheese sandwiches for breakfast when my wife walked into the Kitchen with a parcel in her hands. “It’s for you” she says with glee in her eyes, “Can I open it?” I shrug my shoulders and flip my sandwich. “It’s a book, Imaginary Jesus. A novel?” She sounded perplexed. I placed my sandwich on a plate, poured myself a glass of Canadian Dry and sat down to eat. “Its fiction” she said again, half asking and half stating in case I missed her quizzical tone, “you don’t read fiction”. I responded that I heard good things about Imaginary Jesus and will be giving away a copy on my blog. It only seemed prudent to read up on what I would be endorsing.
She placed the book on the table next to me and walked away. I reached down and opened up to the first page with my least greasy hand, took a swig of my pop and began to read. Moments later I stuffed the last piece of grill cheese sandwich into my mouth, took a big drink of my Canadian Dry and help the clump go down, and walked with a bounce in my step murmuring to myself until I reached the entrance to the bathroom where my wife stood fixing up her hair in the mirror.
“What’s with the smile?” she asked. “It must be really good for you to be laughing to yourself”.
I spent the next several minutes dramatically illustrating the first few chapters from Imaginary Jesus (my wife began to wonder if I had hit my head or something). My arms and legs flailing about as though I were Jesus getting beat up by… well; let’s just say the whole scene is hysterical. (See the foot note to calm your anxieties.)
When I was done putting on my solo act (Imaginary Jesus really should be made into a cartoon) I finished getting ready and headed off for work where I performed an encore for the manager for my store. She almost fell over in laughter. I hold her the book is funnier and so she picked up a copy.
That was Wednesday. Thursday I finished the book (as in the next day, not a week and a day). I don’t know how long it takes people to read fiction (I’m not a fiction kind of guy), but one day seemed pretty darn fast to me.
So if I haven’t been clear already: Imaginary Jesus is a really funny book.
But wait, there’s more!
Matt Mikalatos was incredibly creative in this book. From chapter to chapter you never know who you’re going to meet or where you’re going to be or how – for that matter – Matt is going to communicate a difficult subject in a superbly assessable way. There is, quite literally, never a dull moment.
But Imaginary Jesus is not just for entertainment, nor is it an arbitrary read. Quite the contrary, we all create imaginary Jesus’ because we become – for whatever reason – discontent with the real one (“My Buddy Jesus”, “8 Ball Jesus”, “Legalistic Jesus” and so on). There are serious issues which come up in life, and in Imaginary Jesus, one such issue which led to Matt’s own imaginary Jesus my sister could well relate to (as could countless other families). But I’ll leave you to discover what that is on your own (read the book).
Finally I was thoroughly impressed with how Imaginary Jesus ended. All the loose ends were nicely tied up (even Houdini Dog finally makes an appearance – read the book!). I remember reading the last two or three pages to my wife (while we sat up in bed) and then folding the book closed challenged but fully satisfied.
This book gets five huge stars (out of five) from me. If you get a chance pick up it.
And as for me, I look forward to his next “not-so-real- story”, Night of the Living Dead Christians.
If You’re Local To Windsor, Please Rush Over To Cameron’s And Pick Up Your Copy Today!
Which Imaginary Jesus Have You Nursed?
 Spoiler from the back of the book, “It’s not the real Jesus”.