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The Accidental Terrorist

Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary

This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.

Description

“This just may be my favorite true-life amazing-but-true tale—never has threatening an aircraft been funnier or more thought-provoking.” —Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland

Nineteen-year-old Bill Shunn is a man on a mission—a Mormon mission, that is, trolling for converts door-to-door a thousand miles from home. This riveting memoir—by turns hilarious, provocative, and thrilling—traces his accidental journey from that humble beginning to hunted fugitive and international terrorist.

A seventh-generation Mormon, steeped since birth in the gospel according to Joseph Smith, Shunn yearns to lose himself in the solace of sincere belief. But with his few close friendships, his dreams of writing, and his very life on hold, he can’t help resenting the imposition of missionary service and the monastic lifestyle it demands.

When conflicts with his fellow “elders” spur him to an ill-fated flight for freedom, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between obedience and agency. Like the charismatic prophet Smith—whose own incredible story casts eerie echoes through Shunn’s—the young missionary will brave arrest and incarceration in a desperate bid to prove his worthiness, not just to those around him but to himself.

Now, with hard-won wisdom and compassion for his younger self, Shunn recounts the harrowing pilgrimage—rife with good intentions, noble ideals, and deep-seated insecurities—that pushed him to places stranger than any fiction. A gripping chronicle of slow-motion disaster that unfolds with the inevitability of Greek tragedy, The Accidental Terrorist is also a testament to individual triumph in the face of overwhelming authority.

“The book grabs you on page one and never lets go. Fantastically written, beautifully paced, The Accidental Terrorist reads like a novel instead of a memoir. Only in novel form, no one would have ever believed these events could have happened. Believe it. William Shunn lived every word of this book. That he can share it so eloquently is a tribute not just to his writing skill, but his strengths as a human being.” —Kristine Kathryn Rusch, USA Today bestselling author

From Publishers Weekly

Nov 23, 2015 – Software developer and writer Shunn fumbles this account of his mishaps as a youthful Mormon missionary, overloading the narrative with digressions. As a young adult, Shunn succumbed to pressure from his overbearing father to serve as a Mormon missionary. After an early graduation from high school and a clandestine, rushed engagement, Shunn finds himself in Canada knocking on doors, looking for converts, lying about the numbers he must report, and trying to avoid forbidden pleasures as he pursues his real ambition of becoming a prolific science fiction writer. The "terrorism" alluded to in the title refers to the childish (but criminal) mistake Shunn makes of lying about a bomb threat on a plane to keep a fellow missionary from fleeing their ministry assignment. Apart from this early tense scene, the book is mostly bogged down by excessive detail, and never gains a clear focus in terms of the overarching storyline or ethical vision. Interspersed snapshots of Mormonism's history only add to the confusion and density of this overlong memoir.
The Accidental Terrorist
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  • $3.99
  • Available on iPhone, iPad, iPod touch, and Mac.
  • Category: Biographies & Memoirs
  • Published: Nov 10, 2015
  • Publisher: Sinister Regard
  • Seller: William Shunn
  • Print Length: 448 Pages
  • Language: English
  • Requirements: To view this book, you must have an iOS device with iBooks 1.5 or later and iOS 4.3.3 or later, or a Mac with iBooks 1.0 or later and OS X 10.9 or later.

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