The Accidental Terrorist | Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary | A Memoir by William Shunn

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On October 10, 2016, Bill delivered a taboo tale of Mormon missionary life at Taboo Tales NYC.

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Michael Ian Black: NOTED EXPERT on Epix
It was a magical moment. That's how Barry put it, and who am I to disagree?

Barry Goldblatt is my friend and literary agent. He also happens to be literary agent to actor/​comedian/​author Michael Ian Black, with whom you may be familiar. This past November, Barry took a small group of us to see the taping of Michael's new standup comedy special at John Jay College in Manhattan.

Now, this happened to be the very next day after my book release party for The Accidental Terrorist, so 1) I was still on a pretty big high, and 2) the comedy outing felt almost like a continuation of the party from the night before.

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Watching Tyler Glenn's video for his new solo single, "Trash," the anger is palpable and inescapable. But it also brims with pain and grief.

"Trash" exploded across the online Mormon world last week, causing the faithful to recoil and apostates to jump up and down in a fever. Glenn is the lead singer of Provo's Neon Trees. A lifelong member of the LDS Church, he made headlines two years ago by coming out as gay in the pages of Rolling Stone. He still believed, though—until six months ago, that is, when the church issued draconian new guidelines for the ecclesiastical treatment of children of same-sex couples.

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Tarring and feathering of Joseph Smith
The term "anti-Mormon" is tossed around too lightly.

A few months back, I linked to a video in which Lewis Black read an angry rant submitted by an 18-year-old Mormon apostate named Trevor Sepulvida. A week after the video appeared online, Jana Riess of Religion News Service casually called it "anti-Mormon."

One of my old mission companions emailed me recently to share his impressions of The Accidental Terrorist, which he wanted to read because I wrote about our time serving together. He generally enjoyed the book and had only minor quibbles with what I'd written about him. But, he told me, he skipped the chapters about LDS Church history because they were "anti-Mormon."

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Upcoming Appearances
Tuesday, January 1, 1:00-9:00 pm
The 25th Annual Alternative
New Year's Day Spoken Word/
Performance Extravaganza

St. John's Lutheran Church
81 Christopher Street
New York, NY 10014
stjohnsnyc.org
Past Appearances
Tuesday, December 6, 7:30 pm
Tuesday Funk Reading Series
Hopleaf Bar
5148 N. Clark St.
Chicago, IL 60640
www.hopleaf.com
Monday, October 10, 7:00 pm
Taboo Tales NYC
The PIT
(People's Improv Theater)
123 E. 24th St.
New York, NY 10010
tabootalestheshow.com
Sunday, April 3, 2016, 7:10 am
Saturday, November 14, 2015

About the Book

What happens when an ambivalent young Mormon missionary is pushed to the limit in a challenge to prove his faith? Hint: the outcome is explosive. The Accidental Terrorist is the long-awaited memoir from Hugo and Nebula Award–nominated author William Shunn, based on his popular podcast. Available now from Sinister Regard!