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Publisher's Summary

New York Times best-selling humorist Michael Perry makes his fiction debut with this hilarious and big-hearted tale, a comic yet sincere exploration of faith and the foibles of modern life that blends the barbed charm of Garrison Keillor, the irreverent humor of Christopher Moore, and the audacious insight of Chuck Klosterman.

Life is suddenly full of drama for low-key Harley Jackson: A woman in a big red pickup has stolen his bachelor's heart, a Hummer-driving predatory developer is threatening to pave the last vestiges of his family farm, and inside his barn is a calf bearing the image of Jesus Christ. His best friend Billy, a giant of a man who shares his trailer house with a herd of cats and tries to pass off country music lyrics as philosophy, urges him to avoid the woman, fight the developer, and get rich off the calf. But Harley takes the opposite tack, hoping to avoid what his devout, dearly departed mother would have called "a scene".

Then the secret gets out - right through the barn door, and Harley's "miracle" goes viral. Within hours pilgrims, grifters, and the media have descended on his quiet patch of Swivel, Wisconsin, looking for a glimpse (and a percentage) of the calf. Does Harley hide the famous, possibly holy, calf and risk a riot, or give the people what they want - and raise enough money to keep his land - and just possibly, win the woman and her big red pickup truck?

Harley goes all in, cutting a deal with a major Hollywood agent that transforms his little farm into an international spiritual theme park - think Lourdes, only with cheese curds and t-shirts. Soon, Harley has lots of money... and more trouble than he ever dreamed.

©2015 Michael Perry (P)2015 HarperCollins Publishers

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Not his best

This was his best writing up to about mid point where the fantasm gets a little too far but you go with it anyway because it's Mr. Perry and you trust him. And then you get to the last chapter and it wound together far too neatly and without explanation. Bummer. But his worst is still something I would regard as a favorite.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Fantastic!

A great listen start to finish! Perry, giving inflection to his own characters provides a listening delight as only the author himself could!

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

I loved it!

I was lost in the world created by michael relating to people in my own reality. I could see the scenes laying out feel the emotions characters experienced this is must listen for everyone!

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • L. Maki
  • Brooklyn, Wisconsin
  • 07-23-17

Small town Wisconsin

Listened to this twice. Once by myself and once with my wife. We are both from Wisconsin and it pretty much reflects small town Wisconsin thought.

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars

Truly enjoyable!

This was my first Michael Perry audio book and I found it delightful. He does great narration. When I ordered this book, I wasn't sure what to expect so I held onto it for awhile before listening. I'm sorry I did! I have a couple more of his books and I'm going to start now! No more waiting! I would recommend this book to a friend.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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great mix of humor and humanity

had me laughing out loud, love Perry's voice and storytelling ability, highly recommend this book

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

JCOW Enchants

The book captures rural Wisconsin living. The personalities seem a bit amplified, but they are spot on. Every small town seems to include this array of characters in one form or another.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Entertaining and Thought Provoking

Perry is perhaps the best author narrator I've ever heard. His characters are people I want to know. The story is funny compelling and provocative. One of the best books I've listened and this year.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Funny, yet moving tale of small town life

I really enjoyed this novel. The main characters seem to be just slightly crazier than the people you know and the town dynamic really rang true.

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Lightweight and Amusing Story

Not a story that I feel strongly about in any way. I was amused but would not call this a 'must read' book.