Happy birthday to Evelyn Arthur St. John Waugh, born 100 years ago today. Waugh's Brideshead Revisited is one of the most acclaimed religious novels of the 20th century, and a fine candidate for another round of "Torment the Mustard Seed."
For those of you new to the game, it's quite simple:
1. Call up your local evangelical book store ("The Mustard Seed" is a regional chain in these parts, in your area it may be called the "Family Christian Book Center," or "The Fisherman's Net" or some such thing).
2. Ask them if they have a copy of Brideshead Revisited in stock.
3. When they say No — and they will say No — say, "But I thought this was a Christian book store?"
Snarky, juvenile and a bit mean-spirited, yes, but you can't hope to change a subculture without making it aware that it is a subculture. And anyway, in the case of Waugh, being a bit snarky and mean-spirited is probably appropriate. He was best when he was at his nastiest. The Loved One is vastly more entertaining than Brideshead — the former slicing where the latter sags.