Your Cart

Rarely has an Evangelical upbringing been depicted with the relentless honesty, wide-ranging empathy, and Superbad-meets-Siddhartha playfulness of HELL IS A WORLD WITHOUT YOU. During the time of Pizza Hut buffets, 9/11, and all-night Mario Kart parties, a grieving teenager faces a mortal crossroads: fire-and-brimstone certainty vs. forbidden love. And whether or not you’ve ever begged God to delay the Rapture (so you could have time to lose your virginity), that kid’s story is about you. 


About the Author

Jason Kirk, a longtime sports journalist, co-hosts the Vacation Bible School Podcast and the Shutdown Fullcast. He’s contributed to The Athletic, This American Life, Penguin Random House’s Hazlitt Magazine, Slate, USA Today, Vox, and many others. An Atlanta native, he grew up as a maximum-effort Southern Baptist and is now a lazy Christian pantheist. His non-fiction literary agent is Erik Hane of Headwater Literary Management.

Praise for HELL IS A WORLD WITHOUT YOU

Artboard 1

Divinely savage, emotionally pure, and devilishly funny, HELL IS A WORLD WITHOUT YOU took me back to my days as a hopelessly confused church kid. I absolutely adored this sweetly subversive romp with every fiber of my being.”

— Brian Dannelly, co-writer/director, Saved!

Artboard 1

“It’s funny, but also compassionate, romantic, and optimistic. Open-hearted, it rings with the specificity of the personal while evoking the universal. Whoever you are, you’ll find some of yourself in it.”

— Will Leitch, author, How Lucky and The Time Has Come

Artboard 1

“No book I’ve read has better or more lovingly depicted the Evangelical terror of the 2000s. I loved it, even when it made me remember times I wish I could forget.”

— Jane Coaston, Opinion writer, The New York Times

Artboard 1

“A magic trick: a portrait that feels almost tactile in its specificity, yet utterly universal. You’ll be thinking about it for a long time.”

— Claire McNear, author, Answers in the Form of Questions

Artboard 1

Hilarious, big-hearted, and deeply humane, it transported me right back to a world in which spiritual crises can be faced at Pizza Hut. The miracle of HELL IS A WORLD WITHOUT YOU is that it sees both sides of that equation with equal clarity and tenderness.”

— Brian Phillips, author, Impossible Owls

Artboard 1

“Almost astonishingly accurate. Comical, endearing, and purely hideous. It is unlike anything else I’ve read about the Evangelical church: unshakably critical, yet unshakably empathetic.”

— Jon Bois, creator, 17776

Artboard 1

“Genuinely funny, with real laughs to be found in its painfully accurate depiction of a pious world. It’s a deeply funny book, which is the best kind of book.”

— Drew Magary, author, The Night the Lights Went Out

Artboard 1

“A sweet, wry story that will be familiar to so many of us. A crisis of faith that rings with uncommon truth, shot through with surprising humor and kindness. I loved this book.”

— Anthony Oliveira, author, Dayspring

Artboard 1

“Relatable af. I felt like I was reading my own teenage Evangelical diary. A hilarious way to feel grateful for the people who helped us leave the harmful parts of our faith behind.”

— April Ajoy, co-host, Evangelicalish

Artboard 1

An enthralling coming-of-age story, equally as engaging as it is hilarious. A sweet yet biting portrait of extreme religiosity. A refreshing debut from a unique and imaginative writer.”

— Zito Madu, author, The Minotaur at Calle Lanza

Artboard 1

“Humor, heart, and attention to details. Engaged me as both a former pastor’s kid and a current scholar of religion. A message vital to our moment. It will make you laugh, cry, think, and maybe listen to MxPx, whether you’ve been to youth group or not.”

— Mike Altman, Professor of Religious Studies, University of Alabama

Artboard 1

“Devastatingly funny, heartbreaking, and incisive. Will resonate with readers regardless of background. I love every single one of these idiot church kids, and so will you.”

— Victoria Zeller, author, One of the Boys

Artboard 1

“Leaving the faith can be lonely. Even though Jason Kirk tells the story in a novel, it seems at times as if he wrote the biography of many of us. Sometimes this book will leave you laughing or crying, but at all times it will leave you feeling a little less alone.”

— Mason Mennenga, host, A People’s Theology and The BlackSheep Podcast

Artboard 1

“As Jason Kirk juggles dozens of voices, it’s so quick and funny and smart, you almost forget he’s trying to square the unsquarable contradictions of hardcore Christianity.”

— Tommy Tomlinson, author, The Elephant in the Room

Artboard 1

“I’d never before read a book so in tune with what it’s like to grow up Evangelical: self-hatred, fear for your soul, and trying to impress your date by recommending a Christian replacement for Sublime. Deeply funny and deeply felt. The good, good shit.”

— Tyler Parker, author, A Little Blood and Dancing

Artboard 1

“Will remind you what it was like to be — or be classmates with — the religious kids. At turns cathartic and cringe, Kirk’s book drops you into all the horror, humiliation, and humor of high school — with the added burden of ‘saving souls.’”

— Blake Chastain, author, Exvangelical and Beyond

Artboard 1

“I have read Jason’s book, and by ‘read,’ I mean ‘had my team explain it to me.’ Please let the record show that I was the first to say that it either shifts the paradigm or is extremely problematic.”

— Matthew Pierce in Evangelical Thought Leader mode

Artboard 1

“As funny as it is unpredictable, it’s for anyone who’s ever felt disappointed by an institution or struggled to reconcile inherited ethics with nuanced realities. (And anyone who experienced formative moments via AOL Instant Messenger.)”

— Ryan Nanni, staff writer, The Messenger

Artboard 1

“In between artfully woven portraits of adolescence, Jason has constructed something extraordinary: a compelling case for the existence of a better world. This book is for anyone who hopes or even believes that world might someday be real.”

— Holly Anderson, writer and editor, Channel Six

Artboard 1

“As a non-Evangelical, I had no idea what it’s like on the inside. It’s a sometimes terrifying galaxy, and Jason writes his ass off about it: beautifully, angrily, and with deep empathy for people stranded on Planet Jesus.”

— Spencer Hall, writer, Channel Six

Artboard 1

"A resonant novel, briskly told, with laugh-out-loud comedy and poignant insight."



— Publisher's Weekly (BookLife)

Artboard 1

"Joyous and sobering. Readers will be swept away. A wonderful novel."


— Independent Book Review

Artboard 1

"Deeply fascinating. Witty, sad, and compassionate. A bitingly funny and insightful coming-of-age tale. Highly recommend."

— Readers' Favorite