Blue Suede Shoes Are the Least of It

Perhaps I am not the ideal reviewer for this book. I do not own a television, and I have not seen a movie in a dozen years. (I do have an AM-FM radio in my truck, which I use to monitor blizzards, sandstorms, flashfloods, and tornadoes.) I do not read People, Us, Self, TV Guide (naturally), or the New York Times Book Review. I have never read a novel by James Michener, Alice Walker, and whoever it was who wrote Gorky Park. I am vaguely aware of something called Billy Joel, which I assume is a brand of chewing tobacco manufactured in the backwoods of Arkansas or Mississippi. In other words, I don't know nothin' about popular "art"—but I knows what I hates. Many a critic for the New Yorker, Harper's, or the Atlantic has got through a job of book reviewing with no more than that going for him. That relieves me, because All God's Children is an excellent small book, despite the fact that it seems at times to be addressed to a slightly dimwitted YMCA member. ("Let's begin by establishing your Pop Culture Quotient. . . . First, how many entertainment appliances are in your house?") Mr. Myers, who is the editor of the two newsletters. Public Eye and Genesis, and a former editor of This World: A Journal of Religion and Public Life and Eternity, is by training and background above this sort of thing and ought...

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