‘Honk if You Are Jesus’ by Peter Goldsworthy

1992, 290 P.


This book might have seemed far-fetched when it was published in 1992, but it doesn’t any more on a day when meatballs have been created from the DNA of long-extinct mammoths . Nor do resort-like Bible Colleges seem implausible in a post-tele-evangelist world. This book is a fairly light-hearted approach to topics like artificial insemination and DNA recovery, set on the Gold Coast in Queensland when middle-aged Dr Mara Fox, lecturer in obstetrics and authority on in-vitro fertilization is head-hunted to work in a research department attached to an American-evangelical-style Bible College. She’s not the only academic import: there is also another scientist Scanlon, who has been working on recreating long-extinct animals like dodos and thylacines. She learns that Scanlon’s work has involved scraping religious relics for possible traces of Jesus’ DNA, and she comes to learn that her reason for being attached to the Bible College was to perform some off-campus artificial insemination on the wife of the founder of the Bible College, Hollis Schultz. I think you can probably see where this is heading….

The book is fairly predictable and the ending, although ambiguous, is rather predictable too. Still, this is not high literature and I found myself willingly going along for the ride. I thought that Goldsworthy captured the studious, naive Dr Fox well, whose work had consumed her life and for whom romance just never happened.

I’m not quite sure why it’s called what it is, but no doubt it echoes those ‘Honk if You Love Jesus’ bumper stickers that used to be around (in fact, what has happened to bumper stickers? Perhaps they don’t stick on plastic…) It’s a gentle satire and enjoyable enough.

My rating: 7/10

Sourced from: my own bookshelves, but obviously purchased second hand somewhere for the princely sum of 20c. It is certainly worth more than that!

2 responses to “‘Honk if You Are Jesus’ by Peter Goldsworthy

  1. Yes, what *has* happened to bumper stickers? I haven’t seen “Mother-in-law in boot” on the back window for a while, either.

  2. I thought I’d read this, but your review shows me that I haven’t. I think I read Jesus Wants Me for a Sunbeam.
    He must have had a bit of thing about Pentecostal churches, eh?

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