Spoof: CSFF Blog Tour – Night Of The Living Dead Christian, Day 1

This month the CSFF Blog Tour is featuring Night of the Living Dead Christian by Matt Mikalatos.

Who writes spoof these days? Matt Mikalatos, that’s who. Matt Mikalatos, author of Imaginary Jesus, which is being repackaged and re-released by his publisher (Tyndale) as My Imaginary Jesus — a much better title, in my opinion.

But I’m getting far afield. I was talking about spoof — “a humorous imitation of something … in which its characteristic features are exaggerated for comic effect.”

Spoof is precisely what Matt writes, as his newest book, Night of the Living Dead Christian, demonstrates.

The interesting thing with Matt’s writing, though, is that he has married spoof with allegory. Now that takes some doing! Yet, in my opinion, he’s pulled off the upset. He’s writing this quasi memoir-ish, urban fantasy-ish spoof that has blatant, purposeful, in-your-face spiritual parallels, and it works.

The thing about spoof is that it taps into what’s going on in pop culture, but also exploits an undercurrent that most people might not realize exists. In this case I call it vampire fatigue.

For some time, in a large part because of Twilight and company, vampire stories were white hot, but as happens with more frequency in our capitalistic society, what sells, promoters stuff down the throats of the public until we are gagging with the excess.

Enter the spoof. At that point when society has had it’s fill, the subject is then ripe for a little ridicule fun-poking.

Matt’s brilliance as a writer is that he spoofs himself as much as he does the vampires, werewolves, and zombies he writes about. His humor is contagious, and I found myself laughing out loud in places, while chuckling out loud in others.

But there’s more. The addition of allegory spreads the spoof. Not only is there fun at the expense of the fantasy/paranormal elements he uses as the foundation of the story, he’s also doing an adequate spoof of the Church.

In this case, however, the ripe-for-ridicule tendencies are a result of the ways in which the Church and individual believers have been infected by tradition and the distillation of God’s Word into systems of thought superseding the way of Life.

Matt taps into this expanded material in a manner that does more than raise a few laughs. His spoof/allegory hammers home weighty thoughts about weighty subjects, even while cushioning the blow.

Tomorrow I’ll take a look at some of those weighty subjects, then Wednesday I plan to give my review. In the meantime, see what others participating in the tour for Night of the Living Dead Christian are saying. (Check marks link to articles that have been posted already).

8 Comments

  1. I appreciate how Matt doesn’t take himself too seriously. This is a book I will be passing around and buying as gifts for sure.

  2. Vampire fatigue…brilliant. Maybe I should hurry up and write a dystopian spoof. :)

  3. Matt’s ability to poke fun at himself is what endears me to his writing. He can get away with saying just about anything because he’s talking about himself. He doesn’t have to worry about offending anyone, just Matt! I really liked this book and the interludes were astonishing, well written, and truthful.

  4. Whoops, Becki! I didn’t realize I was still on the list. I’m actually not able to participate in the blog tour this time (and didn’t request a review copy). My bad! That’s what happens when you’re without internet for a few weeks! :)

  5. Shane, one of the surprising things when I read Matt’s first book was to find him as the main character. It’s such a unique approach, and yes, now that you mention it, I think this is why the humor works so well — Matt himself is the object of a lot of it.

    My first out-loud laugh was went his trap backfired and sent him sailing. That one was predictable, but the little delay disarmed me, so when it came, I laughed.

    Becky

  6. Ha! Julie, you might be onto something! I couldn’t write a spoof for anything, but admire those of you who can.

    Bruce, you and Shane brought up the same point, and I think you’re absolutely right. I hadn’t even thought about it before, but self-effacing humor is easy on the listener. We laugh, and only then thing, Oh, wait, me too. But it’s not pointed at us so we can process it and absorb it without throwing up defenses. It’s really brilliant.

    And yes, the parts in Luther’s POV were outstanding.

    Becky

  7. Ooohh, Gillian, sorry about the no Internet issue. I didn’t give much of a turnaround with my email about this tour. So sorry you had to miss this one. It’s a great book. I hope you can get a copy some time soon.

    Becky

  8. [...] part in the story), and his humor, self-deprecating. As several commenters pointed out in my day one post about the use of spoof in the book, this technique is disarming, allowing readers to sit back and [...]


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