James Morrow is a master of couching heavy topics in irreverent, ridiculous scenarios, and The Madonna and the Starship deftly tackles atheism, science worship, and the ’50s rationale of the benevolent alien visitor. But tying it all together with the sanctimony and silliness of early television, Morrow expands his laser focus to capture virtually everyone who’s ever watched a TV show. The story is steeped in nostalgic trappings, but takes every opportunity to rip those trappings to shreds with its behind-the-scenes look at the writer’s room.
Transcendently weird and aggressively smart, this book is Morrow at his most barbed and satiric.
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Cover and design by Elizabeth Story.