Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Book Review: The Three Sisters by Bryan Taylor

The Three Sisters
by Bryan Taylor
Publisher: Dragon Tree Books (July 23, 2013)
Available in: Print & ebook, 401

Let me begin by saying this book is not safe for reading in bed when the room is shared with another who's sleeping--in a dorm, hospital, classroom, prison cell, church pew, board meeting, bedroom, car or mass transportation seat, with a spouse, sibling, friend, offspring or (as in my case currently) your mother.

Especially not your mother.

This is because your irrepressible laughter will wake them.  Even if you are able to laugh silently there is the shaking of the bed or seat and the physical and facial contortions.  And of course those inevitable questions:

  • Are you OK? *gasp* Yes
  • Why did you stop breathing? Laughing too hard.  Trying not to wake you.
  • What are you reading? A novel called The Three Sisters
  • That sounds nice. What's it about?  Three nuns fresh out of the convent on a road trip looking for fun, got a ticket for speeding, got arrested, escaped, and are now three fun nuns on the run.
  • What's so funny?  What? That wasn't enough?
  • What happened to set you off?  Um.  Urm. Uh.  Well.  That would take a long explanation including definitions for obscure words that obscure the puns and punch lines.
  • Well maybe you can read it to me after we finish Jan Karon's Father Tim book.  Urmm.  Wellll.  Ummm.  We'll see.  *praying this is one of those conversations Mom doesn't remember the next day*

OK that totally didn't happen anywhere but in my imagination. But it was so vivid it now feels like a real memory. *shudders*

Next I must advise anyone who dislikes reading books with unfamiliar words to not let that stop you as there is plenty of fun in reading about the antics and adventures of Coito, Theodora, and Regina.  Just be aware that by skimming over the strange words you will be missing a good portion of the funny--puns and punchlines.

But if like me you are one who loves to encounter new words and look them up to learn every thing about them--synonyms, antonyms, etymology--be aware you will be spending a lot of time looking up those words because many of them are no longer in the average dictionary.  Not even collegiate dictionaries nor 'unabridged' dictionaries.  Searching the web for definitions of those words might elicit dictionary entries asking if you are sure you spelled it correctly or apologizing for the missing entry, explaining it had been deleted by request.

What?!!  *screeching in my head*  Are there words they are hiding from us?  Forcing into obscurity?  Making illicit?

It seems so, considering that I finally found the definition of one word in The Endangered English Dictionary: Bodacious Words Your Dictionary Forgot by David Grambs.  This is a book I am now lusting after.  Luckily the word I was after was on one of the pages in the  Google Book preview.  That word happened to reference a body part that parents, priests and prudes want all under age 18 to believe doesn't exist except at bath time.

So.  They fail at taking the books off the shelves so now they are after taking the words out of the dictionaries?

As a book blogger who participates in Banned Book Week every fall and is already alarmed by the insidious efforts to remove from public shelves all books with material offensive to any group small or large but never a majority of citizens this is beyond alarming, it appalls me, fills me with trepidation.  For what better way to insure that certain things can't be discussed than to take away the words themselves?

But, I digress.  With reason.  It's an effort to procrastinate having to confess that I got so lost in looking up words I didn't even reach the beginning of the road trip so I feel a bit of a poser calling this a review.  Although I can say that I'm having a rollicking good time with it, I love Coito who reminds me so much of myself except braver and more audacious.  (Well actually there are a number of big differences. Basically it was her talent for autodidact learning--the voracious reading across the Dewey Decimals from grade school on--that I was thinking about.)

So if it continues to deliver the antics of Coito and Co., the humor, puns, irreverence, satire, culture commentary and spoofing, a well told story and words I've never before met to the end I will continue to be as thrilled as I am to this point.

And I'll be looking for more such stories by Bryan Taylor.

From the Publishers:

Nuns just want to have fun! But when three former Catholic nuns, Coito Gott, Theodora Suora and Regina Grant have too much fun and get in trouble with the law, they become nuns on the run.
Driving back to Washington D.C. where they work at the Kennedy Center for the Performing Parts, the three sisters are arrested in Tennessee. After defeating the local deputy in strip poker, they escape from jail, and are pursued by the zealous Detective Schmuck Hole, who has personally offered a $10,000 reward for their capture on the 700 Club. Little do they know that when the three sisters visit the Washington Monument, their lives will change forever.
Set in 1979, The Three Sisters is a humorous, adult satire that skewers not only organized religion, but the government, the media, intellectuals, corporate greed and every other part of the establishment. Maybe not the greatest story ever told, but possibly the funniest.
“Blessed are they who read The Three Sisters, for they shall inherit eternal laughter.” — Matthew 5:66

What they are saying:

