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Extended Audio Sample The Messiah of Morris Avenue: A Novel Audiobook, by Tony Hendra Click for printable size audiobook cover
3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 3.00 (183 ratings) (rate this audio book) Author: Tony Hendra Narrator: John Bedford Lloyd Publisher: Macmillan Audio Format: Unabridged Audiobook Delivery: Instant Download Audio Length: Release Date: April 2006 ISBN: 9781593979195
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Tony Hendra's Father Joe became a new classic of faith and spirituality— even for those not usually so inclined. Now he's back with a novel set in a very reverent future where Church and State always walk hand-in-hand. Fade in as Johnny Greco— a fallen journalist, who nurses a few grudges along with his cocktails, stumbles onto a story that intrigues him. It seems a young man named Jay is driving about New Jersey in a beat-up van preaching radical notions like kindness and generosity—and even tossing off a few miracles.

How better, Johnny schemes, to stick it to Reverend Sabbath (America's #1 Holy Warrior) than to write a headline-making story announcing Jay as the Second Coming? Then something strange happens. Died-in-the-wool skeptic Johnny actually finds his own life being transformed by the new messiah.

Hilarious and genuinely moving, The Messiah of Morris Avenue brings to life a savior who reminds the world of what Jesus actually taught and wittingly skewers all sorts of sanctimoniousness on both sides of the political spectrum. Writing with heart, a sharp eye, and a passionate frustration with those who feel they hold a monopoly on God, Tony Hendra has created a delightful story that reminds us of the unfailing power of genuine faith.

Download and start listening now!

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Quotes & Awards

  • “Extraordinay, luminescent, profound.... I beg you to read this book....we need Father Joe now. Andrew Sullivan, The New York Times Book Review on Father Joe

  • Father Joe is a many-layered memoir of a God-driven Englishman.... I could easiley have read the whole book in one sitting, but it's too rich, too powerful.... Like me, you might cherish this book so much you'll keep it on the shelf besides Saint Augustine, Saint Teresa of Avila, and Thomas Merton. Frank McCourt on Father Joe
  • I picked up Father Joe intending to read just a couple of pages and found that I couldn't put it down until I'd finished it. The nature of a wise man, and the true nature of what wisdom feels like in action, are beautifully captured... The book's last episode brought unexpected tears to my weary eyes. Adam Gopnik on Father Joe

Listener Opinions

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Ruth | 2/11/2014

    " this was a scary listen. I could see our future in this tale of politics by religion. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Daniel Hadley | 1/27/2014

    " A Left Behind for Liberals. Neat concept, but turns out it's too much like Left Behind for conservatives. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Conchita Campos | 1/22/2014

    " Apparently, the new Jesus is this Guatemalan kid named Jose who lives in the Bronx and performs various miracles around the neighborhood, all while trying to avoid the public spotlight and the backlash of an avid Christian right. Pretty funny stuff. A little too political but entertaining at the very least. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 1/8/2014

    " The setting scarily resembles aspects of now and what could be if we don't change direction. Parts of this book are devestating...actually made me sick. Still, worthwhile, but hard to read. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Alex | 12/25/2013

    " I got a $10 library fine because of this book! "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 TJ | 12/3/2013

    " This book is a little too over the top for me. A much better and more inspiring version is the Joshua series. I couldn't even finish the first 100 pages b/c it was too much. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 11/19/2013

    " very clever and satirical and witty. Good play on words for popular slogans, movies, TV, etc. Ending is a bit disappointing. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 David Wasser | 10/9/2013

    " One of the funniest books I've read in a long time, it's a marvelous satire of America in the 1990's. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaite Stover | 10/6/2013

    " Readalike for Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet . "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Sapphire Pyro | 9/29/2013

    " Interesting premise, but not that impressed after finishing it. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 treehugger | 4/19/2013

    " This was SURPRISINGLY good - insightful, thoughtful, liberal, intuitive, subversive, and probably the first book I've ever read that made me think that someone REALLY has thought about life, the world, and Christianity and tried to figure out how they all fit together. Worth a read. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Yeva | 10/8/2012

    " Wow. I really liked the twists in this book. Theologically speaking, it's an interesting take on the story of Jesus' life, and it's vastly amusing in some places. I recommend this book, because I think we often need a reminder of what Jesus really stood for. Good read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Philip De Guzman | 9/19/2012

    " A prophetic book that grabs Christendom and shakes it violetnly at the neck. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tami | 6/23/2012

    " Excellent book! A new take on an old story. Loved it. Easy reading. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lou | 6/11/2012

