Atheist's Prayer, The
An alcoholic mall Santa and a coke-dealing stripper get tangled up with a fairy-worshiping suicide cult.
After a solar eclipse, nineteen people were found dead in a remote area of the California National Forest. They were lying in a circle, holding hands and wearing plastic fairy wings.
Years later, on the other side of the country, no one in the southern city of Jefferson is concerned about fairies or fairy-worshiping suicide cults. Except for Candy. She might not have proof, but she’s damn sure it’s going to happen again.
The problem is, Candy is a coke-dealing stripper and the only person who will listen to her is an alcoholic mall Santa named Hank, who’s only listening because, well…she’s hot. There are seven days until the next eclipse.
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At first glance the title of The Atheist's Prayer might repel the more religious while attracting non-believers. That initial impression is not only too simplistic an interpretation of the title (why would an atheist be praying?), but also assuming way too much. That isn't to say that belief in a deity or the lack of such belief doesn't figure into the story. The characters in the book run the gamut of beliefs with my favorite, seven-year-old Kevin, trying to make sense of it all. All the major characters are multi-dimensional and, like real people, refuse to conform to stereotype. Those that, at first blush, seem to have little going for them, confound that impression in the end, while those that seem to be among the best of people, show that appearances can be deceiving. In the end, they're all human, with flaws and good qualities that aren't immediately apparent. No matter where you stand personally, if you approach The Atheist's Prayer with an open mind, it will help illustrate the potential, both good and bad, in all people, regardless of which deity (if any) they choose to believe in. ~ Al Kunz, Big Al's Books and Pals
Fiendishly funny and compellingly perceptive, The Atheist's Prayer is a satirical look at our deep-seated need for spiritual belonging and acceptance. It's an encouraging reminder that truth and goodness are often found in the most unlikely places. ~ Daniel Mongrain, The Indescriminate Critic
Freaky cult death, blow-snarfing strippers, falling-down drunk mall Santas... what's not to enjoy here? The Atheist's Prayer is a satiric but never snarky romp through a landscape of particularly American squalor, where we track the highs, lows, and multiple pratfalls of colorful fuck-ups and scumbags. It would be enough to linger in the hilarious freakshow that is Candy and Hank and leave it at that, but Amy takes things a step further past the tragic slapstick...on another level this book is a serious meditation on spirituality and belief, and the ever-present possibility of redemption - all executed with compassion and panache. Biddle pulls off this delicate balancing act deftly in her tremendously satisfying debut novel. Bravo, and more please! ~ Nathan Larson, Author of The Dewey Decimal System and The Nervous System
A mash-up of Vonnegut and Hiassen, The Atheist's Prayer is a fast-paced, comic exploration of belief, disbelief, and gullibility run amok. Biddle's debut novel seamlessly blends the lunacy of a fairy-worshipping cult and other hard-to-believe beliefs with quirky characters in a poignant, engaging story written with style and humor. ~ Lynne M. Hinkey, Author of Marina Melee
A delightfully thought provoking and lovingly irreverent fictitious tour guide to everywhere and no where all at once. Over 175 pages that helped me artfully re-examine every spiritual belief I have ever held dear, but done with such panache that it brought me right out of who I am and into a world that our gifted author showcased perfectly. Not for young audiences this great tale helped me to once again find myself. I would recommend this interesting journey to anyone wanting a unique bit of help along the way. Thanks Amy, you really hit home. ~ Riki Frahmann, Mystic Living Today
The Atheist's Prayer's quirky melange of characters speed the plot along, taking on the deepest of spiritual questions without ever losing the novel's wry sense of reality. ~ Susan K. Perry, Author of Kylie's Heel and a popular blogger for Patheos and Psychology Today
With the wit and humor to rival Chuck Palahniuk, The Atheist's Prayer is a breath of fresh air in a world of cookie-cutter plots. This darkly funny debut explores the depths of friendship in unlikely places. Readers will not be disappointed. ~ Katie French, Author of The Breeders
A stripper, a loser, and two children try to make sense out of their own messed up lives and, instead, find friendship, hope and death on fairy wings. The Atheist's Prayer is impossible to put down. ~ Brian Braden, Author of Black Sea Gods
In The Atheist’s Prayer, Amy Biddle offers up a personalized glimpse into the psychology of faith. Through the eyes of five year old Kevin, she weaves the thread of the story through the simple fabric of a child’s perception into a complex tapestry exploring the nature of belief. Biddle leads the reader through a chain events from the benign myth of Santa Claus, to the dangerous mendacity of cult indoctrination in a way that leaves reader spellbound. ~ V. Mark Covington, Author of Bullfish and Homemade Sin