A Harvard professor, an evangelical preacher, a self-described Rabbi, a German dominatrix, and the proprietor of a Scottish donkey refuge walk into bar... The End Times dominate their discussion. Agreeing that Christianity, Judaism, and Islam are all true religions, and recognizing that each faith prophesies a Messiah riding on a donkey, they debate two scenarios: The three-donkey solution—one donkey per Savior with the three racing to see who can get to Jerusalem fi rst. Or the one-donkey solution—the true Messiah being the one whose devotees can corral the immortal messianic donkey that has previously borne Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad. Eight years elapse. The donkey genome is decoded. American evangelicals and Iran’s messianic President Ahmadinejad deploy secret agents to lay hands on the sacred donkey as identifi ed by its DNA. The reader follows Toots, the feisty daughter of the refuge owner, and her boyfriend Fritz, a student of the dominatrix, as they seek to escape from these nefarious groups. Israeli intelligence and a sweet and devout CIA agent come to realize that the DNA search can be circumvented by getting hold of Fritz, who has actually encountered, and conversed with, the one true messianic donkey: Ya’fur. And then there is Ya’fur’s evil brother Ufair.
Richard Bulliet is a specialist on the Middle East and the Islamic world. A historian at Columbia University for over thirty-five years, he has written books on Iranian history ("Islam: The View from the Edge"), religious conversion ("Conversion to Islam in the Medieval Period"), climate history ("Cotton, Climate, and Camels in Early Islamic Iran"), human-animal relationships ("Hunters, Herders, and Hamburgers"), and contemporary Islamic affairs ("The Case for Islamo-Christian Civilization"). His classroom lectures on Iranian history and the modern history of the Middle East are publicly available on iTunes University--Columbia. Videos of his lectures on world history are available on YouTube. His works of fiction, beginning with "Kicked to Death by a Camel," which was nominated in 1973 for an Edgar Award in the category of Best First Mystery, blend expertise on the Middle East region with political intrigue and mystery. Born in Rockford, Illinois, he lives in Manhattan.