Monday, January 25, 2010

Child of God Prank

This prank idea came to me during my Cormac McCarthy class this past Friday. I just finished reading one of McCarthy's earlier Appalachian novels: Child of God. Although the title of the novel is familiar with a Christian audience, this novel does not necessarily belong with the born-again Christian literature for teens; the novel is about a social outcast that devolves into a necrophiliac. It's taboo to say the least. This prank arose from the juxtaposition of a cliche title for a religious book and the subject matter of the novel. So here is the plan of attack:

Step One: Buy a copy of Child of God.

Step Two: Slightly change the language of the synopsis on the back of the book to delude unsuspecting targets. For example, I would change "falsely accused of rape" with "falsely accused of stealing candy."

Step Two: Carefully place the novel in the religion section of a bookstore

Step Three: Corrupt sweet little old ladies in floor-length skirts or grandpas wearing Mr. Rodger sweaters to buy the novel.

The more I thought about this prank, the more I realized that the word "corrupt" does not fit because I'm not corrupting them. For me, this brilliant novel ironically appeals Christian audiences as it pushes us to identify with an "other" that seems irredeemable.