The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary by William ShunnThe Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary by William Shunn

The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant Missionary

byWilliam Shunn

Paperback | November 10, 2015

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Nineteen-year-old Bill Shunn is a man on a mission—a Mormon mission, that is, trolling for converts door-to-door a thousand miles from home. This riveting memoir—by turns hilarious, provocative, and thrilling—traces his accidental journey from that humble beginning to hunted fugitive and international terrorist.

A seventh-generation Mormon, steeped since birth in the gospel according to Joseph Smith, Shunn yearns to lose himself in the solace of sincere belief. But with his few close friendships, his dreams of writing, and his very life on hold, he can’t help resenting the imposition of missionary service and the monastic lifestyle it demands.

When conflicts with his fellow “elders” spur him to an ill-fated flight for freedom, the stage is set for the ultimate showdown between obedience and agency. Like the charismatic prophet Smith—whose own incredible story casts eerie echoes through Shunn’s—the young missionary will brave arrest and incarceration in a desperate bid to prove his worthiness, not just to those around him but to himself.

Now, with hard-won wisdom and compassion for his younger self, Shunn recounts the harrowing pilgrimage—rife with good intentions, noble ideals, and deep-seated insecurities—that pushed him to places stranger than any fiction. A gripping chronicle of slow-motion disaster that unfolds with the inevitability of Greek tragedy, The Accidental Terrorist is also a testament to individual triumph in the face of overwhelming authority.

William Shunn was born in Los Angeles and raised in Utah, the eldest of eight children in a devout Mormon family. A writer from a young age, he attended the Clarion Writers Workshop at Michigan State University in 1985, when he was 17. As was expected, he departed on a proselytizing mission for the LDS Church at the age of 19. He was a...
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Title:The Accidental Terrorist: Confessions of a Reluctant MissionaryFormat:PaperbackDimensions:448 pages, 9.21 × 6.14 × 1 inPublished:November 10, 2015Publisher:Sinister RegardLanguage:English

The following ISBNs are associated with this title:

ISBN - 10:1941928560

ISBN - 13:9781941928561

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Reviews

Editorial Reviews

"This just may be my favorite true-life amazing-but-true tale-never has threatening an aircraft been funnier or more thought-provoking." -Cory Doctorow, author of Little Brother and Homeland"I devoured the more than four hundred pages of this memoir in what was essentially one sitting... A welcome addition to the library of Mormon autobiography-educational and highly entertaining." -Richard Packham, Association for Mormon Letters"The book grabs you on page one and never lets go. Fantastically written, beautifully paced, The Accidental Terrorist reads like a novel instead of a memoir. Only in novel form, no one would have ever believed these events could have happened. Believe it. William Shunn lived every word of this book. That he can share it so eloquently is a tribute not just to his writing skill, but his strengths as a human being." -Kristine Kathryn Rusch, USA Today bestselling author"Thanks to the sharp writing and heartfelt detail of author William Shunn, you will not forget for a minute that this is a true story, and a faithful account of a boy sorting out his loyalties. You should buy this book, and a few extra copies too. In fact, keep a stack by the front door. You never know when a friendly visitor might come knocking." -Elena Colás, Chicago Literati"You will read few other books as smart, funny, honest, and heartbreaking as William Shunn's The Accidental Terrorist, and I unreservedly recommend it to you as both a home-grown cautionary tale and a highly original coming-of-age saga." -Michael Bishop, author of Ancient of Days and editor of A Cross of Centuries