When a mortician appears on television to declare that death is infinitely preferable to life, he sparks a religious movement that quickly leaves Christianity and most of Islam in the dust. Now available in a Penguin Classic edition, Gore Vidal's deft and daring blend of satire and prophecy, first published in 1954, eerily anticipates the excesses of Jim Jones, David Koresh, and the Heaven's Gate suicide cult.
There are several references in the book to a Roman Emperor named "Julian". This refers to Julian the Apostate, a Roman Emperor who tried to bring back the worship of pagan Roman gods after the Roman Empire had converted to Christianity. In the novel, the narrator is working on a book about Julian the Apostate who is symbolic of John Cave, the cult leader in Messiah. Gore Vidal also wrote an historical novel about Julian.
Welcome to the Harrisburg Book Club. If you enjoy reading and discussing good books and getting to know interesting new people, this club is for you! We meet on the third Wednesday of each month to discuss a book with new found friends. The meetings are held in the evening at a local area restaurant or at a member's home. We usually read modern fiction but we also consider reading non-fiction books depending on our members' interests. We try to choose a variety of books and everyone is welcome to make suggestions and vote on the books we read.
Anyone is welcome to join - more members lead to better discussions and more friends! Please feel free to come to the next meeting even if you haven't read the book. We look forward to discussing interesting books and eating great food with as many people as possible.