Mission to America
Walter Kirn may be America’s best satirist without a cable-TV show. In Mission to America, he sets two missionaries from a tiny, insulated Montana sect called the Aboriginal Fulfilled Apostles on the road in search of converts and brides. A pair of Chauncey Gardeners, Mason Plato LaVerle and Elias Stark develop a taste for reality TV, chicken wings, and wackos. The boys involve themselves with a teenage Wiccan, a Colorado billionaire plagued with chronic digestive misery, and a former Internet porn star, but their peripatetic adventures are never more compelling than Kirn’s giddy prose. ”At check-in a girl with a faded neck tattoo depicting a pair of strangling male hands had blown her nose on the shoulder of her T-shirt while she was programming our plastic key cards.” The suspense lies not in what fate befalls our heroes, but what whiplash-inducing observation Kirn produces next.