“Attempted Rapture was first published in 2004. All rights reverted back to me in 2011. However, as I looked at the book, I realized two things: it was slightly dated and yet had a lot of potential to expand beyond what it was. About the time I wrote the original book I was at a complicated time in my life. One where I was questioning traditional Christianity, the only reality or perspective I had ever contemplated. For many years before that I was a practicing minister, and an educated right-wing Christian, who embraced science and tolerance, but still insisted that God’s hand was in everything.”
“As a god-fearing minister, I wrote about various people that I knew from church, from my community, and embellished quite a bit on their lives. These tales from church (I named it A View from God )were not only embellishments but prophetic, as to what would really happen when we all came of age. When I first wrote Attempted Rapture I viewed it as the destruction of my youth, my youthful ideals, and the deaths of many of these archetypal characters. In reality, I was slowly discovering that we really had nothing in common with each other, besides the fact that we had shared childhood experiences in church.
Much of the content was purposely written to be sacrilegious, obscene and offensive because I viewed it as my way of breaking the chains, not necessarily rebelling against the church, but breaking out of my own mental prison, a self-created Hell Fire of misery and self-denial. It should come as no surprise that I lost many friends over the publication of the book, since they were scandalized by the way I really viewed life—which, according to the book, was nihilistic, obscene, cold-hearted, and without redemption. To this day, I argue that The Sinner—admittedly a mean-spirited book that parodies religion and satirizes what we perceive as morality—was not an expression of my true nature, but my criticism of the world, particularly those who insist on judging the world and claiming that an omnipotent God is their personal big brother, ready to protect them from evil. Life is a learning experience. I don’t see why anyone would want to be protected from learning.
Holiness is not purity. It is revelation after living a full life. That in mind, the idea The Saint came to me as I was editing most of the sex and offensive content out of the original book. It occurred to me that in the last few years, even as I grew distant from mainstream Christianity, I seemed to endear myself to religion and to the idea of God or a supreme intelligent force. More importantly, seeing other people follow their hearts and find happiness in religion—seeing the culture and the family aspect of this tradition—struck me as the right of humanity, a privilege beyond compare, a personal paradise. For one to disrupt that, out of their own weak need to desecrate religion, to attack and bludgeon their childhood bully, is akin to serving an evangelical right wing Christian.”
“Warren Attempts Penance”
“I’ve often told people before that I respect true atheists, the ones who are confident in their anti-belief and who believe in liberty and the right for people to choose. Militant atheism is a form of bullying and is made up of vengeful people who, like sexually suppressed Christians, cannot let go of their own life traumas and disappointments. Perhaps it is in retaliation to hundreds of years of religious oppression, but I don’t believe oppression is the answer to oppression.
I don’t believe in anything militant because I am anti-violence. I think truth is soft, yielding, understated, and yet harsher than any two-edged sword because it deteriorates lies from the inside out. There is truth in nature, truth in waiting, truth in communication, truth in making friends of former enemies, and truth in looking beyond your peripheral view of the world to embrace multiple perspectives.
Truth is what we find at the end of the road, after the bloodshed, after the screaming and fighting, and after the hypocrisy of our lives. The Saint doesn’t intend to be truth but a parable of humanity. I think to label it a satire or a parody would be misleading—though I will, since people can’t seem to fathom my thoughts outside the net of parody and satire—it is not a criticism of religious people or militant atheists but a reflection of what we all are inside, as children and as precocious grown-ups with nothing to show for our faith besides a friendly face.
It is ironic that The Saint has the darker ending, in contrast to The Sinner’s Happy Ending, but in the end its austerity and apparent doomsday philosophy is the redemption the story ultimately needs. Paradise is achievable but whatever your vision of paradise is will be intrinsically linked to you and your way of thinking. To escape that, to climb outside our comfy boxes and visualize a standardized, ‘perfect for most world’, at the expensive of the few, would be the act of a cruel creator. To live like a saint is to die like a saint, and so paradise will be whatever we will it to be.