    " Funny, thought-provoking allegory of the 2nd coming of Christ. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mjackman | 2/20/2012

    " Wow. Why do comedians write some of the most moving stuff? It doesn't have that extra oomph to put it over the edge into five-star territory, but Hendra's compassion, humanity and sympathy are what make this anti-fundamentalist passion play work. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaye | 9/22/2011

    " The satire of a modern America run by a theocratic government makes for a good setting for anyone to enjoy, and if you are religious, you will find the new appearance of Jesus (with contemporary language and new miracles that mirror the old) fascinating. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Greg | 9/3/2011

    " I liked the idea behind this book. Sadly, that was probably the best part. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanne | 5/30/2011

    " Half way through. The idea of what could happen if the religious right continues to gain power and influence is interesting, but it's a little like the text of a graphic novel. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven Wilson | 5/2/2011

    " darkly funny. unfortunately, not too far from reality "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 4/16/2011

    " All in all a very well done short novel. Hendra's narrative of titular messiah was a bit heavy-handed for my taste at times, but his vision of the fundamentalist theocratic dystopia that is just around the corner feels too dead-on for comfort. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Matt | 3/23/2011

    " Picture an America controlled by the Christian Right where Jesus returns as an ugly Hispanic guy roaming the ghetto. That's the setting of this wonderful novel from Tony Hendra.

    It's a beautiful, funny, and poignant read that wholeheartedly recommend. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Jack | 10/19/2010

    " All in all a very well done short novel. Hendra's narrative of titular messiah was a bit heavy-handed for my taste at times, but his vision of the fundamentalist theocratic dystopia that is just around the corner feels too dead-on for comfort. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mjackman | 9/10/2009

    " Wow. Why do comedians write some of the most moving stuff? It doesn't have that extra oomph to put it over the edge into five-star territory, but Hendra's compassion, humanity and sympathy are what make this anti-fundamentalist passion play work. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Nanalilly | 8/26/2009

    " I feel in love with the concept of this book. I started changing my tune when I started reading it. While the concept was fantastic, the characters are so under developed that unless you have the attention span of an speed addict, chances are you will find it about as boring as I did. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Kaye | 7/1/2009

    " The satire of a modern America run by a theocratic government makes for a good setting for anyone to enjoy, and if you are religious, you will find the new appearance of Jesus (with contemporary language and new miracles that mirror the old) fascinating. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Steven | 4/18/2009

    " darkly funny. unfortunately, not too far from reality "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Mary Lou | 1/29/2009

    " Funny, thought-provoking allegory of the 2nd coming of Christ. "

  • 2 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 52 out of 5 Joanne | 7/16/2008

    " Half way through. The idea of what could happen if the religious right continues to gain power and influence is interesting, but it's a little like the text of a graphic novel. "

  • 1 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 51 out of 5 Daniel | 6/1/2008

    " A Left Behind for Liberals. Neat concept, but turns out it's too much like Left Behind for conservatives. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kaite | 4/20/2008

    " Readalike for Anthem of a Reluctant Prophet. "

  • 4 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 54 out of 5 Kelly | 2/16/2008

    " very clever and satirical and witty. Good play on words for popular slogans, movies, TV, etc. Ending is a bit disappointing. "

  • 3 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 53 out of 5 Dawn | 1/12/2008

    " The setting scarily resembles aspects of now and what could be if we don't change direction. Parts of this book are devestating...actually made me sick. Still, worthwhile, but hard to read. "

  • 5 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 55 out of 5 Tami | 9/6/2007

    " Excellent book! A new take on an old story. Loved it. Easy reading. "

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About the Author
Author Tony Hendra

Tony Hendra is an English satirist and writer who has worked mostly in the United States. Educated at St. Albans School (where he was a classmate of Stephen Hawking) and Cambridge University, he was a member of the Cambridge University Footlights revue in 1962, alongside John Cleese, Graham Chapman, and Tim Brooke-Taylor.

About the Narrator

John Bedford Lloyd, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, has appeared in many major motion pictures, including The Bourne Supremacy, Crossing Delancey, The Abyss, The Manchurian Candidate, and Philadelphia. His television credits include Suits, Pan Am, Law & Order, Spin City, and The West Wing. A critically acclaimed audiobook narrator and winner of the Edgar Allen Poe Award, his voice work includes reading for such authors as Michael Crichton, Nicholas Sparks, Paul Doiron, and Atul Gawande, among others. He is the winner of three AudioFile Earphones Awards.