The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic

The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Kansas City, Missouri A witty and probing travelogue through the landscapes associated with the Book of Mormon, one the most enduring and influential works of American literatureIs the Book of Mormon the Great American Novel Decades before Ishmael s ship embarked on its search for Moby Dick, before Huck Finn set out on his adventures along the Mississippi, a farm hand and child seer named Joseph Smith unearthed a long buried book from a haunted hill in western New York State, a discovery that radically transformed his life and that marked the ambitious start of the American literary project Using his prophetic gift, Joseph translated the mysterious book which told of an epic hidden history of ancient America, a story about a family that fled biblical Jerusalem and took a boat to the New World and published it under the title The Book of Mormon The book caused an immediate sensation, sparking anger and violence, boycotts and jealousy, curiosity and wonder, and launched Joseph on a wild, decades long adventure across the American West Today, the Book of Mormon, one of the most widely circulating works of American literature, continues to cause controversy which is why most of us know very little about the story it tells Avi Steinberg wants to change that A fascinated nonbeliever, Steinberg spent a year and a half on a personal quest, traveling the path laid out by Joseph s epic From Jerusalem, where the Book of Mormon opens with a bloody murder, to the ruined Maya cities of Central America the setting for most of the Book of Mormon s ancient story where Steinberg gallivanted with a boisterous bus tour of believers exploring Maya archaeological sites for evidence From there, to upstate New York, where he participated in the true Book of Mormon musical, the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant, an elaborate dramatization of the saga staged directly on the hill where Joseph unearthed the book and finally to the center of the American continent, Jackson County, Missouri, the spot Joseph identified as none other than the site of the Garden of Eden Threaded through this quirky travelogue is an argument for taking the Book of Mormon seriously as a work of American imagination, as a story about us And also an answer to the question Why are we so afraid of the Book of Mormon Literate and funny, personal and provocative, the genre bending Lost Book of Mormon boldly explores our deeply human impulse to write bibles and discovers the abiding power of story


About the Author: Avi Steinberg

Avi Steinberg s first book, Running the Books The Adventures of an Accidental Prison Librarian, was a San Francisco Chronicle Best Book of the Year He is a regular contributor to The New Yorker s Culture Desk blog His essays have appeared in The New York Times Magazine, Salon, The Paris Review Daily and n 1.



10 thoughts on “The Lost Book of Mormon: A Journey Through the Mythic Lands of Nephi, Zarahemla, and Kansas City, Missouri

  1. says:

    AMAZING book Best book I ve written since the last book I wrote.


  2. says:

    I m not sure what just happened here I read this book, The Lost Book of Mormon, because I read Avi Steinberg s previous book, Running the Books, and liked it That was about Steinberg s experiences as a prison librarian, a job he fell into after college The Lost Book of Mormon, is not a book I would otherwise have considered reading, as I m not really interested in the subject, which is The Book of Mormon.Steinberg, who s


  3. says:

    What a fun crazy journey But i m still sticking this book in my Religious Crap Section Sorry Avi.What a great idea for a book Retrace the accounts written about in the Book Of Mormon From Jerusalem in 580 B.C To Meso America Gautamala Then way up to Rochester New York Then wait a few thousands years For Joseph Smith to dig up some FOOLS gold in the 1820 s Then wander with the Mormon s towards Salt Lake City Not exactly a n


  4. says:

    I received this book from Goodreads First Reads in exchange for a honest review An VERY honest review this book shall get I m not Mormon, but I m Christian and do believe in God When I first read this book, I was slightly curious to see what it was all about My first impression upon receiving it in the mail, I thought it was ABOUT and SUPPORTING the Mormon culture Whether that was the author s intention or not, I felt like a


  5. says:

    An oddball of a book not so much about the Book of Mormon as about the imaginative faculties required to create the Book of Mormon, in whatever sense you want to understand the verb create Plus a lot of exploration of just how strange the book s story is I had somehow missed the part before this where the good guys flee Jerusalem and end up in Guatemala, allegedly right around the time all these Mesoamerican tribes we study ar


  6. says:

    This is the FRESHEST book on the magical, mystical, mysterious origin and publication of The Book of Mormon since Fawn Brodie s 1945 psycho biography, No Man Knows My History A Life of Joseph Smith Just as Brodie focused attention not on the content of the book but on its historical era and on the personality of its author Steinberg recognizes Joseph Smith as a fellow aspiring author with a boundless imagination.Born in Jerusale


  7. says:

    I thought this book would be a great way to understand WHY Mormons believe what they do, because I m genuinely curious, though I don t believe myself at all There is some factual stuff in here, though I truly don t know how accurate it is It s pretty much just making fun of Mormons, though AND Christians It makes me uncomfortable to read about someone making a joke out of my Savior, Jesus It s a great deal of the author rambling a


  8. says:

    First this book is barely classifiable It is a travelogue, exploration of the BOM as a sequel, a memoir, a psychological exploration of writing in general, a religious book, an outline of the BOM, and anthropological study So if any of that appeals to you, read the book If not, put it down Avi Steinberg is not a Mormon, as such you may expect him to make fun of Mormons and generally discredit the whole shebang Which he does..NOT I f


  9. says:

    The Lost Book of Mormon was an intensely thoughtful, introspective, well written travelogue meditation on Joseph Smith s book as one or all of the sequel to the Bible, the Great American Novel TM , an American gothic, and or the most audacious first novel written by an American author.I am not a Mormon and only have limited information on the real Book and the history of Joseph Smith, but I was fascinated by the premise of Smith as fi


  10. says:

    Anyone who is using my name to give one star ratings to books I love you are breaking the law, as well as acting completely against the spirit of Goodreads You should be ashamed of yourself I have notified Goodreads as well as an old college friend who happens to be a particularly aggressive criminal prosecutor Good luck This book is hilarious and moving In my opinion, it will be beloved by anyone who is a Melville fan or cares about th


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