Yes, of course, there was a lot of offensive sexual content in it. You don’t grow up a celibate minister without developing a bit of a complex. Much of the book is focused on sex, because Christianity, particularly in the Bible Belt, is the world’s most restrictive and suppressive religion. And this I believe in a prime motivator in ‘right-wing Christians’ who have been raised to fear sex, fear their desires, and fear other people who embrace a sensual lifestyle.”
“I’ve said often that I don’t believe in evil, and I do manage to find good qualities even in the most extreme examples. I believe a lack of sexual fulfillment is what causes many goodhearted Christians to become hateful and resentful of other people—what they are, what they have, what they enjoy. Because fulfilling one’s sensual desires is the opposite of austerity. It’s embracing the moment, it’s hedonistic and self-centered. It’s entirely human and it’s everything contrary to what we’re taught about self-denial and suffering being the key to happiness.
When we, the more rational and sex-positive population, question Christianity’s repressive attitude and how this contributes to their intolerance of other people who do not follow the path of self-denial, they take it very personally—as if it’s an attack on their faith, their very reason for living. They immediately go into the defensive and cling to the fundamentals of their faith. And so misunderstanding prevails and the flames of war spread. In reality what I see is very sad, and not deserving of censure, but of pity. People who are not embracing life, who are not enjoying life moment by moment, but who are waiting to die so that they can begin living. But I always thought to myself, remember Matthew Chapter 6. If the wicked are indeed receiving their reward in full in this lifetime, why would a Christian be resentful of it? The militant, aggressive Christian who seeks—not to proselytize but to bully others into their chosen lifestyle is the ultimate form of cowardice, of betrayal, and of weakness. A true Christian can be happy with himself and with others who live by their own system of belief.
I am saying this only once: I apologize in advance for The Sinner because it is an offensive book, written to be that way. I’m not going to apologize for each and every moment in the book, because it’s something like 500 pages. The intent is not to enlighten but to disturb, to unravel, and to question everything that you think you know about morality. Many scenes were written as a dare to the reader, wondering just how far he/she will go in finishing the chapter. Some offensive scenes were metaphorical, and some scenes ACTUALLY happened to me, and so I believe I have rights to publish them. Don’t ask what parts are real and what parts are imagined. The book is 60 percent truth and 40 percent embellishment, as is life.
Is faith a religion?
Is faith a lifestyle? Is faith just the opposite of sin? Maybe faith is about one defining moment in your life…
In Bible-Belt culture, sexuality and sin are pushed so closely together that children grow up fearing sexual urges, seeing opportunity as devil-sent temptation and a teenage marriage as the only cure. But what happens when Christian youth revolts? They don’t just go out into the world. They lunge into depravity—angry at God, disillusioned with life, and full of evil intentions.
This issue is explored in Attempted Rapture: The Complete Series, told through several apocryphal stories, organized by chapters and verses.
- The Book of Hal
- The Book of Anne
- The Book of Amara
Cry On Cue
- The Book of Floren
- The Book of Paula
- The Book of Hamsters
- The Book of Katey S.
- The Book of Pride
- The Book of Jaded Sapphira
Each book is a modern Christian allegory, and each character represents an evolution in the Christian perspective of sin: Agnostic, Heretic and Repentant. The three main characters also parallel biblical parables including The Prodigal Son, Lady Wisdom and Madam Folly.
Hal Persill is the agnostic believer, a young man plagued by doubt and temptation, and who feels alienated from his rural hometown of “Radrick” after a long stay in New York. Amara Stallart is a preacher’s daughter and a shining star of Christian loyalty that clings to her family ties and moral upbringing. Anne McNamary is an ex-Christian profligate and a notorious exile from the community who lurks somewhere in the big city. Whose faith will survive intact when certain destruction strikes?
