Stand By Me meets The Life of Brian

August 15, 2011 at 9:06 am (Uncategorized) (, , , , , , , , , , )

Pitching a movie in Hollywood you start with a pitch and move on to a one-pager, a synopsis, a treatment, a step outline, and then a screenplay. This is the one-pager for the novel Son of Man. (The movie rights were optioned to actor/producer Ron Gilbert.)

SON OF MAN

An autobiographical Jesus novel by Mike Pohjola

 ”It’s Stand By Me meets The Life of Brian.”

I grew up in a religious family where everyone was sure I would one day be something great. I agreed.

I’m five years old when I decide to climb a tree with my best friend. It had just stopped raining and the forest is slippery, but my friend is very persuasive. He climbs first and I follow. Then maybe twenty feet up my rubber boot slips on the branch, and I fall. There are rocks down below, and my head will hit them any moment and I will die. Then at five feet above ground, I stop. I’m hanging upside down in mid-air. I look up, and see that the bootstrap on my rubber boot is caught in a branch. I climb down gently.

I walk back home with my friend, and he tells me the branches have scarred my face. My mother is horrified as she cleans the wounds. ”Your guardian angel saved your life,” she says.

That’s right, I think. God told my guardian angel to save my life. But why? He doesn’t save everyone’s life. Why am I special? What plan does God have in store for me?

Five or six years later, after carefully examining the Bible with a child-like furor, I realize that it’s possible – maybe not probable, but possible – that I’m the Second Coming of Jesus Christ. I’m proud that I’ve figured out God’s plan, but I also fear His punishment. What if He didn’t want me to know yet? I decide not to tell anyone, but try to be as good a Jesus as possible. I can’t smoke or drink or swear or disobey my parents or go around kissing girls. What kind of Jesus would I be?

The novel follows Julius, my alter ego, as he grows up in the shadow of his own Messianity. In the B plot we follow the Reverend Farfors who first baptizes little Julius as a young priest, and then goes on to become a sort of Pontius Pilate character later on.

The book follows Julius’ life from birth to until his about twenty-four. Despite all the Jesus stuff, he manages to experience many of the things that unite all those who grew up in the 80s and 90s. He plays Dungeons&Dragons, he loses his religion, he has several girlfriends, goes to demonstrations, he listens to metal music, he envies his friend’s Commodore-64, watches 9/11 on tv, makes graffiti, falls in love and fights with his parents. [SPOILERS OMITTED.]

The book ends with [SPOILERS OMITTED].

Publisher: Gummerus, 2011.
Language: Finnish, translations upcoming
Pages: about 500
Reference books: The Buddha of Suburbia, The Catcher in the Rye

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1 Comment

  1. Meanwhile, back in the jungle « Karin Tidbeck said,

    […] writer Mike Pohjola’s new novel Ihmisen Poika is an autobiographical Jesus novel, or as the author says, Stand by Me meets Life of Brian. […]

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