As American Desert opens, the novel's hero, Theodore Street, is driving toward the ocean, where he plans to walk into the waves and drown himself. ... Show synopsis As American Desert opens, the novel's hero, Theodore Street, is driving toward the ocean, where he plans to walk into the waves and drown himself. But on his way, he is hit headlong by an oncoming van. He sails through the windshield, and his head is sliced cleanly from his body, his suicidal plans unwittingly thwarted. At his funeral three days later, Theodore sits up in his coffin, apparently resurrected. The mourners are horrified, and the story inspires headline writers throughout the world. Alternately feted and feared as The Second Coming and The Anti-Christ, Theodore becomes a source of embarrassment to his daughter, an object of derision and morbid curiosity to the press, a prized specimen for scientists, and Satan incarnate to an obscure religious cult deep in the desert. In this fascinating, surreal, and wildly satirical novel, internationally acclaimed author Percival Everett wrestles with the assumptions of a culture whose priorities are out of culture, sending up the press, religion, UFOs and the military, and offering, ultimately, a meditation on what it is to be alive.