Mason LaVerle is a young man on a mission–a mission to America. He was raised in a remote Montana town in the church of the Aboriginal Risen Apostles, a matriarchal, New-Ageish sect that, like the Amish, keeps a wary distance from mainstream life. But the Apostles face a dwindling membership, so Mason is sent on an outreach mission with another young man to bring back converts — and, more specifically, brides. And so these two naive believers head off in a van to encounter the contemporary scene in all its bewildering, seductive diversity. They proselytize at malls, passing out leaflets in parking garages based on the condition of their cars and their bumper stickers.

When they make their way to a gilded Colorado ski town while promoting their un-American message of humble, serene, optimistic fatalism, Mason finds himself courting a young woman who used to pose for Internet porn sites and his partner becomes the live-in guru of a guilt-ridden billionaire with chronic bowel complaints. Meanwhile back in Montana, the Apostles are facing schism and extinction as their beloved leader, the Seeress, drifts toward death. The mounting pressures lead Mason to the brink of missionary madness.


Walter Kirn is the critically acclaimed author of the novels THE UNBINDING, SHE NEEDED ME, THUMBSUCKER, which was made into a film in 2005 starring Vince Vaughn, Keanu Reeves and Tilda Swinton, and UP IN THE AIR, which was made into a film starring George Clooney. He is also the author of the memoir LOST IN THE MERITOCRACY. He is a contributing editor to Time and GQ and a regular reviewer for The New York Times Book Review. Portions of his previous novels have been excerpted in the New Yorker, GQ, and Esquire.