In his new collection of short stories, Dragons of the Book of Mormon, Johnny Townsend introduces compelling, sympathetic, and at times, hilarious characters struggling to live simultaneously within the rigid structure of Mormonism, the real world, and, in some cases, the magical world inspired by Mormon doctrine.
In â€œGoing Home,â€ 56-year-old Jared, whose daily highlight is adding Splenda to his Frosted Mini-Wheats, longs for an end to his life on this earth and the beginning of his promised celestial glory. In the title story, â€œDragons of the Book of Mormon,â€ a curious young LDS woman mounts an impossible quest to gain access to a General Authority.
Henry, from the gem, â€œBumper Sticker Theology,â€ is a homophobe forced to attend his bossâ€™s gay wedding. Determined to make his opinion known, he explains:
â€œYou had to be firm with gays. They thought they deserved the world. You had to teach them their place. Otherwise, it was like letting Lance Armstrong get away with doping.â€
In â€œHalf Marathon Man,â€ the uber-believing Sandor entertains erotic fantasies at the dentistâ€™s office, where the sexy, non-Mormon hygienist knows just how to work on his mouth. â€œGetting Zeppoli from Derek,â€ perhaps my favorite in the collection, is about a single woman who comes to realize that the priesthood isnâ€™t necessarily inspired on her behalf.
And then there are the delightful flights of Mormon-themed fantasy that Townsend excels at creating. â€œTemple Man,â€ about a superhero who runs around saving the day in his temple clothes; â€œHow We Won Back Salt Lake,â€ about the devout LDS family who survives the zombie apocalypse on their food storage; and â€œLooking for Nephi,â€ that places the Three Nephites in Pasadenaâ€”a scenario so amusing it will prompt this reader to have her eye out for the beloved trio the next time she cruises down Colorado Boulevard.
Dragons of the Book of Mormon is yet another excellent offering from the prolific and talented writer, Johnny Townsend.
Purchase it here!