I read some of Coover's short stories in college, but hadn't read any of his novels. I've always wanted to read this one. When I learned he had written a 1000-page sequel, due out in early 2014, I decided now was the time. The book, published in 1966, tells the story of a devastating coal mine disaster that kills 98 miners, save one. After Giovanni Bruno is rescued from the mine, he tells of a vision he had while underground of the Virgin Mary coming to him as a beautiful white bird. The local community soon adopts him as a prophet, and a new (fictional) religious movement is born. I'm only about a third of the way done, but I'm excited (and a little nervous) to find out what happens next.