Friday, May 26, 2006
I've been listening to the biweekly audio installments of "The Accidental Terrorist," the true account of Bill Shunn's LDS mission to Calgary, Alberta. The chapters are funny, creatively expressed, revealing, and rather accurate as to the nature of missionary life, plus Bill (photo at left) has some unusual twists to his own mission story that I'll let you discover on your own--let's just say that the title is very apt and telling. Bill writes and reads aloud extremely well, and his audio production is quite professional and polished, with musical accents and other cool stuff.
If you'd like to sample "The Accidental Tourist" and maybe catch up to date so far (as of today, Bill's done a prologue and the first six chapters, and he plans to do a new chapter every two weeks for the next year or so), click the link below and scroll down to podcast episode 11, which is where he starts this story by reading the prologue. (Or just pick any chapter since then that sounds interesting . . . I imagine they'd hold up well on their own, if you're just looking for a random sample.) As you listen, you can pick up clues as to Bill's current disaffected status vis-a-vis Mormonism, but these clues comes through as wry rather than bitter.
The Accidental Terrorist
If you want to stick with this ongoing serialization and look forward to it every two weeks like I do, you can subscribe to the podcast or the e-mail reminder list.
I find Mr. Bill interesting because we're about the same age and have tons in common in terms of our backgrounds and upbringings, although our lives appear to be extremely different now. Bill's a sci-fi writer living in New York City with a wife and dog and has left Mormonism, while I'm the father of five living in Provo, Utah, counting the tithing after church each week, and into mainstream literary fiction but not sci-fi, although I did read reams of Tolkienesque fantasy as a teen. (Not that sci-fi and fantasy are all that much alike, but they do often get lumped together like punk and new wave music do.)