Attempted Rapture is a hard-edged Christian novel that will challenge your view of faith or anti-faith. Author Late Mitchell Warren explores the concept of Christian faith, modernizing the parable of “The Prodigal Son” with an experimental mix of poetry and prose, humor, sermonizing, and harsh interior monologues.
This tragic parody explores the issue of Christian guilt and Church indoctrination with biting satire and heartbreaking pathos. It’s a story about true love, demonic sex, and the cataclysm that results when faith interferes with human desire. The reason for the two extremes is a symbol of the duality of faith, and in some cases, the double lives that people live in order to reconcile their beliefs.
‘The Complete Series’ encompasses both The Saint and The Sinner, as well as the sequels Cry On Cue and Jaded Sapphira, which jumps 30 years into the future. If you’re cheap like me, you’ll appreciate just reading them all in the same damn book.”
Audience: Adults Only…It helps if you’re atheist, agnostic, deist or non-religious.
Category: Hard-Edged Christian Novel, Southern Fiction, Dysfunctional Romance
Cast: Hal Persill, Amara Stallart, Anne McNamary, Amber McNamary, Floren Felvturn, Jason Poppin, Paula Retsmah
Warning: This book contains graphic language, sexual content, nihilistic scenes, violence and may expose you to demonic forces if you get past the first 100 pages.
Attempted Rapture for Idiots, Curated, 2016
But does anyone truly love scattered colors of gray, and thick black super cell clouds indicating certain doom? If there were no promise of a sun and a rainbow, would they still embrace the deluge?
In Late Mitchell Warren’s novel Attempted Rapture, a storm is coming strong and yet redemption is nowhere in the horizon, the rainbow pushed well beyond the most distant black clouds. Even in an industry where literary rules are being consistently broken now that online and print-on-demand books are no longer being suppressed by a stodgy editorial process insistent on commercial values, Attempted Rapture is a genre-defying book and may very well be a market-killing product.
Categorized insincerely as Christian Fiction, Attempted Rapture is hardly the inspirational, Chicken Soup for the Soul type of book that most believers are expecting after a long day of disappointment, fatigue and the predictable absence of the omniscient God.
It may very well be the end of the Tragic Love Story genre and the start of something new and ghastly. Depressive Irony, might be a suitable phrase, as the writing style is both relentlessly soul-killing and acerbic to the point of giggles. A Tragic Parody might be another apt description, as the plot line does tend to mock traditional character archetypes, even while ultimately disposing of them all as hypocritical, depressive, and forever unhappy beings.
Warren’s ultra-realistic character study meshed with cynical and surreal narrative feels post-emo and post-grunge, the natural evolution of Millennial Angst as it devolves into Generation Z, a people scattered lacking hope, prayer, and any particular reason to live.
To say the book is morally nihilistic is an understatement not only to believers (who are advised to buy the PG-rated “Saint” edition), but also to unbelievers who have to expect more rationality and some glimmer of positivity in a humanist existence. Just as a literal rapture seems impossible, an “attempted rapture” is indeed a bleak thought, calling to mind all sorts of doomed suicidal-religious movements, as well as the indefinitely postponed End of the World announcement trend of the 2000s.
There is another component to the book and that is the blatant anti-social attitudes that are rampant in every scene. All three main characters (and arguably the supporting cast) seem detached from each other, from their current happy lives, and even in their abstract desires for the distant future. Indeed, Warren has put together a congregation of unlikable antiheroes; perhaps some of the dreariest in all of literature, and most certainly of modern publishing in which the likability factor of the protagonist empowers and guides the plot. Instead, in Attempted Rapture, the reader is antagonized, goaded and assaulted by the written word.
Imagine the dreary love child of Edgar Allen Poe and Emily Bronte, crossed with the spiritual desolation of King Solomon, and the heavy-handed moralizing of Fyodor Dostoevsky and therein lies the abstract of Mitchell Warren’s wit—of course peppered generously with the language and heartless caricatures of South Park.
