A personal fantasia builds on the themes of the Christian end times.
McGary’s slim nonfiction debut takes as its core content the book of Revelation, the fragmentary, highly allegorical, borderline hallucinatory chapter of end-time prophecies that closes the New Testament. The various segments of those end times have been endlessly parsed and expanded on by writers over the centuries: a world war in which Satan is defeated and a third of humanity is killed; Jesus setting up a thousand-year terrestrial kingdom on Earth governing those humans who survived the Tribulation; and so on. This sequence of events delivers more than enough vagueness to support endless speculation and countless books (including the bestselling Left Behind series by Tim LaHaye). Because the story of Jesus is for Christians the prefigurement of Revelation, McGary spends the first portion of her work presenting readers with a striking version of the events that bear on the Son of God’s Crucifixion, Resurrection, and second coming, with an increasingly prominent element of narrative elaboration provided by the author. After the Crucifixion, for instance, readers are told that “Satan and his demons had a celebration that night. They all were saying, ‘We got Jesus now, locked up in jail’ ”—with one of the demons asserting, “I never liked him from the moment I laid my eyes on him.” In rapid order, the narrative morphs into a pure fantasia on McGary’s part, a fast-paced and dramatic tale (accompanied by odd black-and-white images by debut illustrator Sowells) involving the “Trench Coat Mafia,” modern-day nations like Russia and the United States, possible space alien visitations, and even druids. The prose is markedly readable (“The demons from hell are given physical form in order to manifest their destruction and torment”). Fans of end times–based fiction should find the author’s embellishments intriguing as both an interpretation of and commentary on the book of Revelation, with plenty of amendments born of McGary’s own vibrant imagination.
A strange, intense, and vividly written speculative reinterpretation of the second coming.