By R. Tyler
The Irreverent Press, $11.99, 320 pages
My Christian Penis is a whirlwind novel of weirdness and unexpected edginess that strongly brims with satire. First a play and now a book, this story by author R. Tyler reaches out to the audience in an indelicate fashion.
Sam is your typical liberal college kid…except for his penis, Manfred. Manfred is Sam’s talking, demanding and highly religious Christian penis. You know, the right-wing Christian type who connects “contraception, homosexuality, pornography [and] genital touching” to “the Devil.” Oh, and he also freaks out at the idea of premarital sex. This equates to being a real annoyance and problem for Sam who has had to deal with him his whole life. But is Manfred actually real? Or is Sam just plain crazy? Either way, Manfred ends up driving Sam out of control and they end up in a totally unexpected time and place.
Tyler weaves in a secondary story involving a PT cruiser, a near death experience and a woman named Mary into his tale. Mary’s story appears to be completely unrelated to Sam and Manfred and it isn’t until halfway through the book that Tyler seamlessly connects the two stories in a satisfying and unique manner. It is when their stories meet up that My Christian Penis rolls into a different and unprecedented direction.
This book is definitely not for everyone. While reading it, one may feel as if they are either encountering something brilliant or just a wildly inappropriate story. Often vulgar but always witty, My Christian Penis ends up being a one of a kind book which explores concepts of the afterlife and empathy in a genius and unforeseen way.
Tyler takes on these themes with a devil-may-care attitude. Awkwardly amusing, My Christian Penis will surprise readers with its provoking discussion of death and salvation, complete with crude subjects and language. This book is excellent for those who wish to take a dizzying ride on a comedy roller coaster with certain panache.
Reviewed by Kristin Urban