Warren states that he did receive plenty of dire warnings about the book’s unrelenting pessimism, from editors, agents, and even fans of his work.
“They said that all of my main characters are presented with a certain unflattering honesty, which antagonizes traditional readers. And I thought to myself, ‘Why is that a bad idea?’ From a marketing standpoint I understand, we all want heroes. Heroes soothe us. But because this is a novel about the loss of faith, it just seems strange to me to lie about the characters. When the original publisher’s rights reverted back to me in 2013, I decided to re-edit it the way I wanted to, breaking many rules of convention, and making a fiercely independent book that would provoke readers. People read great fiction to imagine themselves as who they would like to be. Then there’s the tragic parody…a mirror that forces them to see the ugliness of what they really are.”
If Warren was going after a project of biblical proportions he succeeded, with tongue firmly in cheek, as both books feature bible-style formatting, complete with book titles, scriptures and verses, and even strange “omissions” and alternative verses, making readers wonder what really is canon and what is “Apocrypha” in the Attempted Rapture universe.
The most telling fact comes with the two book’s distinctly different endings. Warren indicates that both endings are experiments in tragic parody writing—succeeding on an emotional level of peripheral happiness and closure, but actually hiding a much more sinister implied fate, and a cruel joke that’s far too subtle to glean the first time around.
However, the book’s multi-layered ending gives the reader whatever comeuppance or redemption he or she wants to find, as ultimately spirituality or complete lack thereof are always a matter of personal journey. In Warren’s case, a sadistic mad scientist capable of creating and torturing tragic clowns in a circus of terror and grief, quiet laughter is merely the eye of the storm.
Attempted Rapture has a strong “Loss of Innocence” theme – one strong enough to classify it as a Christian novel. The book was released in a “Saint Edition” and a “Sinner Edition”, and each catering to a different audience, as well as different perspective on life.
Where does the idea of the loss of innocence come from? We see this recurring them in new, classic and ancient literature, from To Kill a Mockingbird to even the latest installment in the Harry Potter series.
Historically, the loss of innocence theme may well have descended from biblical allusions, specifically in the loss of innocence experienced by a sinful Adam and Eve, as well as the analogy of the blood of a lamb, a sinless sacrifice. The loss of innocence theme is often thought of as a tragedy in religious literature and philosophy, and in a pejorative sense when considered by a cynic.
According to perspective, the loss of a person’s innocence could imply a loss merely of ignorance, or perhaps even a humbling fall from a standpoint of assumed moral superiority. What seems to be a recurring theme in literature is that loss of innocence theme, though often lamented universally, largely depends on perspective.
In Attempted Rapture this concept is explored from two extremes: loss as a moral tragedy and loss as a step towards progressive thinking. What remains to be seen is how innocence lost will be represented in the re-release, according to both a Christian conscience, and an irreligious point-of-view.
But all of that is just intellectual garble. Perhaps the more logical approach is to draw crude cartoon stick figures, in the style of “Ulysses for Dummies”, which has apparently gone off the Internet. But that didn’t stop us from boldly using the same cheesy 1990s concept to sell this rather complicated synopsis because we remain blissfully unaware of trends in web design.
Mitchell Warren’s Attempted Rapture is awaiting its publication in 2004. This tale of three antiheroes in good old southern living “Radrick County” is a remarkable story of blasphemy, faith, honor, nihilism, social relevance and macabre humor. The story of Anne McNamary, her sister Amara Stallart, and the returning stranger Hal Persill, reflect the complexity of sentient morality and human nature.
However, the average reader has never heard of Mister Warren’s Opus. Laden with absurd literary references and ridden with inexplicable sexual symbolism, the book’s reputation as an “unpublishable” work is certainly standing strong. This is a shame, because Warren very rarely tries to communicate with other human beings, much less write for a mainstream general readership.
