cover image Joshua and the City

Joshua and the City

Joseph F. Girzone / Author Doubleday Books $17.95 (242p) ISBN

The effect of the eponymous hero on a New York inner-city neighborhood is the subject of this latest in Girzone's (Never Alone) inspirational series. Gentle, mysterious Joshua is propositioned by a young runaway turned prostitute. When her pimp muscles in, Joshua brings him to his knees, promising the young woman he'll never bother her again. He also heals the next person they encounter, a wealthy woman troubled by depression; Girzone would have us believe that this affluent woman is the prostitute's loyal friend and regular picnic companion! Then Joshua meets the woman's generous husband, some confused black youths and their single mother and several others, all of whom he impresses with his kindliness and charity. Obviously Jesus come again, he heals, ministers, inspires and even casts out devils. Because the message of his ministry is uplifting, it is all the more unfortunate that the vehicle is so flawed. Girzone's prose is devoid of imagination or drama, the style is clumsy, the dialogue pathetically false and the plot predictable. The cardboard characters simply represent society's ills. Though the flaws are almost enough to bury the lesson, the message does shine through the pedestrian telling. Drawings not seen by PW. (Apr.)