Excerpt from The Prophet by Michael Koryta, plus links to reviews, author biography & more

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

The Prophet

by Michael Koryta

The Prophet
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Aug 2012, 416 pages
    Paperback:
    Aug 2013, 432 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Donna Chavez

Buy This Book

About this Book

Print Excerpt


The practice officially over, Kent walked to midfield and most of the team followed. He offered no instruction for them to do so, and this was critical—the school board had required this of him after a complaint from a parent four years earlier. Praying with a public school team, he'd been told, was a violation of the separation of church and state. He couldn't require it of his players. And so he did not. He prayed to end every practice, but participation was voluntary.

The players took a knee and Kent offered a short prayer. Football was not mentioned. Never was, never would be, never should be. The closest he came was when he prayed for their health, though he caught himself drifting too close to the game sometimes this season even as the words were leaving his lips. A swift, sharp desire to make it specific: Not Damon's knee, Lord, not his knee. God, please watch over Lorell's throwing shoulder… Silly things, desires for which he would chastise himself privately, but still they arose.

Because this season…

"Amen," he said, and they echoed, and then they were on their feet and headed for the locker room at a run—no player walked onto or off of the field, ever. Kent watched while Colin Mears made a beeline to where his girlfriend, Rachel Bond, waited at the fence. One kiss, quick and amusingly chaste for hormonal teenagers, and then he rejoined the others. It was a deviation from the team-first routine that Kent ordinarily wouldn't have allowed, but you needed to understand your players as something beyond cogs in the gridiron machine. That girl had been through a great deal, and Colin was a light in the darkness for her. He was what Kent wanted them to be so badly: not only about more than football but also about more than the self.

Kent let the assistants follow the team to the locker room while he headed directly to the parking lot. This wasn't standard, but today he had places to be. A prison waited.

Standing behind the end zone, hands tucked in his pockets, was Dan Grissom, a local minister. Together, they would make the drive down to Mansfield, to one of the state's larger prisons, and there Kent would speak to a group of inmates. There would be some talk of football; there would be more talk of family. Truth be told, Kent had winced a little when he saw Grissom arrive, the reminder of his required task. He wanted to put it off until after the season, after playoffs. But responsibilities were responsibilities. You weren't allowed days off.

"They're looking good!" Dan said, gushing with his usual enthusiasm, and Kent smiled a little, because Dan didn't know the first thing about football. He knew plenty about encouragement, though.

"They should be," Kent told him. "It's that time of year."

"I can't believe you have a crowd in the stands just for a practice."

Kent turned and glanced into the bleachers, saw the faces, some familiar, some not. The watchers grew as the season went on, as the wins stacked up and the losses stayed at bay. Definitely more strangers on hand. Curious about what the Cardinals had. What they could do.

"It's a big deal in this town," he admitted.

"Alice and I would like to have you and Beth and the kids over for dinner," Dan said. "To celebrate the season."

"Let's wait until the season's done."

"I mean to celebrate how well it's gone so far," Dan said, and Kent wasn't sure if he imagined the uneasiness, the sense that Dan didn't expect it to close out as well as it had begun.

"I appreciate it. But dinner right now, it's tough. With practices, you know."

"We can eat late. Be fun to get the kids together. Sarah's the same age as Lisa, you know. I think they'd get along well."

"After practices, there's film," Kent said. And then, after catching a glance between disappointment and reproach from the minister, he said, "I'm sorry, Dan. But this time of year I get a little… edgy. I'm not much of a dinner companion. So as soon as we're done, okay?"

Excerpted from The Prophet by Michael Koryta. Copyright © 2012 by Michael Koryta. Excerpted by permission of Little Brown & Company. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Support BookBrowse

Become a Member
and discover your next great read!

Join Today!

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
The Opposite of Everyone
by Joshilyn Jackson

"Quirky and appealing characters, an engaging story, and honest dialogue make this a great book!"
- BookBrowse

About the book
Join the discussion!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket: Holding Up the Universe
    Holding Up the Universe
    by Jennifer Niven
    Jennifer Niven's spectacular Holding Up the Universe has everything that I love about Young ...
  • Book Jacket: Coffin Road
    Coffin Road
    by Peter May
    From its richly atmospheric opening to its dramatic conclusion, Peter May's Coffin Road is a ...
  • Book Jacket: The Guineveres
    The Guineveres
    by Sarah Domet
    It's a human need to know one's own identity, to belong to someone, to yearn for a place ...

First Impressions

  • Book Jacket

    Victoria
    by Daisy Goodwin

    Daisy Goodwin breathes new life into Victoria's story, and does so with sensitivity, verve, and wit." - Amanda Foreman

    Read Member Reviews

Win this book!
Win All the Gallant Men

All The Gallant Men

The first memoir by a USS Arizona survivor, 75 years after Pearl Harbor.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

K Y Eyes P

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.

 
X

Free Weekly Newsletter

Keep up with what's happening in the world of books:
Reviews, previews, interviews and more!



Spam Free: Your email is never shared with anyone; opt out any time.