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COALTOWN JESUS
by Ron Koertge | Read by Nick Podehl

If there’s such a thing as respectful irreverence, Nick Podehl has it in spades. By lending humor and compassion to the story of an adolescent boy who is visited by Jesus, Podehl provides a simple, direct interpretation of Christ, free of pretense or posturing, which enhances this narrative for the religious and nonreligious alike. Podehl’s sullen, surly young protagonist is given a commiserative touch that allows listeners to empathize with his struggle to find meaning in the wake of a tragedy. A relaxed pace and smooth delivery keep this moderately short work from feeling too brief. Podehl’s reassuring tone imbues it with a sense of hope throughout and a feeling of solid resolution at the end. K.S.B. © AudioFile 2014, Portland, Maine