Plain Heathen Mischief by Martin Clark

No critic rating

Waiting for minimum critic reviews

See 2 Critic Reviews



Of The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living, Martin Clark’s first novel, the New York Times Book Review wrote, “Like Nick Hornby in High Fidelity and Thomas McGuane in Nothing But Blue Skies, Clark has produced an oddly stirring portrait of a man in existential disarray.” Which–noted Malcolm Jones in Newsweek–“made me laugh so hard I fell off the sofa.”

Plain Heathen Mischief ups the existential ante, as Joel King, a defrocked Baptist minister, finds life even more bedeviling once he’s served six months for a career-ending crime he might not even have committed. Now his incommunicado wife wants a divorce, the teenage vixen of his disgrace is suing him for a cool $5 million, a fresh start in Montana offers no hope for ex-cons of any religious persuasion, and the refuge provided by his sister turns as nasty as his parole officer.

Talk about a crisis of faith. On the upside, a solicitous member of Joel’s former congregation invites him into a scam that could yield some desperately needed cash, and soon the down-on-his-luck preacher is involved with a flock of charming con men, crooked lawyers, and conniving youth.

In a feat of bravura storytelling, Martin Clark ranges from the cross to the double cross, from Virginia to Las Vegas, from jail cells to trout streams, as he follows his Job-like hero through dubious choices and high-dollar insurance hustles to a redemption that no reader could possibly predict. Wildly imaginative, at times comic, at times profoundly sobering, and even more audacious than his wonderfully idiosyncratic debut, Plain Heathen Mischief is a spiritual revelation of the first order.

About Martin Clark

See more books from this Author
Martin Clark, a circuit court judge, lives in Stuart, Virginia. His first novel, The Many Aspects of Mobile Home Living, was a New York Times Notable Book, a selection of the Book-of-the-Month Club, a finalist for the Stephen Crane First Fiction Award, and appeared on several best-seller lists.
Published December 18, 2007 by Vintage. 418 pages
Genres: Humor & Entertainment, Literature & Fiction, Mystery, Thriller & Suspense. Fiction

Unrated Critic Reviews for Plain Heathen Mischief

Kirkus Reviews

See more reviews from this publication

Joel’s spiritual struggle is unremitting in a world where the black and white hats don’t divide cleanly: Edmund is a likable rogue, while Joel’s probation officer, working his own racket, is total slime.

| Read Full Review of Plain Heathen Mischief

Entertainment Weekly

Joel King, the Baptist minister of a well-heeled congregation in Roanoke, Va., canoodles unwisely with 17-year-old Christy Darden, a girl who gives hilarious new meaning to the term ''bad seed.'' King serves time in the lowly city jail, where ''each day was the same dull progression of idle ...

Apr 30 2004 | Read Full Review of Plain Heathen Mischief

Reader Rating for Plain Heathen Mischief

An aggregated and normalized score based on 35 user ratings from iDreamBooks & iTunes

Rate this book!

Add Review