After having crazy and always entertaining classes with Professor Tommy Zurhellen, I knew that I had to attend his book reading at the Hotel Astoria. Writing for College keeps all of the students who take the class on their toes and Professor Zurhellen teaches all the important tools to enhance your writing and storytelling. The examples he gives us in class create laughter and teach us exactly how to use each technique. I got the email to RSVP for the book reading of his novels; from my experience in class, I sent mine in right away. Then the much-anticipated night arrived. I headed from my Principles of Microeconomics class over to the Hotel Astoria, anxious to finally hear some of the novel. In class, Professor Zurhellen had mentioned that he was currently working on a third book to the story and shared some insight into what his novels were about. Nazareth, North Dakota and Apostle Islands are the first two books in the trilogy. They are a modern retelling of the New Testament of the Bible. Both books have won the gold medal for “Best Fiction: Midwest” category at the Independent Publisher Awards and as he began reading I knew why. As he read in his, “Zurhellen-Dakota accent,” I understood that each of the characters in his novels has their own unique voice and stories. We played a Guess-Which-Character game, and since all the characters are based from the stories of the Bible, we were able to guess. However, one wouldn’t guess that these were biblical characters. Some cursed and each character experienced very human qualities, emotions and problems that we don’t associated with those from the bible. Peter’s wife has terminal cancer and is lost in a state of utter despair; he says how he would give up a close friend to save her if he could. Lazareth is a meth-addict who rages about being taken from paradise and preaches the end of the world. I know that I always saw the Biblical characters as perfect and serious, whose problems were always solved in the end. Professor Zurhellen’s characters have their own sense of humor, are sarcastic, and experience conflicts that we face today, which gives his novel a very unique, comical, and touching twist of ancient stories that we are all familiar with. At the end of the book reading, Professor Tommy Zurhellen announced that the third book to the trilogy, Armageddon, Texas will be released in 2014, and even gave us some insider knowledge of the novel. It’s going to be about the end of the world, but do you want to know how the world ends? Dragons. I know this sparked interest in all of the Game of Thrones fans out there, myself included. After the book reading, I am trying my best to finish the current book, A Clash of Kings (sequel to Game of Thrones), and start Nazareth, North Dakota. And for anyone out there looking for a creative, comical, and intriguing read, I suggest that you do the same.
Check out our facebook album of the Book Reading for more photos!