“This may sound odd but I never thought of myself as a big fan of religious satire…until I read this book. I was caught right away by the three sexy nuns on the cover. A friend recommended it to me and I didn’t think I would like it so I ventured to “skim” the first chapter. I must say that first chapter wowed me with excitement and I became so intrigued…I ended up with finishing it in two days.
If you’re looking for a serious study of religion or to explore the depths of the human condition, this book is probably not for you. The whole point of it was to be a roller-coaster of a ride – sexy naughty nuns running amok in 1970′s America and not looking back. Heavy on wordplay, allusions, and references to famous philosopher’s such as Voltaire, Taylor thumbs his nose at the common institutions and over-used plots.  So if you’re not afraid to ruffle some religious feathers, this might be the book for you.”-Joshua Silverman, Author of  The Emerald Tablet (Legends of Amun Ra, #1)
“This book is a hysterical read–not for the faint hearted or the easily offended. I thoroughly enjoyed Taylor’s sense of humor, writing style, and his use of innuendos, pun, satire, etc. He is a master at intertwining historical events of the Bible, church history, and religious stereotypes along with history in the 1970s. More than half way through, the book has a great surprise that I cannot say more about without giving too much information. I can only say that I laughed for two days. The character development of each of the three sisters (and some of the other characters such as Victor) is superb.”Maureen Burton, Amazon Reviewer
“Reading The Three Sisters May Add to your Years in Purgatory, but It’s Worth It.  After reading The Three Sisters, I realize that Taylor has made the ultimate sacrifice. He is definitely going to Hell for writing this book, or if he is lucky, he’ll probably spend about five trillion years in Purgatory. But hey, his loss was my gain.I really liked this book. It was witty in an Oscar Wilde or Mark Twain sort of way and made me laugh throughout. Not only is the main character highly sacrilegious, but the plot itself is about as sacrilegious as you’ll get. But the book is as much satire as sacrilege, and the sacrilege just lays the foundation for the rest of Taylor’s skewering of society.The book is set in 1979, and only after you finish the book will you realize why (no spoiler here.  I found myself pulling for all the three sisters to overcome their predicament. Consequently, I couldn’t put the book down.”S. Zehntner, Amazon Reviewer
“I took one look at the cover and thought to myself, I don’t remember any nuns looking like that in Catholic School. So I decided to read the book and was glad that I did. Not only was the book very funny, but the plot went in directions I wasn’t expecting. As I read on, I didn’t want to put the book down until I found out what the final fate of the three sisters was.Though the novel was set in 1979, all of the satire applies to today just as easily as it does to 1979. The book reminds us that the Catholic Church, self-righteous evangelicals, corporate greed, self-interested politicians, and the self-obsessed media haven’t changed all that much.Few novels provide illustrations, but The Three Sisters includes several very funny illustrations, including ones for Virgin Mary Milk and The Spanish Inquisition Toy Set. Too funny.
Though the book is sacrilegious, the author doesn’t get heavy-handed about it. Taylor keeps the satire fun and rolling along until the very end. I only wish I could have attended the Festivities in person.
So if you want to see what happens when a pleasantly twisted mind writes a novel instead of going to therapy, read The Three Sisters.”So. Cal Book Worm, Amazon Reviewer“Simply divine! The plot: naughty nuns conquer America! Set in a mythical past, this satire is truly one of a kind. The author has a wicked sense of humor and an imagination that defies description. The more offbeat your own sense of humor is, the more you’ll appreciate this book. I highly recommend this for anyone who’s looking for something unusual.”-Mari Trevelyan, Amazon Reviewer

Bryan Taylor is a double PK, a preacher’s kid of a preacher’s kid. With that legacy he faced two destinies, being an unhappy triple PK (Jubilees 17:23, “He that is born unto the son of a preacher and himself preaches shall be miserable until his dying day and suffer eternal damnation.”), or being sacrilegious and happy.

He decided to forsake the Southern Baptists for Catholicism, but when he applied to join a convent, he was rejected (sex discrimination!), so he decided to do the next best thing: write a novel about the three nuns he would most like to meet.

Bryan Taylor was born in Louisiana, grew up in Michigan and Texas, went to school in Tennessee, South Carolina and California, taught in Switzerland for a year, and has traveled to 50 countries, more than any Pope except Saint John Paul II. He now lives in California, which is one of the few places with people crazier than him.

The Three Sisters Website
Bryan Taylor Facebook
Bryan Taylor Pinterest

Follow the blog tour for more reviews, giveaways, author interviews and guest posts: 

So Many Precious Books Nov 8 Interview & Giveaway
Joy Story Nov 12 Review
Carole Ramblings Nov 13 Review
Books, Books & More Books Nov 14 Review
Books, Books & More Books Nov 15 Guest Post
In This World of Books Nov 18 Review
A Chick Who Reads Nov 19 Review
Most Happy Reader Nov 20 Review & Giveaway
Paperback Writer Nov 21 Guest Post
Deal Sharing Aunt Nov 22 Review
Rose & Beps Blog Nov 25 Guest Post
Sweeps 4 Bloggers Nov 26 Guest Post & Giveaway
So Many Precious Books Nov 27 Review
Romance & Inspiration Nov 30 Review  


1 tell me a story:

Teddy Rose 11/12/2013 6:41 PM  

Thanks for taking part in the tour. I am so glad you are enjoying The Three Sisters. I would love to know what you think of the rest of the book.

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