"Wardlin Stuart is an American messiah, a man who seems to have a direct line to God - but if he does, it's a divinity unlike any you may have prayed to." "Stuart's story begins when he kills a man in a bar. He is sentenced to ten years for manslaughter. In prison, he composes prose poems, prayers addressed to no recognizable god. He intends to produce only small benefits, not miracles. But what he asks for happens, whether it's a girlfriend for himself or special privileges for fellow prisoners. Soon Wardlin is regarded as a local shaman, and he emerges from prison a national celebrity." "Stardom pushes Wardlin into conflict with a fundamentalist minister. The two are destined for a showdown. In the meantime, it seems as if the god to whom Stuart prays has come into being, and is walking the earth." "In this novel about America's conflicting love triangle - celebrity, spirituality, and money - Shepard negotiates the thin line between the real and the surreal, expounding upon violence and redemption along the way."--Jacket.