Therefore, since many have been writing to AttemptedRapture.com with the claim that the website preview is “confusing”, together with the fact that From Hunger’s Ulysses For Dummies parody was really asking for it, and we’re actually big fans of IDG Incorporated–we’ve decided to present an exclusive “For Idiots” explanation of the highly experimental novel Attempted Rapture.
So join us as a rather egregiously drawn Mitchell introduces the lesson…
Attempted Rapture for Idiots
This is the storm approaching.
This is the storm spawning tornadoes.
Part 1: What started out a peaceful day of Spring, Calm, Fertility & Freedom quickly turned into an evening of severe weather. Notice the many flying people. They are probably very afraid. Or dead.
This is Hal Persill, back from New York.
This is Hal Persill celibate.
Part 2: Hal Persill returns home from New York City only to find that “home” is no longer the sweet, simple place he remembers. It could be the drastic change that occurred in his hometown, or the news of his friend’s suicide that’s troubling Hal. But it could also be that he’s been “without” for quite some time.
This is Amara Stallart & her happy family.
This is Amara Stallart on sleepless nights.
Part 3: Amara Stallart can’t sleep. Despite love for her husband, her father, God, and everyone else who is close to her, she feels something is missing.
This is Anne McNamary on Christianity.
This is Anne McNamary on Free Thinking.
Part 3: Anne McNamary is Amara Stallart’s older sister, and the black sheep of the ultra-religious McNamary family. She lives somewhere in the surrounding city, exiled from good old townsfolk like us.
And the critics were bemused.
This ends Attempted Rapture For Idiots.
On behalf of all of us here at The Late Mitchell Warren Museum
we urge you to relax, pop a pill, and remember:
It’s Just A Story.
Cry on Cue for Idiots
Mitchell Warren and Floren Felvturn’s Cry On Cue is awaiting its publication in December 2004. This tale of two antiheroes forced to take court-ordered therapy because of self-destructive sexual behavior is a remarkable story of easy British tarts, faithfulness, lying bastards who claim they’re in love with you, the futility of life, anti-chick-lit satire and hamsters. The story of Floren Felvturn and Paula Brakken, the strange men in their lives, and their prudish, utterly humorless doctors, reflect the complexity of the unmedicated and loony female mind and more importantly the instinctive madness that affects all of humanity.
However, the average reader has never heard of Misses Floren’s Opus. Laden with absurd literary references and ridden with inexplicable sexual analogies, the book’s reputation as a “chick-lit” satire is certainly standing strong. This is a shame because the ruttish Floren thinks very highly of both male and female readers who mean so much more to her than just mainstream sex toys for her general amusement. Therefore, since our Attempted Rapture For Idiots page was so popular last time around–together with the fact that From Hunger’s Ulysses For Dummies parody creator hasn’t threatened us with a lawsuit—we’ve decided to present an exclusive “For Idiots” explanation of the highly experimental novel.
So join us as a rather egregiously drawn Floren introduces the lesson…
“Hello, I am Floren Felvturn. If you are
a gimboid or lacking in mental prowess,
you may need big words and simple
pictures to really understand something.
So listen up, Herbert. Here goes.”
This is Floren Felvturn.
This is Floren propositioning total strangers.
This is Paula Brakken and her precocious daughter Taffy.
This is Paula being an unfit mother.
This is Doctor Lamron and Doctor Rateur.
Their patients have been court ordered to undergo therapy.
This is Floren and Paula not taking the news so well.
This is a hamster.
This is a hamster’s privacy being invaded.
One guy doesn’t get it. The other does.
This ends Cry On Cue For Idiots. On behalf of all
of us here at The Late Mitchell Warren Museum we
urge you to chillax, bat on a sticky wicket, and remember:
It’s Just A Story.
Or is it?
Yes it is.
Depressed beyond all reason by now? Why not have a laugh? Read Warren’s first bizarre interview about Attempted Rapture in 2004 on the Author Interview page. Or you can take a break from humanity and embrace dogmanity, with Warren’s free eBook, Raining Cats and Dogs.